Defiance is a reaction common to several of Thursday's Turkish newspapers to the EU report pinning Ankara's accession to the EU to prior progress on the Cyprus issue.
The European Commission has warned Turkey that the absence of a settlement for the divided island could become a serious obstacle to its aspirations to begin EU entry talks by 2005.
But while some papers call on the government to adopt a more assertive stance towards Brussels, others note Turkey's need for radical change.
The EU is a monster... Whatever you do, you cannot satisfy it... If we join the EU, let us join honourably, let them not crush us. The sale of Cyprus is on the agenda here. The EU has already manipulated part of Turkish Cypriot society. They have divided Turkish society from the inside.
Hurriyet - commentary by Emin Colasan
There is no need for Ankara... to be on the defensive in its relations with the EU. Ankara should remain on the high ground. It should be insistent in its demands and questions. Ankara has done its homework, and it should not accept any special conditions or treatment, including over the issue of Cyprus.
Milliyet - commentary by Fikret Bila
On the one hand, they tell us to solve the Cyprus issue by May 2004, but on the other hand they say 'Do not use the Cyprus issue to blackmail us'. The European Commission is suspicious about Turkey over the Cyprus issue. Likewise, we are suspicious about them and think that they will blackmail us on Cyprus.
Posta - commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand
In this day and age, when the economy and communications have become globalised, Turkey will lose its appeal if it stays out of the EU. Its development will be held back and its problems of religious and ethnic identity will be exacerbated... Achieving EU membership requires thinking and finding solutions using new terms such as civil society, pluralism, multiculturalism, religious dialogue, priority of the individual etc, which do not exist in our official culture.
Milliyet - commentary by Taha Akyol
It was said before... that Turkey's EU membership will help to achieve a solution in Cyprus... Now, the EU spells out the other side of the equation. Turkey's EU membership and the solution in Cyprus are two separate equations with two unknowns. They should be solved together and simultaneously.
Radikal - commentary by Murat Yetkin
The report is an important opportunity that will let Turkey... escape the dream world it has got into... The EU has declared that the Turkish position - give us a date for the beginning of entry negotiations and let us open the way for a solution in Cyprus - is no longer acceptable. Instead, the EU tells Turkey: start moving towards a solution in Cyprus first.
Tercuman - commentary by Cengiz Candar
Yesterday's report should wake up those who were stuck with the paradox of 'I want to join the EU and I entrust Cyprus to [President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Rauf] Denktas.' Both cannot go together. If Turkey is sincere on its demand for EU membership, it has to solve Cyprus issue and for that it has to end it by negotiating the Annan plan honestly and reasonably. There is no other option.
Yeni Safak - commentary by Mustafa Karaalioglu
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