Addressing the Turkish Parliament during the opening ceremony of the new legislative year on Tuesday, President Abdullah Gul welcomed the reform package unveiled by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government on Monday as he pushed for more extensive steps for a broader democracy and hinted at a return to politics. 

The official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey publishes the full text of Gul’s address.

As far as the Cyprus problem is concerned, Gul said the following:

“The Cyprus issue, which has been ongoing for almost 50 years, must be resolved. The parameters for resolving the conflict are well-known. It is essential that there is no delay in conducting direct talks between the two communities in order to reach a comprehensive settlement based on these parameters. On the other hand, we know from experience that open-ended talks do not produce any results. The process to be initiated will be a test of sincerity for everyone involved. Turkey, as we have always done, will support all diplomatic efforts for a fair and lasting peace on the island and will maintain utmost solidarity with the brotherly Turkish people in Northern Cyprus [editor’s note: breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus].”

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