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C 304/64 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(17 March 1998)

1. The Commission is not aware of any studies linking sudden infant death to dust particles found in the
indoor environment of homes. As part of its activities in the field of biomedical and health research the
Commission financed a project entitled ‘ECAS, European concerted action on sudden infant death’, the aim of
which was to identify methods of prevention. The final report for the project is being completed at present. In
addition, in the Environment and Climate research programme, there is a major research effort underway on air
quality ranging from sources and behaviour of pollutants to their impact on human health, including both
morbidity and mortality endpoints.

2. and 3. The Commission has no data on the incidence of sudden infant death in Member States.

(98/C 304/90) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0263/98
by Yiannis Roubatis (PSE) to the Council
(17 February 1998)

Subject: The systematic and provocative policy of increasing tension pursued by the Turkish Government

The policy of systematically increasing tension pursued by the Turkish Government in relation to Greece is
jeopardizing the peace in a vital part of the European Union. For the second time over the last few months
Turkish planes have attempted to buzz a plane carrying the Greek Foreign Minister. Within Turkey this policy by
Ankara is encouraging extremist criminal elements which two days ago burned down an Orthodox church in
Istanbul and murdered the sacristan.

Does the Council intend:
1. to make it clear to the relevant Turkish authorities that this behaviour sets an even greater distance between
Turkey and the European Union and makes it impossible to include it among the countries which will be
attending the European Conference?
2. to take measures to protect Orthodox churches in Turkey and the rights of citizens to freedom of expression
in religious matters?

Answer
(18 May 1998)

As regards relations between the EU and Turkey, the Luxembourg European Council on 12 and 13 Decem-
ber 1997, while confirming Turkey’s eligibility for accession to the European Union, gave a reminder, in line
with the Council’s position stated at the meeting of the Association Council with Turkey held on 29 April 1997,
that strengthening Turkey’s links with the European Union also depended on that country’s pursuit of the
political and economic reforms on which it had embarked, including the alignment of human rights standards and
practices on those in force in the European Union; respect for and protection of minorities; the establishment of
satisfactory and stable relations between Greece and Turkey; the settlement of disputes, in particular by legal
process, including the International Court of Justice; and support for negotiations under the aegis of the UN on a
political settlement in Cyprus on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

The Luxembourg European Council also invited Turkey to participate in the European Conference whose
opening session was held in London on 12 March 1998. Turkey is well aware that the members of the Conference
must share a common commitment to peace, security and good neighbourliness, respect for other countries’
sovereignty, the principles upon which the European Union is founded, the integrity and inviolability of external
borders and the principles of international law as well as a commitment to the settlement of territorial disputes by
peaceful means, in particular through the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

As regards the incidents referred to by the Honourable Member, the Council observed that, under the Treaty of
Peace signed at Lausanne in July 1923, the Turkish Government has undertaken to grant full protection to the
churches, synagogues, cemeteries and other religious establishments of non-Moslem minorities. The situation of
democracy and human rights in Turkey, which include freedom of expression in religious matters, remains high
on the Council’s agenda. These issues are raised at virtually every meeting with the Turkish authorities.