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Media Watch 2003

02 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 2 May 2003.
Incorrigible Denktash

THE crossing of the Green Line by scores of thousands of people from both sides and the welcome and hospitality afforded to them once they crossed by the other side proved how artificial the imposed division has been all these years. 

The myth propagated by Rauf Denktash that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together, and must consequently be kept apart, came crashing down with the lifting of the ban on crossing which was enforced strictly by Denktash and the Turkish troops all these years. 

People from both sides spoke out freely denouncing the imposed partition and expressing their desire to return to the homes they have not seen in nearly 30 years and to live together again in peace and harmony. 

The relief resulting from the change and the emotional climate of hope for a better future after all these years has been so overwhelming that even Denktash was forced to admit that a ``honeymoon season'' has been created in the relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Incorrigible as ever however he went on to spoil the feeling of well being by adding that ``this friendship now, this honeymoon season, is very good, but one should not be mistaken that it is there to stay forever, because the political reasons for conflict still exist.'' 

He also repeated his favourite gambit, ruling out the fundamental right of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their homes in the north, declaring that this should be decided by his breakaway regime “according to its own quotas.” 

Legal advice 
As a lawyer, Denktash needs to heed the advice of Alper Ali Riza, QC, the eminent Cypriot lawyer practising in London, which was contained in the opinion piece we published on this page last week. 

Ali Riza, who, incidentally is of mixed Turkish and Greek parentage, declared that Denktash's argument rejecting the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees, because this would lead to the displacement of Turkish Cypriots ``is unprincipled.'' 

Ali Riza added: ``It fails on moral grounds on the well-known principle that a man cannot benefit from his own wrong-doing.''"