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Media Watch 2003

02 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 2 May 2003.
Real reason behind Denktash stubbornness

RAUF Denktash argues that his breakaway state must be recognised so that the Turkish Cypriots are treated as equal with the Greek Cypriots by the international community. 

Nobody rejects the demand for equality, that is that Greek and Turkish Cypriots must be treated as equal citizens of the reunified Cyprus in the form of a federation, where the proposed Greek and Turkish Cypriot federal regions will also be given equal status. 

Denktash is, in effect, twisting the equality gambit to get recognition for his breakaway state, whose establishment has been branded illegal by the Security Council, the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe. 

The illegality stems from the fact that this ``state'' is maintained by the Turkish occupation troops, following the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot population and the usurpation of Greek Cypriot property. 

So what Denktash is in effect demanding is not ``equality'' but the legitimisation of the ethnic-cleansing war crime and the violation of the Geneva Conventions through the importation of the more than 100,000 mainland settlers to the occupied north. 

The real reason for Denktash's ``equality'' demand ``recognition'' has nothing to do with his allegation that the Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together. This was swept aside by the mass crossings of the imposed border of the past few days and the publicly declared wish by people from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots of their desire for reunification and for the return to their ancestral homes.

The real reason for Denktash's illegal demands, particularly his rejection of the right of the refugees to return, is nothing but his objective to avoid having to give up the usurped Greek Cypriot properties worth hundreds of millions of Cyprus pounds, not Turkish lira, that he has distributed to his narrow clique of supporters. 

This has been stressed repeatedly by successive Cyprus governments.

This week it was also adopted by the outspoken English-language Turkish Daily News newspaper published in Ankara.

The newspaper declared that ``the reason that Denktash and his men reject the Annan plan is much simpler than is announced. The rulers in (occupied) Cyprus and the hawks in Turkey have confiscated many properties from the Greek Cypriots that they do not wish to give up.''

``The resistance against peace in Cyprus is not a matter of principles or nationalistic feelings. It is a matter of money,'' the newspaper said.""