Letter: Apartheid in Cyprus?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article entitled 'UN tries to force Cyprus deal' (25 August), while presenting a number of facts in an unbiased manner, omits to mention some key points.

There are 60,000 to 80,000 illegal colonists in Cyprus, brought in by Rauf Denktash, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, since the mid-Seventies to buttress his political support and complicate any negotiations concerning a settlement. Their repatriation to Turkey is a matter of justice and principle to the Greek-Cypriot refugees.

Denktash still demands that Turkey retain the right to unilateral intervention in Cyprus's affairs (we remember what happened in 1974).

The Turkish-Cypriots further demand a rotating presidency.

Denktash does not want any of his people to be displaced and so chooses to ignore and demean the plight of 200,000 Greek refugees who were forcibly evicted by the invading Turkish army in 1974.

Denktash seeks not federation but confederation, demanding that the Turkish-Cypriot-administered zone be given full autonomy. Further, he states that there should be no mixing of populations, ie, there shall be a segregated Turkish-Cypriot-administered zone with any Greek-Cypriots returning to the north being forced to live in isolated hamlets.

This begs the question whether Denktash intends to allow Turkish-Cypriots to return to their homes in the southern, Greek-Cypriot part of the island.

At a time when apartheid is being dismantled in South Africa, is the international community going to stand by and let it be constructed in Europe?

K. CHRISTODOULOU

Ilford, Essex

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