LETTER : Safe haven for Turkish Cypriots

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Sir: Turkey did not need any persuasion from Rauf Denktas to intervene in Cyprus in July 1974 ("Keeper of the island fortress", 11 September), as she was legally and morally duty-bound to do so in order to stop the ethnic cleansing of Turkish Cypriots by the Greeks and the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. That intervention was effected under the international Treaty of Guarantee, which carries also the signature of the UK.

The history of the Cyprus problem is riddled with Greek intransigence, as in 1986 when the Greek Cypriot leader refused point blank to sign an agreement under UN auspices that would have settled the Cyprus issue. The Greeks repeated their intransigence, under Glafcos Clerides, when they refused to accept UN confidence-building measures, quite recently.

Mr Denktas sincerely and honestly supports all genuine, fair and mutually acceptable efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. But any attempts to place the Turkish Cypriots under Greek domination, which they suffered for almost a century, are naturally repugnant to them.

North Cyprus may be a "statelet" and a "little territory", but at least the Turkish Cypriots feel safe in this haven, away from the exuberance, turmoil and ethnic cleansing to which they have been periodically subjected by the Greeks.


London Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

London WC1