Letter: Turkish Cypriot response to a neighbour's provocation

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his article on Cyprus ('Stand-off on the Green Line', 18 October) Lord Bethell has expounded, in detail, his ideas about the Cyprus problem. Lord Bethell's views on Cyprus are well known, therefore I shall not spend time answering all these pro-Greek observations. His claim that the number of Turkish settlers in North Cyprus is now 90,000 is nothing but a repetition of the Greek Cypriot propaganda line.

The claim that I had told Lord Bethell that I was upset with the alleged changes in the demography of the island is not true. What I did tell him was that there was no substance in the allegations that Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu is issuing citizenships to newcomers from Turkey and underlined this by telling him that, in view of the fact that I am in opposition to the Prime Minister, there was no chance of allowing him to manipulate such an issue.

There is no reason for being upset about those people who came to Cyprus 20 years ago and who have integrated with us and are now part and parcel of our citizens. I told Lord Bethell that at the Greek Cypriot side there are more than 90,000 settlers from Greece and other countries and that no one was mentioning anything about this.

Sincerely,

RAUF R. DENKTASH

President

Turkish Republic of

Northern Cyprus

Lefkosa, Northern Cyprus

20 October

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