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Illegal police in occupied areas stops referendum, "arrests" people
2003-03-27 14:13:33

Nicosia, Mar 26 (CNA) -- The illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus prohibited on Sunday the conducting of a referendum that was expected to be held in the occupied village of Elia and "arrested" a number of persons, including Turkish Cypriot politician Izzet Izcan.

The village was placed under police guard, prompting Turkish Cypriots to demonstrate outside the illegal "police" station where those "arrested" were taken. Trade unionists called for a strike today to condemn the regime's attitude while it was decided the referendum would be held on Friday, 28 March, in occupied Kyrenia.|

Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Kibris", dedicated its front page to the story today under the headline "Police theft against popular will". It said "policemen" with riot-gear prevented the referendum from taking place and surrounded the village, arresting five persons and confiscating the ballot box.

The village Elia was under police guard while entry and exit to the village was temporarily prohibited.

The newspaper said that illegal "policemen" failed to respect the immunity of the so-called "deputies" after grabbing the ballot box with the use of force from a "deputy".

Six persons were arrested, including General Secretary of United Cyprus Party, Izzet Izcan and trade unionists that were taken to Morfou "police station". People gathered outside the station and set a fire, which they described as "the fire of peace".

Among those demonstrating outside the "police station" was Republican Turkish Party leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, and Communal Liberation Party leader, Hussein Angolemli, who demanded the immediate release of those being held.

The "arrests" prompted today a number of trade unions in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, to go on strike to condemn the regime's attitude. The referendum will be held on Friday, 28 March in teh northern occupied town of Kyrenia.

One of "Kibris" columnists described the incident as "embarrassing".

"Halkin Sesi" columnist illustrated the incident under the title "The democracy of truncheons in Elia. An eventful night in Elia".

"Kibrisli", in its front-page said the only way to change the status quo is for peace and solution to exist. It also says that Turkish Cypriots will not tolerate "state terrorism and despotism".

"Afrika" titled its headline news "Night of terror" and criticises the commander of the so-called security sources because its members beat indiscriminately elderly people, women and children.

"Yeni Duzen" wrote about the slogans, which were heard during the demonstration outside the "police station" which included "Everyone, together against fascism", "They cannot prevent peace in Cyprus", "Unity, struggle and solidarity".

Referring to the incident, "Ortam" said "Fascism has turned into a vampire", noting that Turkish Cypriots are going through the hardest time in their history and criticised Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the illegal regime for their anti-democratic actions.

Nationalist "Volkan" said "we are supporting our 'police'" and claimed that Turkish Cypriots are "satisfied" with the illegal "police's" determination.

CNA/SA/KST/EC/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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