Papadopoulos: Turkish stance might change if T/C opposition wins
Nicosia, Nov 2 (CNA)-- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here yesterday that if the Turkish Cypriot ''opposition'' wins the so-called elections in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, to take place in December, there is hope, that with Ankara's consent the Turkish stance on the Cyprus problem will change.
Invited to comment speculations that the fenced-off area of the occupied town of Famagusta will be handed over to the UN, President Papadopoulos stressed that the government is ready to deal with any possible development.
He reiterated that there can be no progress on the Cyprus issue, with Rauf Denktash as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, noting that ''the Turkish Cypriot 'opposition' gives some hope that it is possible, with Turkey's consent, to change this policy (of the Turkish side).''
The President said that ''we have to support this hope'' and added that ''UN Secretary General Kofi Anan expects a real demonstation, if not proof of Turkey's political will to proceed towards a Cyprus settlement.''
Referring to the speculations that Famagusta will be handed over to the UN, President Papadopoulos noted that ''like all previous times, the information we now have is that there will be an initiative regarding Famagusta'' adding that the kind and the extention of this initiative as well as the conditions under which it will be probably announced are not known.
''If any initiative is taken, I assure you that the government has its own plans and is ready to deal with any possible development'' the President stressed.
Answering a question President Papadopoulos said that he considers it natural that the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus has made its plans regarding this possibility.
Asked whether he expects any kind of initiative on behalf of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the light of the so - called elections in the occupied part of Cyprus, President Papadopoulos said he could not predict how Denktash would act.
''The one responsible for the illegality and imposition of restrictions on citizens regarding their properties and homes is the only one who can take any such initiative. I cannot see how this could be linked with the pre-election developments in the occupied areas'' he said.
Invited to comment recent statements by leader of the Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat who claimed last week that President Papadopoulos "likens himself with those who want to maintain the status quo in Cyprus", President Papadopoulos said he could not know if Talat's statements were made due to the ''pre- election period'' in the Turkish occupied areas, or if they disclose Talat's real positions.
''In every statement he makes, it seems that Talat considers that there is a separate Turkish Cypriot entity and says for example that the ports of Famagusta and Kyrenia, the airports of Lefkoniko and Tympou are legal as the ones that operate under the control of the Cyprus Republic'', President Papadopoulos said.
Security Council resolution 550 considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha (Famagusta) by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administartion of the United Nations.