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Turkish Cypriots to emigrate due to Turkey's plans
2002-09-03 06:59:29

Nicosia, Sep 3 (CNA) - Turkish Cypriots are preparing to emigrate from the island due to Turkey's plans to annex the areas it occupies since 1974, according to Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Afrika", which adds that Turkey is planning to send more settlers to Cyprus to replace the emigrants.

The daily accuses Turkey of blocking the way of the Turkish Cypriots towards a solution of the Cyprus problem and accession to the European Union and wonders: "For how long will the UN and the EU ignore the fact that Turkey keeps the Turkish Cypriots hostage for the sake of its own strategic interests?"

In yesterday's issue, "Afrika" notes that the preconditions Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "lays on the table are not the views of the Turkish Cypriots but the preconditions of Ankara".

"The sovereignty demanded is not the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots. The intention is to represent the sovereignty of Turkey here", the newspaper adds.|

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in direct UN-led talks since January this year to solve the problem.

"Afrika" says that the overwhelming majority of Turkish Cypriots favours a federal solution of the Cyprus problem and accession to the EU, adding that "no one wants unification with Turkey except Denktash and his circles, who looted Cyprus".

The newspaper notes that if Turkey annexes the occupied areas, "the emigration from the island will be intensified".

According to Turkish Cypriot reports, more than 40.000 Turkish Cypriots have emigrated because of the unbearable conditions created in the occupied areas by the Turkish occupation troops and thousands of Turkish colonist setlers brought in, as part of Ankara's designs to change the island's demographic character.

Some 120.000 Turkish Cypriots represented 18 per cent of the island's population before the 1974 Turkish invasion. They were outnumbered by some 40.000 Turkish troops and more than 80.000 colonist settlers, who were given "Turkish Cypriot citizenship" by the Denktash regime.

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