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Turkish Cypriots demonstrate as UN talks fail
2002-12-13 13:34:49

Nicosia, Dec 13 (CNA) -- Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots in the occupied north of Cyprus demonstrated for peace and called on their leader Rauf Denktash to quit as the European Union is preparing to welcome later Friday Cyprus into its ranks while UN talks at the Danish capital to secure an eleventh hour settlement to the division of Cyprus failed, because of the Turkish negative stance.

Turkish Cypriots voiced their opposition to the policy followed by Denktash during a demonstration, the second in less than a month, exhibiting the frustration of the Turkish Cypriot community to a non-solution to the Cyprus problem.

"We refuse the separatist politics which aim to erode the Turkish Cypriot community, applied by Mr. Denktash and his accompanying authorities", said a press release issued Friday by the Turkish Cypriot Platform named "This country is ours".|

Demonstrators chanted "for 30 years you are telling us Mr. Denktash to be patient and negotiate. Is that what you are telling us now too?"

The gathering was organised by trade unions and people supporting the island's accession to the EU.

Denktash had earlier said "no one should pressure us by threats into signing a document which we have not negotiated with the Greek Cypriots".

"For years the separatist politics of the so called community leaders have brought our community to the brink of extinction by refusing to act with accordance to the actual community interests", the Platform's statement said.

Despite that, a big majority of the Turkish Cypriot community desires a solution, peace and EU accession. "These key community interests are persistently avoided", it added.

The Turkish Cypriot Platform said "if the UN plan is left unsigned, if the EU accession avoiding Turkish Cypriot membership is to occur, the entire civilised world would in turn approve of the extinction of the Turkish Cypriot community".

Last month, around 20 thousand people in the northern occupied part of Cyprus manifested their will for a Cyprus settlement and the island's accession to the EU at a mass rally.

They called on the Turkish Cypriot leadership to ''respect the will of the Turkish Cypriots''. They chanted slogans such as ''No one can put obstacles to peace on the island'', ''Yes to a solution and accession to the European Union'', "Yes to Greco-Turkish friendship'' and ''Peace, here and now".

CNA/GSA/EC/GP/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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