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Erdogan's statements indicate end of Denktash era, says Kasoulides
2003-01-02 16:56:02

Nicosia, Jan 2 (CNA) ? Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said statements by Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who urged Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to heed protests against his policies, confirm the view that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Denktash era.

Kasoulides described Erdogan's statements as "very interesting", noting that this time his positions conclude that "Mr. Denktash cannot decide on his own on a very important issue which concerns the whole of Turkey" and that "Turkey must be the one to decide for herself".

Erdogan had said he is "not in favour of following the Cyprus policy that has been followed for 30 or 40 years", adding, "this business is not Mr. Denktash's personal business. It's not Ahmet's or Mehmet's or Tayyip Erdogan's. It's the struggle of a nation for existence", he was quoted as telling a Turkish Television station.|

Kasoulides said Erdogan's statement signifies a failure of the Turkish policy so far and added that some people should undertake responsibility for this failure.

"These statements confirm what we have been saying in the recent past that the rigid Turkish policy has ended, the mirror has cracked?", he added.

''Hearing statements of this kind leads me to believe that we are witnessing the start of the end of the Denktash era is being confirmed. The sooner Mr. Denktash realises it and resigns, the better. If he does not realise it, the only thing left for him to do is either to be forced to comply with the new policy or sidelined", he added.

Asked if someone can expect important developments in Turkey, Kasoulides said important changes are expected, but the question is when will these changes take place.

Replying to questions, he called on the Greek side to continue being positive and constructive in its policies, which has led Cyprus to the EU.

The EU's role as a catalyst on the peace effort is certain to lead Cyprus to reunification, he added.

The Copenhagen European Council on December 12-13 has invited Cyprus, along with nine other countries, to join the European Union in May 2004 as full members. The accession treaty will be signed during the Greek EU Presidency. Greece assumed EU's rotating presidency from Denmark yesterday.


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