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Demonstrators demand Denktash's resignation in occupied areas
2003-01-14 15:50:01

Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Thousands of people demonstrated Tuesday at "Inonu Square" in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Nicosia against the policy followed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and in favour of a solution to the Cyprus problem and accession to the European Union.

Bearing EU flags and holding blue balloons, Turkish Cypriot demonstrators chanted slogans such as "We want Denktash to resign", "We do not want to live in an open prison", "We want peace", "No one can put obstacles to peace", "This country is ours", "Sign the (Annan) plan by 28 February, or get up and leave, Denktash".

All speakers criticised the Denktash policy. Demonstrators jeered as one speaker referred to National Unity party leader and so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu and the absence of a party representative at the rally.

The Turkish Cypriots gathered at the square from early morning and according to reports some teachers unsuccessfully tried to prevent students from participating.

Several unions, including the teachers' and professors' unions and so- called civil servants went on strike today to attend the rally. Shops closed from 11 until 1300 local time.

University students and their professors also attended, holding banners, which said, "we do not want to become slaves, we are the new generation".

Before the start of the rally, private radio stations allowed people to give their views on the air. A child begged its parents to parents to participate, saying "do it for us".|

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

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