Turkish Cypriot leader threatens permanent partition
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash emphasized Monday that Cyprus could be permanently partitioned if the island joins the European Union, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.
"If the historic opportunity for a solution to the Cypriot problem is lost, Cyprus will be a candidate for integration into the European Union in December, and the efforts for reunification will take a different turn," Denktash warned.
He charged Europe was trying to force the disappearance of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which would indicate "a one-way ticket to the cemetery" for the Turkish community on the island.
"We are facing efforts for the non-acceptance of our sovereignty, the recognition of the right to return of Greek refugees to their former homes ... and the disappearance of the TRNC," he said, cited by AFP.
"The carrot of Europe is being using to trap us." The TRNC is recognized only by Turkey, while the Republic of Cyprus headed by Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides enjoys international recognition.
Denktash maintains that the re-unification of the island must be based on the equality of the two sides, in a confederation of two separate states. (albawaba.com)