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Denktash Continues Anti-EU Propaganda

by Lorys Charalambous,, Nicosia

31 December 2002

Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash returned to Cyprus yesterday, where he will face strident opposition from many of the inhabitants of the divided northern part of Cyprus. December 26th saw the largest ever demonstration against what opponents see as his divisive policies. But Denktash is intransigent, criticising the EU and its Turkish ambassador for misleading young people, "creating the impression that by joining the EU they will be flooded with dollars”.

In what is now taking on the appearance of a hereditary monarchy, Denktash's son, Serdar, who a few days ago assumed the leadership of the Democratic Party, and is said to have more moderate views than his father, flew to Turkey on Saturday for a meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

Leader of Turkey's ruling AKP party, Tayyip Erdogan, continues to speak more warmly about the UN plan for Cyprus reunification than does Denktash: “The UN plan is not altogether rejectable,” Erdogan said last week. “There are positive and negative aspects to it, but we cannot look at it through the lenses of 40 years ago.”

Resolution of the Cyprus problem is a high priority for the incoming Greek presidency of the EU. The accession treaties for the ten new members of the Union will be signed in a grand ceremony at the Acropolis in April, and the Greek administration aims to have at least a framework solution in place by 28th February, the pre-accession deadline set by the UN.

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