Rauf Denktas obituary in the UK’s Daily Telegraph

An interesting summary of Rauf Denktas’s life has appeared in the UK’s Daily Telegraph.

“Denktash reflected the deep distrust felt by the 160,000-strong Turkish Cypriot population about the ambitions of the Greek Cypriots. It was a distrust born in the years of struggle against British colonial rule and hardened between 1963 and 1974, the years of inter-communal violence that followed independence. During those years many Turkish Cypriots lost their lives and a quarter of their population fled their homes. They lived in defended enclaves for the next 11 years and were attacked by the more numerous Greek Cypriots in 1964, 1967 and 1974.”

The obituary also explains why Mr Denktas has always challenged the right of the government in the south to represent the whole of the island.

“Denktash always saw himself as the defender of the constitution against Greek Cypriot ambitions for majority rule and “Enosis” (union with Greece). During the early years of independence he spoke out strongly against revived demands for Enosis, dismissed Greek Cypriot claims that the constitution was unworkable and opposed proposals by Makarios in November 1963 to remove the entrenched clauses of the Constitution and abolish the separate Turkish municipalities in the five main towns. The issue was taken to the Supreme Court, which ruled against Makarios, who then implemented the “Akritas” plan. The Turkish Cypriots have always maintained that since that date there has been no lawful “Government of Cyprus”. “

The failure of the 2004 referendum, which Mr Denktas was no doubt happy about, was nothing to do with his efforts but was explained as the result of the efforts of:

“Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who appeared on television making an emotional speech denouncing the Annan proposal just days before it went to the vote. Secure in the fact that they would accede come what may to the EU, and its benefits, 75 per cent of Greek Cypriots voted against reunification. Distraught diplomats and EU officials rounded on Papadopoulos, with the EU enlargement commissioner Gunter Verheugen going so far as to say he “felt cheated” and that “a shadow” had fallen over Greek Cypriot accession. “

Interestingly the obituary refers to the RoC President as the “Greek Cypriot President,” making it clear that this one-sided article is biased against Greek Cypriots. There is no name on the article and even though it is one-sided the only factual error I can find, pointed out by a Daily Telegraph reader, is that “Ktima is Paphos, not a village outside it.” Read the whole obituary for yourself:

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/9016548/Rauf-Denktash.html#.TxNC4lGw5sw.facebook

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.