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    Talat: Forcing Turkey to recognize Cyprus may lead to civil war

    Hürriyet Haber
    30 Eylül 2005 - 10:03Son Güncelleme : 30 Eylül 2005 - 10:03

    Speaking to the Associated Press this week, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat said that any push for Ankara to recognize Cyprus before the island had a chance to work out a long term solution could destroy any hope of finding a lasting peace and may even cause a civil war. Talat said that although talks may push the Greek leader Tassos Papdopoulos back to negotiations, it wouldn't mean anything unless the Greek administration really wanted to solve the problem

    Talat added that he didn't believe that Turkey wold recognize the Greek Cypriot government before a solution is found. "Such an act would mean Turkey deserting the Turkish Cypriots, something which is simply not possible," said the president.

    "Just imagine if it is done. .... What will happen? I mean we are still alive, the Turkish Cypriots are living in the north and they will defend themselves. This will cause a civil war, maybe. It is dangerous," he added, invoking images of inter-communal violence that ravaged Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.

    "Recognizing Cyprus as it is means non-solution" of the island's division, Talat said in his office just north of the Green Line, the U.N-patrolled buffer zone that divides the island.

    Talat hoped that by Turkey joining the EU that it would draw attention to the international community that a solution must be found for the island.

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