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May 20, 2019
Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Extremist groups could ‘crucify the island’

Mehmet Ali Talat

EXTREME nationalism could mean the end of reunification talks, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said on Monday, days after Greek Cypriot neo-Nazi group ELAM disrupted an event he had attended in Limassol.

Talat said like Europe, which was destroyed by Nazism, extremist groups could “crucify the island” therefore they should be declared illegal.

He suggested tabling the matter at the negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Last Wednesday, some 70 members of ELAM stormed a Cyprus problem talk, attended among others by Talat and other Turkish Cypriots.

The ELAM protesters engaged in scuffles with police, assaulted a Turkish Cypriot journalist and hurled a flare inside the venue.

In the aftermath of the incident, President Nicos Anastasiades sacked the chief of police and vowed that such phenomena would not be tolerated.

Archbishop Chrysostomos urged the attorney-general to get tough on extremist groups.

“If in fact they do not meet the criteria for being a party, he must strip them of this capacity,” he said.
Talat highlighted the fact that many Greek Cypriots condemned the incident and that the archbishop had called him to express his sorrow.

The former Turkish Cypriot leader suggested that the two sides’ education systems should be re-evaluated and harmonised.

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