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Turkish Cypriots have more rights on Cyprus than Greek Cypriots, Denktash says

Serdar Denktash

Turkish Cypriots have more rights on the island’s territory than Greek Cypriots and no one could abolish their breakaway state, the leader of the Democratic Party Serdar Denktash has said.

Speaking at a party gathering on Friday, two days before general elections in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway north of the island, Denktash was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency that “no one can abolish the Turkish republic of northern Cyprus.”

“Turkish Cypriots have more ownership rights on this land than you and your community,” he said, addressing President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We exist and will continue to exist despite not being recognized.”

Denktash, whose father Rauf was the first Turkish Cypriot leader and an unwavering supporter of partition, said pressure to restart stalled reunification talks would intensify after March.

The latest round of reunification talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana took place between June 28 and July 6, 2017 but again ended in deadlock over disagreements on security and guarantees.

Later in July, Denktash’s party denounced the February 11, 2014 joint declaration on seeking a federal solution issued by the leaders of the island’s divided communities.

Denktash said the joint document, signed by former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and Anastasiades, was void and no longer binding for his party.

“The negotiations process which was carried out within the framework of the 11th of February 2014 Joint Declaration is over for us. We are withdrawing our support to this document” he said.

Elections on the north will be followed by the presidential elections in the Republic on January 28 and a possible runoff vote the following Sunday, February 4.

Anastasiades, who is running for a second term, has repeatedly said that achieving a settlement was his primary and most important goal if re-elected.

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