Denktash Says Elections May Help Divided Island
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said Tuesday he hoped recent elections in northern Cyprus would help ease tensions on Cyprus, which has been divided between Turkish and Greek forces for 11 years, a Turkish news agency reported.
″A federal solution can be reached only between equal partners,″ and the Turkish community on Cyprus should be considered politically equal with the Greek half, the semi-official Anatolia news agency quoted Denktash as saying.
Denktash supports the National Union Party, which won the most seats in parliamentary elections Sunday on the Turkish-held northern end of the Mediterranean island. Turkish Cypriots declared their part of the iland a separate nation in November 1983.
″If justice is wanted in the island it is to be based on the equality of two communities,″ the agency quoted Denktash as saying.
The elections Sunday were condemned by the Greek and Cypriot governments.
The rightist National Union Party took 24 seats in the 50-member, single house legislature. The leftist Republican Party received 12 seats, the leftist Socialist Salvation Party, 10 seats, and rightist New Birth Party four.
Denktash was elected June 9 to a third term as president of the self- proclaimed state on an independent ticket.
Earlier, Turkish Cypriots, in a referendum, adopted measures to legalize their mini-state. The move came after the breakdown in January of U.N.-sponsored peace talks between Denktash and Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou.
Cyprus has been divided into Turkish and Greek Cypriot sectors since Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus 11 years ago after a Greece-backed coup toppled President Makarios.