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Saturday, September 15, 2007

An enemy of Cyprus

Tuesday night’s televised press conference by President Papadopoulos has been met with angry reaction from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Turkish Cypriot leadership—ok, so what else is new?

Turkey strongly criticized Mr. Papadopoulos who said in a televised press conference that the Turkish occupation army “was an enemy of Cyprus.”

More on that statement a bit later ... let's focus on the part of the press conference that I found interesting, shall we? The President stated that during his meeting last week with Mr. Talat ... the Turkish Cypriot leader actually revealed that a majority of Turkish Cypriots do not support a federal Cyprus, no kidding. Instead, they favor a two-state solution. Another statement that was made by the President which really surprised me was that Mr. Talat didn't even know that Cyprus is actually an EU net contributor. Mr. Papadopoulos stated that...

"He (Mr. Talat) did not know that Cyprus is among the few countries which is a net contributor, that is we give the EU more funds than we take."

Interesting indeed. Now, let’s get back to that statement by Mr. Papadopoulos where he referred to the Turkish army occupying Cyprus as an “enemy” and the subsequent predictable response from Ankara.

This is what the Turkish Foreign Ministry had to say:

“It must be remembered that the declaration of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) as an enemy serves peace by no means. It is unacceptable that the TSK is turned into a target. Papadopoulos is supposed to understand that.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mr. Levent Bilman, went on to say that...

“It appears Papadopoulos forgot the fact that Turkey is a guarantor country on the island together with Greece and Britain and that the presence of the Turkish armed forces on the island legally stems from international agreements.”

Mr. Talat, who is a strong supporter of the TSK, parroted the Turkish Foreign Ministry by stating the main obstacle to a peaceful solution was the Greek Cypriot tendency to treat the Turkish troops stationed on the island as an occupation army. Honestly, an argument this weak and absurd doesn’t even deserve a response.

In a statement before his departure to New York to address the UN General Assembly, the President of the Cypriot Republic responded to the rhetoric coming out of Ankara by stating:

“Our view is well known, the presence of the Turkish occupation forces and the Turkish invasion, cannot be legally based on the Treaty of Guarantee, and their presence in Cyprus, is, in any case, illegal. We said that if Turkey believes otherwise, then it can appeal or agree to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

More on all this in the video below.

Take a look at this video which starts off with the Government Spokesman Vassilis Palmas reaction. The video also focuses in on the political leader of EDEK Mr. Yiannakis Omirou. Omirou’s response is priceless (ha).

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