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Media Watch 2003

10 August 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Gokhan Tezgor
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 10 September 2003.
Talat: elections a ‘turning point’ for Cyprus


MEHMET Ali Talat, leader of the opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in the north, said yesterday the Cyprus problem was in a critical and final stage in the build-up to December’s elections.

“We are at a very critical point of the Cyprus problem, it appears to be the final critical stage, and is a turning point for the Turkish Cypriot people and the Turkish people,” Talat told a news conference at the Saray Hotel in occupied Nicosia.

Talat said the Turkish Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots and their motherlands Greece and Turkey would all be “winners” with a solution and both communities on the island as members of the European Union.
Last week, the three main opposition parties in the north joined together as the United Forces, bringing together Talat’s CTP, the newly-formed Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) led by Mustafa Akinci, and the Solution, and the Solution and Europe Party (CAP) headed by businessman Ali Erel.

Talat said the forces within regime who did not support a solution were getting “irritated”.
“Leading those on the list of people getting irritated is Mr (Rauf) Denktash. His position is threatening the future of Turkey also, he is creating an image that he is starting a struggle that will threaten the Turkish government and Turkey’s development,” said Talat.

“We have embraked on a path where a lasting solution will create a new Cyprus, this new Cyprus will take the Turkish Cypriot public out of its economic, social, and political isolation,” said Talat.
“Our target is to enter the Turkish Cypriots as a member of the world community, and a member of the European Union together with the rest of the island,” he added.

“A solution is at our doorstep, Europe is at our doorstep, the CTP and the United Forces will open this door together with our public and become unified with the World and Europe,” said Talat.

Referring to reports that he had rejected a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who arrives on the island today, Talat said he did not reject a meeting. “I made it explicit that it was my desire to meet with Mr Papandreou at the Ledra Palace Hotel on neutral ground. I met with him earlier this year at the Greek Embassy because Greece at the time held the presidency of the EU,” said Talat."