Dire straits

A coast guard officer watches over a group of women and children who were detained at the port town of Mandoudi, on the island of Evia, after Turkish migrant smugglers brought them ashore yesterday. The immigrants, mostly Iraqi Kurds and Afghans, said that 350 of them had been at sea for days and had suffered from cold and hunger. By last night, authorities had detained 160 men, 13 women and 12 children, along with three Turkish crewmen. The government accused Turkey of not doing enough to stop the flood of migrants. Turkey said Denktash’s reply should not be seen as a rejection, but that he needed assurances he would be treated as an equal partner. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Denktash, in a radical departure from his public position, had even proposed secret face-to-face talks with Clerides to break the deadlock.

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