NEWS

Denktash aide warns of war

A senior adviser to Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Former Turkish Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal, has warned that war could break out if Cyprus joins the EU without Turkey also doing so, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The report from Nicosia said that Soysal voiced the threat in a meeting on Cyprus that was held behind closed doors in Istanbul. The report did not say when the meeting was held or who was involved in it. Soysal is a hardliner on Cyprus who has consistently spoken out against a compromise in the efforts to end the island’s solution. Turkish politicians and military officials, however, have repeatedly warned of «tension» and other unnamed consequences if Cyprus joins the EU. The EU is to decide on this at a summit in December. The ANA report, which did not use direct quotes, said that Soysal said, «If the Greek side makes this mistake, depending on how big this is, this might even lead to war.» He added that if «the Greek side joins the European Union and the Turkish one is ignored,» then direct talks will be ended and the breakaway republic in northern Cyprus will strengthen its ties with Turkey. Ankara has repeatedly said it might annex northern Cyprus. Soysal said he expected neither the EU nor Turkey to turn its back on the other, saying the two shared a «mutual love» and that they were tied in an engagement whose outcome was not yet clear. Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash had their penultimate meeting in the sixth round of talks yesterday. They will meet again tomorrow before meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on October 3. Denktash again demanded international recognition for his breakaway state. He also said he was not obliged to make territorial concessions.