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  North Cyprus President Denktas' Last Interview in Office  
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 Interview held with President Denktash at Radio Güven in Connect North Cyprus, the only program broadcasting in the English language

Interviewer: Assoc. Prof. Gül Celkan. Date: April 11, 2005



Welcome to the Tuesday edition of connect North Cyprus coming to you live from Radyo Guven the voice of freedom and independence transmitting at 90.4, 90.8 and 89.2. Tonight dear listeners we are proud to be able to host a very honorable guest who has devoted his entire life to his country so as to secure it the place it deserves in the this wonderful world that we have. So before we start our conversation, and I am sure by now you have all guessed who are guest is, I would like to say welcome to President Rauf Denktas and would like to thank him for sparing us time to hold an interview with him. Again thank you Mr. President and we know you are very busy nowadays as people want to come and see you and talk to you and pay their duly respects.

The first time in its history the TRNC is going through presidential elections without you among the candidates . Was it an easy decision to make or were there factors that caused you feel uneasy about certain things. Would you mind sharing your views on this as I would assume our listeners would love to hear your response?

Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash

Rauf Denktash in 2000, from Cacoyannis'
"Attila '74, The Rape of Cyprus."

Well I think all I can say is I wish the best of luck to all the candidates and hope the best wins, and whatever the result of the elections naturally, he will be our president and we shall try to help him with our background knowledge if he wants it, we will support hm if he is supporting the independence and sovereignty of Cyprus, we will try and prevent mistakes which we regard will destroy the Republic and its independence so I hope that it will be a fair change for the good of the country.. I repeat I shall be available whenever wanted and if they want to share my experiences. What is my experience during all these years? I was 7 years old when the Greek Cypriots burned the government house for ENOSIS, I was 21 years old after the 2nd World War when Greek Cypriots who had been banished from Cyprus for taking part in that rebellion turned back with higher voices for union with Greece, ENOSIS. Ever since we have been struggling to prevent it in order to prevent domination by Greek Cypriots, and in order to prevent Cyprus becoming a Greek island which will close Turkey to the Mediterranean. If that happens this will be 13th island around the Turkish coast so Turkey has a very important strategic cause in Cyprus; luckily for us because that is why we have been saved by Turkey in 1974. So if anyone thinks Turkey will abandon Cyprus, and will abandon us then they are very mistaken. We want a settlement; settlement has not been achieved because the world has settled the Greek Cypriot problem
for them. And by treating them wrongly as the legitimate government of Cyprus.

They are not under the constitution which they destroyed, they are not under the 1960 agreements which they defied by entering the EU while Turkey is still out and physically they have never been our government at all and they have no right to claim to be our government but they have not controlled us, ruled us in our government since 1963 when they destroyed it, i.e., the common government. So what is the situation? I think the April referenda showed that in Cyprus there are two equal peoples, one has no right to dominate the other, to represent them or to speak for the other, how can then that one be the government of the other? I think EU has to look at Cyprus again, has to diagnose the problem for what it is.

It is a continuing attempt since 1955 by Greek Cypriots helped by Greece to take over Cyprus to convert it to a Greek island. And our position to it has caused the Cyprus problem. No one can ask us not to oppose it because it is our liberty, it is our independence, political equality which is at stake.


 My second question is you have been writing a lot of books and in each and everyone of them you have messages to the people but especially in your book entitled “let not Cyprus be Crete” you had a lot to say to the youth. I would presume you have sensed certain things are not going the way they should. Could we hear your views and also what needs to be done to raise awareness among the youth that once independence and sovereignty are gone, we would be a people with no land.

Well the youth has been under very strong brain washing effects for a long time now. And they believed that Annan Plan would bring them everything they have been dreaming about: European citizenship, immediate work, for some of them free education, for some of them European girls, and enjoyment and so on. Now all the promises made to them pre-referendum have just proved to be promises never to be kept. Why? because now we are told that “Cyprus” meaning Greek Cypriots now they are members of the EU. And such they have legal rights, and they have to consent to how we should be helped. To get their consent we are asked to make more concessions. In other words, pre-referenda we were told all will be well and heaven is yours, and if anyone says no he will take the consequences, Greek Cypriots have said no we have said yes and we are asked to make concessions to Greek Cypriots, concessions we have not made for 40 years: namely recognizing them as the government of Cyprus. But now they say they are the government of Cyprus and we have to make concessions. So EU has a grave responsibility for turning the present situation into a proper permanent settlement. They can do it if they treat the two sides, I repeat, the 2 sides who have gone to referenda separately, as absolute equals, what ever Greek Cypriots are, we have the same rights, the same say, the same status. They should treat us like that and they should tell Greek Cypriots you have no right to interfere we are going to deal with them directly, we are going to increase their revenues, help their economy, to help them come to your standard, because a poor economy with a rich economy cannot be partners. You can sweep them out economically so it is important we establish equality in economics and naturally bringing up their legislation to our standards. All this will mean time. Turkey needs time for entering the EU. And 1960 agreements say that without Turkey, Cyprus cannot enter the EU. The EU has done the mistake of taking up half of Cyprus by treating it as the whole island, now they realize they have done a grave mistake, plain wrong to us and if they want to correct it, they should tell Greek Cypriots we are dealing with Turkish Cypriots separately, we will bring them up to your standard so that they will enter the EU, unite with you under the EU umbrella. I think that is the way to a final settlement otherwise whatever written agreement we make with Greek Cypriots, they will destroy it again and this time all the attempt for a settlement will lead us into a new conflict.


 You used to have a book called “five to twelve” and apparently you have prepared another one with the same title. Could you kindly explain to us what prompted you to write another book with the same title?

Archbishop Makarios

Archbishop Makarios, from "Attila '74."

I wrote the first book rather a booklet in 1966 when I was confined to Turkey. I couldn’t come back because Makarios was very angry with me. Because I had spoken against him at the Security Council. And he had lost a lot of face then, people used to write to me from Cyprus and say “ENOSIS is almost achieved. Turkey is not coming, Turkey is not taking the necessary steps to save us, for heavens sake we are in a very bad situation, either come and do something about it,” so that little booklet was written in order to tell the Turkish government and the Turkish nation that things are not going well in Cyprus. There is grave danger. And that unless there is definite action by Turkey, Makarios will get away with it. And there I had quotations from people who spoke to me or to others and about Cyprus in Anatolia about the strong feeling about Cyprus that wont allow Cyprus to become a second Crete. They hadn’t forgotten the shame of losing Crete, and Çaglayangil was then the foreign minister. He was very angry with me. He nearly sent me away from Turkey too. So I told him “Look, I am staying in Turkey as the President of the Communal Chamber officially, and this
is my duty to criticize, to inform, to try to push things; I am not doing this for fun or for show I am not doing it because I am against you, I am doing it because this is how I see things. And how things are developing.

Soon after that I could stay no longer and I tried to enter Cyprus secretly and I was caught by Greek Cypriots. I was kept in prison for 13 days, confined to the murderous sort of chamber to be hanged. It was a good experience, bad experience in many ways, and when there was great pressure on Makarios to release us, we were sent back, we were three of us, we were sent back to Turkey, a week later they attacked the Koffinu area, they killed several people, and as a result of that because of Turkey’s ultimatum, “send away Greek troops, send away Grivas, compensate the villagers,” Makarios felt weak, and agreed to start negotiations, unofficial negotiations with the representatives of the two sides. I
was on the Turkish side, Dr. Küçük’s representative, and Glafkos Klerides on the Greek side. That is how negotiations started and I came back. I was able to come back. Now why the second book, because I feel that unless Turkey and us put our foot down, and say we are ready for a settlement, we are ready for peace, for any agreement, provided it will not be paper agreement, it will rest on the realities of Cyprus. And this way there are two peoples with rights of self determination, who have their own respective administrations, whether recognized or not is irrelevant, but the future must be based on these two sovereign administrations. Sovereign people. This is what I am trying to pass on. If you are not sovereign, if you are not independent, than you are a minority, and Mr. Clerides is on record saying, that his whole preoccupation was and had been to convert the partnership state into a Greek Cypriot republic and Turkish Cypriots into a protected minority. And they have not changed an inch from this policy, I know them very well, and that is why I say to people who look at the next day to what they will gain, if they say yes to everything, that they should look 20 years 30 years ahead and think of the whole people, and the aspiration should be to keep the people in tact and happy, and live in a free independent partnership state.

Every now and then we hear in the media some kind of news coming from the EU countries about imposing preconditions on Turkey and on the TRNC. Could we say its is purely a matter of politics and have nothing to do with the legal aspects when for instance straw says direct flights would begin only is the Greek Cypriots acknowledge Ercan airport as an international airport. Could we say this is juxtaposition or even taking things too superficially just to gain time? …… We are a year ahead of the referenda when everything was promised to us. And we are still being told by Britain and United States when we refer to Ercan and direct flights “oh it’s a legal matter and we are investigating and we are looking into it and so on.” But Mr. Straw’s last statement indicates how they see us. Our sovereign rights do not matter. All we have to do is grant that the Greek Cypriots are the master of all, and if they say yes to Ercan, then Ercan will start functioning, and so on, and EU who had promised all the heavens to us says “we have to please the Greek Cypriots, because they have to say yes in order to be able to help you, so can’t you withdraw some 5000 troops for example, can’t you give them Varosha now? Can’t you give up Famagusta to the administration of EU"; again the
same thing, we say you have no sovereign rights in or over the north. To this I think the answer should be “no thank you very much”, we can look after ourselves we can go on as we are. And we have an alternative; don’t think that we are with no alternative at all. Our alternative is to continue on expanding our economic life, helping our people lead a better life, and not separating from Turkey forever.



Dr. Gul Celkan

Interviewer Gul Celkan

I would also like to learn your views on women’s issues as I am also here in the capacity of the director of the center for women’s studies at EMU, I would like to ask you one sincere question with your permission. Why do you think women do not get involved in active politics, and even if they did, why do we still have a male dominant republican assembly? And even when we look at the administrative positions, we see it is all a men’s world. What could we as women do to make our voices be heard more and be more active in decision making bodies.

Well you are handling us at home, you are so strong, why are you so weak outside? Why are you not tackling your rights the way you should.. the way you do at home, telling men what to do next, I think you should organize more strongly, you could really take very important issues of the country on and talk about them, make proposals, knock on the doors of prime minister, ministers, and parliament , you should not merely say “we women, why do we live in a man dominated world,” because you like that position that’s why. Because you give birth to us, you start slapping our backs, then we grow up 18, 20, 25, we fall in love and you make our life hell, by your demeanor, by your eyes to others, by making us jealous and so on, until you grab us and then we marry you, you are our wives and you take over our lives completely. Then you are mother of our children, we bow to you, you love that position I think, and that’s why you are not hitting out as you should. If you do, you will win. I mean when people come to me and say as they did, “we want to a sort of quota, in the parliament,” then I say “look you are accepting, for example, to be 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, you have the right to be 100%. Why are you seeking quotas? Quotas are sought by minorities. Not by equal people. So stand up, work for it, and get it.” And I think if you do that the world would be a happier place. Don’t tell me Madame Thatcher was the prime minister and London was not a happy London. Because I don’t know.

Why have we (Europeans) recognized the Greek Cypriots as the government of all when they have fallen foul of the constitution of the land, of the rule of law of the land, the agreements of 1960 (?) We are helping them to defy these papers, these documents, and we are hitting Turkish Cypriots very hard because they have stood up for their rights under the international agreements. It is a funny world.

 Dear Mr. President, as radio Guven is not only a radio that makes its voice heard within the boundaries of the country but elsewhere around the world thanks to the Internet. What would you like to tell everyone and also to the whole world who have been a close follower of all your achievements and your devotion to your country and your people.

Well all I can say is if we have not been able to come to a settlement with the Greek Cypriots, it is because they don’t need a settlement. Because they destroyed the partnership state in order to take the whole thing over. We did not allow them to take the whole thing over but they were treated as if they were the owners of the whole. Once you put one partner in that position, so that he does not need the other in order to become the government of Cyprus, and then you can’t expect a settlement. My short appeal to the world is if you want peace in any case, you have to diagnose the problem. Diagnose the Cyprus problem, and then you will find it out; the problem is the attempt to dominate the whole island, the Turkish Cypriots by Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriots are saying no, and are sticking out for their freedom. And that is the right of all men and women in this world: To stand up for their independence. For their rights, this is what we are doing, so the injustice done to us for 40 years, 42 years now by the world by treating Greek Cypriots as the government of Cyprus, I think this is enough. They should really have a look at Cyprus and say, why are we not recognizing Turkish Cypriots?

What is preventing it? Why have we recognized the Greek Cypriots as the government of all when they have fallen foul of the constitution of the land, of the rule of law of the land, the agreements of 1960. We are helping them to defy these papers, these documents, and we are hitting Turkish Cypriots very hard because they have stood up for their rights
under the international agreements. It is a funny world.


 Before we sign off, I would like to add one more remark and express the general consensus which is that you will go on working for your country and show people the right path even if you are not in office. Do you think you will have time for things you have never had the time to spare or will you be the you that we have known for all these years?

Well my wife has decided already that I will do what I have been doing over here, working for Cyprus, working for people, from early in the morning until evening, but I will try to give myself some time, some time for walks, for exercise looking after the chicken, after the dogs, after the grandchildren, and so on. I will try to give myself time; I need it, I have not learned unfortunately how to rest, how to make a holiday over the years, however, I will try to learn.

Dear listeners we would like to express our gratitude to President Denktas once again on behalf of Radio Guven and myself. We would definitely love to host his Excellency in our upcoming programs if he finds the time as we see fully loaded days are awaiting him. But we would feel very honored when the right time is found and president Denktas becomes our guest again. Thank you for being with us and may all the beauties of this world be always with you Mr. president as you deserve more than this world has to offer.

Thank you Radio Güven, you are doing a splendid job in making our voices heard all over the world and I wish you all the luck. Thank you.


Holdwater Thoughts

 Rauf Denktash is a hero; he has fought for the cause of right for many years, facing a hypocritical and racist Western world. As he says, the Turks themselves have been brainwashed, seduced by the lure of the supposed better life an EU association will bring. I don't understand why anyone would want to be a member of an organization that does not defend the principles of honesty and justice... what with the EU's historically blind pro-Christian defense of the real villains of the Cyprus and Armenian conflicts.

I don't follow Cyprus politics and I have no idea of Pres. Denktash's successors. I only hope they won't be too stupid.




Further Reading:

Similarity between the Armenian "Genocide" and Cyprus



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