Denktash laid to rest
Thousands of Turkish Cypriot mourners were joined by Turkey's political elite on Tuesday as they flocked to the streets in the north of Nicosia to pay their last respects to former Turkish Cypriot leader and founder of the 'TRNC', Rauf Denktash, who died last Friday after a prolonged illness aged 88
Thousands of Turkish Cypriot mourners were joined by Turkey's political elite on Tuesday as they flocked to the streets in the north of Nicosia to pay their last respects to former Turkish Cypriot leader and founder of the 'TRNC', Rauf Denktash, who died last Friday after a prolonged illness aged 88.
Last Tuesday's burial of the man seen as "the father of the Turkish Cypriot people" began in the morning with the arrival of a host of dignitaries, including Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul at the presidential palace, once the British colonial governor's residence. A host of Turkish ministers were also in attendance, including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Minister for EU Affair Egeman Bagis, making it without doubt the biggest ever mass excursion for the Turkish government.
Even some of the Turkish former ministers who launched the 1974 invasion of the north were also present. Prayers said, the cortege headed out of the city centre en route to the memorial site of TMT, the Turkish Cypriot paramilitary of which Denktash was a founding member during late 1950s and 60s. Denktash was buried close by.
Denktash had earlier expressed a wish to be buried "among the people" in the public cemetery; his family decided it more appropriate to bury him near the TMT memorial ground close to the suburb of Gonyeli. While there was a strong feeling in the north that an era of Turkish Cypriot politics had come to an end with the death of Denktash last Friday, his supporters were vowing to "continue his mission". "He gave us our heritage, and there is no turning back from the country he gave us," 70 year-old retired businessman Erdil Nami said.
Source: Cyprus Mail
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