Ex-TRNC president blames attack on 'parallel' forces

Former Turkish Cypriot president Mehmet Ali Talat's conference came under attack by far-right Greek Cypriot group ELAM on March 26.

Ex-TRNC president blames attack on 'parallel' forces

World Bulletin / News Desk

On March 26, the second president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Talat, came under attack when far-right Greek Cypriot group ELAM raided a conference he was giving in the Greek Cypriot-controlled southern city of Limassol.

Speaking about the attack to Al Jazeera Turk's Ece Goksedef, Talat said that attack revealed for the first time the 'parallel' structure within the Greek Cypriot administration that has infiltrated its police force and bureaucratic circles.

Saying that he was pleased with the response and apology offered by Greek Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiadis, who immediately fired the police chief following the attack, Talat said that he was not pleased with the police force itself due to a lack of officers assigned to guard the venue.

'There were only 5 to 10 police officers allocated for this event. This was done knowingly,' Talat said.

'The police work with ELAM,' he continued, claiming that members of the Greek Cypriot police force are knwon to collude with certain criminal gangs. 'If they wanted they could have burned that place down, but God protected them (from doing so), because the the ambassador of the US was also there.'

The former TRNC president also added that in his belief the attack was a good thing because it revealed what needed to be done in the future to prevent it from happening again. The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot governments are currently in talks to reunite the island after a war in 1974 split Cyprus in two.

Talat, who has always supported the peace process, said 'After the solution racist and polarizing comments should be made illegal on both sides, otherwise the peace will not last.'

He also noted that due to an absense in such a law, the Greek Cypriot chief prosecutor had no choice but to release the ELAM protesters. 'There are flaws in the law. We ned to define hate speech or else these small groups will ruin our peace.'

Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II also offered an apology to Talat for the conference raid by ELAM. Talat said that this apology was offered to distance the Orthodox church from the group, as in the past the church has been accused of supporting far-right Greek Cypriot groups.

Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2014, 13:29
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