Former Turkish Prime Minister Mr Bulent Ecevit arrived in Cyprus on Thursday (2 January). One?
Former Turkish Prime Minister Mr Bulent Ecevit arrived in Cyprus on Thursday (2 January). One of his first tasks was to visit the Turkish army cemetery in Kyrenia and to lay a wreath at the memorial there to 80 of the Turkish servicemen who died in the July invasion of the island.
His visit to the northern--Turkish-occupied-- seaside town was an emotional moment for Turkish Cypriots there, who turned out in their thousands to welcome him.
With him at the simple ceremony was Mr Rauf Denktash -- the Turkish Cypriot leader -- and several high-ranking Turkish army and airforce officers.
Mr Ecevit -- who ordered the Turkish invasion of the island -- is on a four-day visit to the island. One of his main tasks will be to meet and discuss the situation on the island with Mr Denktash. Talks between Mr. Denktash and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Mr Glafkos Clerides, to reach a settlement between the two communities on the island, have ground to a halt. There is no indication when they will resume.
During the Turkish invasion of the island in late July (action continued to mid-August) 560 Turkish servicemen died, according to official sources.
Mr Ecevit resigned his position as Premier in September, taking the cabinet with him. Turkey has been without a Government since then -- despite many moves in Ankara to form a coalition cabinet.