PRAVDA.Ru has reported on the difficulties in the dialogue between Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus. However, this is not the only problem in Cyprus. Recently, public attention was drawn by Al Qaeda activities in Cyprus.
The Greek newspaper Elefterotipia referring to the US State Department, reported that the Osama bin Laden’s organization laundered about 700 million dollars through illegal casinos in northern Cyprus territories. It is clear for what aims the money was spent. It is interesting that the money was laundered on the territory of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, settled by the terrorist number one’s coreligionists.
However, the real case is much more complicated. The information published in the Greek newspaper seems not to be aimed at attracting attention to the issue of illegal businesses in Cyprus. This issue is well known. It is not only Al Qaeda that uses these territories for money laundering. Here, the old conflict between Greece and Turkey has plaid its role. It is no secret that Ankara actively supports Cypriot Turks and opposes the decision of the Greek government to join EU. Therefore, the Elefterotipia article is rather aimed at discrediting the Cyprian policy of Turkey. According to the newspaper’s logic, the Turkish authorities winked at Al Qaeda’s activities and probably even supported them. Moreover, according to the newspaper, Northern Cyprus is used as a trans-shipment point for illegal drug trade.
As a matter of fact, it turns out that neither the unrecognized Turkish Republic’s authorities nor Turkey fully control the situation in the territories. And if so, why did such reports not appear earlier? And why has this report appeared only when the dialogue between the two communities’ leaders on the interethnic conflict recommenced? In fact, the process of overcoming old offences is so long and difficult that it should treated very carefully. Any hints or omissions are out of place, not to mention direct accusations of supporting terrorists. At long last, the issue of Cyprus’s division into two states should be settled. All citizens of the island, independent of their nationality, and the whole world community are interested in it, including Greece and Turkey.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/05/37896.html
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