Demirel on jury to select mausoleum for late Turkish-Cypriot leader
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
AA photoFormer Turkish President Süleyman Demirel has been selected as a member for a jury that has been tasked with selecting a mausoleum design for the grave of late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktaş.
Turkish Cypriot Transportation Minister Hamza Ersan Saner came to Ankara to present a note to Demirel after the former president agreed to be on the jury.
Demirel congratulated the Turkish Cypriot people and its government for undertaking the project on Saner's behalf. "You have stood up [for Denktaş] in a way that suits such a hero," Demirel said.
The former president said he had told Denktaş that it did not matter if the world did not recognize Turkish Cyprus and told him that what mattered was that they led their people well. Demirel said the world would recognize Turkish Cyprus "sooner or later" and told Saner to "hold their heads up and hold fast to their values and hold fast to each other and the Turkish people."
Demirel said the operation in 1974 by the Turkish had not yet produced political results but added that Turkish Cyprus had remained a fact on the ground for the past 30 years.
Saner said they chose to introduce the jury on Aug. 1 as it was the day the island of Cyprus was captured by the Ottomans in 1571 and was also the day Denktaş founded the Turkish Resistance Agency.
Saner said the competition to pick a mausoleum design for Denktaş would officially begin on Sept. 1 and that they expected a large number of entrants.
Denktaş died in January at the age of 87.