Turkey's elite attend funeral of Denktash

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Turkey's elite attend funeral of Denktash

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The funeral of the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has taken place in Nicosia. He died last week at the age of 88.

Denktash was revered by Turkish Cypriots as a champion of independence for his community. He was the founder of the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which only Turkey recognises as a state.

Ankara declared three days of mourning after his death and its president and prime minister were prominent among the thousands who attended the funeral.

Denktash died just days ahead of a summit in New York that could decide the fate of peace talks over the ethnically split island. It has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded in response to a coup by Greek Cypriots that was backed by Greece’s then-ruling military junta.