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29 June, 2001
The number of illegal Turkish settlers in Cyprus' occupied areas far outweighs the number of indigenous Turkish Cypriots and this proves the real intentions of Turkey's designs for the island, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here on Thursday.
The spokesman was commenting on a draft report by Finnish deputy Jaakko Laakso, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the demographic situation in the occupied areas, which said that there are some 120,000 Turkish settlers and about 85,000 Turkish Cypriots and that around 55.000 Turkish Cypriots have already left the island.
"The government has indisputable and corroborated evidence that the number of Turkish settlers is far higher than the number of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic's northern occupied areas," Papapetrou said, invited to comment on the Laakso report.
This, he pointed out, "shows the real intentions of Turkish designs on Cyprus."
Laakso's report comes nearly a decade after Spanish deputy Alfons Cuco issued his report on the demographic structure of Cyprus in which he established that the influx of Turkish settlers since the 1974 Turkish invasion is changing the demographic character of the country.
Source: Athens News Agency