Turkey referendum also important to Cyprus

Cyprus’ president says he hopes real progress in talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island could happen after the Turkey’s April 16 referendum on expanding presidential powers.

President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday that Turkey appears unwilling to tip its hand ahead of the referendum on the key issue of how security will be handled in a federated Cyprus.

Greek and Greek Cypriot officials accuse Turkey of obstructing the peace talks for the divided island because its demand to keep troops and military intervention rights after reunification.

Breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci dismissed the claim. He said Friday the halt in unification talks is due to Turkish Cypriot objections over recent legislation making the commemoration of a 1950 vote for union with Greece compulsory in Greek Cypriot schools.

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