Denktaş, Rauf (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Cyprus)

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Turkish Cypriot leader and President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) since 1984, Rauf Denktaş was one of the key players in the proclamation of the breakaway Turkish Federated State of Cyprus in 1975. He sought international recognition for the sovereignty of the TRNC and maintained that Cyprus should be reunited as a confederation of two equal states. All attempts at peace talks between Denktaş and the Greek Cypriot government were unsuccessful. His fourth consecutive term as president ended in April 2005.

Early Life

Denktaş was born on 27 Jan. 1924 near Paphos. The son of a judge, he graduated from the Lefkosa British School in 1942, where he taught for a year before studying law in the UK. Admitted to the Bar from Lincoln’s Inn in 1947, he returned to Cyprus to set up his own legal practice and from 1949–57 was a leading lawyer for the prosecution under the British colonial regime. When the Enosis issue created further tension in Cyprus after World War...

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