Turkish-Cypriot government quits

Oct. 20, 2004 at 12:34 PM

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Turkish Cyprus' government resigned Wednesday after its fragile coalition failed to agree on Cabinet posts and the budget.

Mehmet Ali Talat, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, submitted his resignation Wednesday to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash after disagreements. His government had been weakened after several key partners quit following a failed U.N. referendum on the island's future.

Talat was one of the most vocal proponents for the reunification of Cyprus, which has been divided into a Turkish north and a Greek south since Turkish Cypriots, backed by Turkish troops, declared a separate state in 1983. That state is recognized only by Turkey.

A U.N.-backed referendum on uniting the island failed, however, when Greek Cypriots voted overwhelmingly against it.

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