The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) remembers Honorable Rauf Denktas (1924-2012) on the sixth anniversary of his passing. The founder and the first president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas was a leading figure in protecting the Turkish Cypriots from annihilation and ethnic cleansing on the island of Cyprus (1963-1974).

The Turkish Cypriots established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. TRNC has in many respects governed itself and served its people better than most other small states. The Turkish Peace Operation of 1974 helped bring tranquility and stability to the island where no one has lost their life in ethnic fighting since the Peace Operation. TRNC proved itself to be respectable member of the international community of nations.

ATAA encourages the Turkish Americans and the American friends to visit the island to show support to the Turkish Cypriot people and their aspirations of living in freedom and peace.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mr. BURTON of Indiana. “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Rauf Denktash: a statesman, lawyer, author, and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriots, who passed away on January 13, 2012 at the age of 88.

Rauf Denktash was born on January 27, 1924 at the village of Ktima, near Paphos, Cyprus, the son of a judge, he went on to study law at Lincoln’s Inn in London. During the London Blitz of World War II, he served as an air-raid warden and helped to save Lincoln’s Inn Hall from destruction. After the war, he practiced as a prosecuting barrister in Nicosia. By the time Denktash became Solicitor General in 1956, he was already a prominent leader within the Turkish-Cypriot community and served in numerous leadership capacities in the following decades on behalf of the Turkish-Cypriot community. In 1983, Denktash became the Turkish-Cypriot leader, a position he held until his retirement in 2005.

Spanning his entire political career, Denktash worked tirelessly in support of his Cypriot homeland. He defined his vision of Cyprus as “a place where my grandchildren can grow up free from fear.” In addition to Denktash’s extensive political career, he was also the author of over 40 books, and was an avid and renowned photographer. During the course of his life, his works were exhibited throughout the world.

I extend my condolences to the Denktash family and I join my Turkish-American friends and constituents in recognizing Rauf Denktash for all of his achievements throughout his lifetime. I know that those who knew and admired him will greatly miss him.”