Turkish Cypriots mourn Rauf Denktaş’s death

January 14, 2012, Saturday/ 14:54:00/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM WITH AP

Turkish Cypriots have declared a weeklong period of mourning for former longtime leader Rauf Denktaş who died Friday at age 88.

Turkish Cypriot official Osman Ertuğ says schools and public buildings will be shut for Tuesday's funeral, while all official events will be canceled and flags will fly at half-staff.

Ertuğ was speaking to the AP on Saturday.

Meanwhile, officials paid tribute to Denktaş, whose utter devotion to a Turkish Cypriot state separate from the majority Greek Cypriots defined a 60-year political career.

The island was split in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of a union with Greece.

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