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Lokmaci Gate crisis brewing on Northern Cyprus

   
Tension in Northern Cyprus over the so-called "Lokmaci Gate crisis" is growing, with President Mehmet Ail Talat of Northern Cyprus calling an extraordinary meeting of the parliament in his country today to discuss the situation.

Talat yesterday came to an agreement with Ankara over the matter of destroying the overpass at the Lokmaci Gate, the overpass which has elicited great protest from the Southern Cypriot leadership.

Talat has announced that he will order the beginning of the destruction of the overpass today. Essentially a metal footbridge, the Lokmaci Gate overpass is considered by Talat and many others to be a barricade to the uniting of Turkish and Greek shopping streets in the capital, Nicosia.

Turkish Armed Forces leadership in conflict with Talat

The tension surrounding the question of the destruction of the footbridge now is between the Northern Cypriot leadership and the Turkish military's General Staff headquarters, which has made statements in the past days indicating strongly that it does not support the destruction of the footbridge. Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Yasar Buyukanit, has stressed in recent days that while he is not against peace-making gestures, he is concerned that any gestures made by the north side of the island also be made by the south side of the island.