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Ex-Turkish Cypriot chief 'critical'

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Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is in a critical condition in hospital (AP)

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is in a critical condition in hospital (AP)

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is in a critical condition in hospital (AP)

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a lung infection while recovering from an arterial blood clot, medics have said.

Near East University Hospital chief neurosurgeon Erkan Kaptanoglu said that Mr Denktash is breathing with the aid of a respirator.

The 87-year-old was admitted to hospital in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of divided Cyprus on Tuesday.

He long advocated a Turkish Cypriot state separate from the majority Greek Cypriots.

The island was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Mr Denktash led the north - which only Turkey recognises - as president from 1983 to 2005.

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