In contrast to many of the leaders of both north and south Cyprus, Dr Fazıl Küçük was an engaging, larger than life figure, a journalist and bon viveur much given to bad language, carousing with friends, and playing practical jokes. Born in Nicosia in 1906, he trained as a doctor in Turkey, Switzerland and France, returning to practise in Cyprus in 1938. As friction between Greek and Turkish Cypriots developed, he emerged as a leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, setting up his own political party, establishing the first Turkish trade union and launching a newspaper – Halkin Sesi – which is still published today. He led the Turkish Cypriot faction during talks leading up to independence, and became the first vice president of the republic. He was increasingly eclipsed by Rauf Denktaş as the intercommunal strife of the 1960s progressed, and was replaced by him as the leader of the Turkish Cypriots in 1973. He died in London in 1984. True to character, his last request was that a glass of his favourite tipple be regularly poured onto his grave.

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