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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-11-02

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, November 2, 1997


  • [01] Contacts 'cannot wait until the morning after'
  • [02] Turkish war games get under way
  • [03] Denktash-Holbrooke talks a 'frank exchange of views'
  • [04] Documents could help trace other lost treasures
  • [05] Free private cancer checks for women
  • [06] Crash victim donates organs
  • [07] Larnaca follows Limassol into the red
  • [08] Crime rates remain relatively low
  • [09] Airport police find cannabis in socks

  • [01] Contacts 'cannot wait until the morning after'

    By Jean Christou

    THE UN fully backs the efforts by Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen for rapprochement, but more active support should come from the leadership on both sides, United Nations Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel believes.

    Since businessman and former deputy Constantinos Lordos last week made public his 20-point rapprochement plan raised at recent Greco-Turkish meetings in Istanbul and Athens, both official and unofficial sources have attacked the plan and its chances of being implemented.

    Commerce and Industry Ministry Kyriacos Christofi said on Thursday that there should be no trade with the Turkish Cypriots until after a political solution.

    But Feissel thinks business is a very important area in which concrete steps can be taken.

    "Things can be found and done which shouldn't raise any issues," he told the Cyprus Mail, adding that businessmen also have the funds to back up their projects.

    "These kinds of effort should be encouraged," Feissel said.

    The UN chief of mission said that waiting until after a solution before beginning such contacts would not be conducive to progress.

    "The feeling of friendship that ought to be developed is something that cannot wait until the morning after an agreement," he said. "If we wait for a solution in the hope the people will all love each other then we don't need these (bi-communal activities)."

    Feissel stressed that not enough was being done to promote

    rapprochement between the two sides. He said the UN always felt much more needed to be done in order to send the right messages.

    On Friday, Turkish Cypriot press reports said that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash supported the joint business meetings.

    Feissel said Clerides had also expressed his support for the usefulness of the joint meetings.

    But he added: "It's not only about good intentions but doing things. Things must go from words to deeds. The authorities must send a clear message - contacts are good."

    However Feissel feels that both sides have not done as much as they can.

    "The opinion makers on both sides have a duty to explain to the population at large that these kind of actions are useful and ought to take place," he said.

    He referred to recent reports about the vandalising of cars - the word 'traitor' was scrawled on one - belonging to members of bi-communal groups attending meetings at the Ledra Palace, saying it saddened him.

    "On one side, the obstacles may be more formal, but on the other side nevertheless the obstacles exist through pressure and more," Feissel said.

    "There is a problem on both sides - and both sides have to do something about their respective problems."

    In the meantime, he said Unficyp would facilitate any further meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen and other groups at the Ledra Palace Hotel.

    "Of course, the objective ought to be for the two sides to meet at their respective places - and not in never-never land," Feissel said.

    [02] Turkish war games get under way

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TURKISH military exercises got under way yesterday in the Aegean and will expand to the occupied areas tomorrow creating heightened tensions on the island.

    According to Turkish press reports, eight fighter jets will land in the occupied areas and four navy vessels and two submarines will dock at occupied ports.

    Some 24 air sorties involving Turkish F-16 and F-4 jets over Cyprus are expected, with nearly half using live ammunition.

    The Aegean exercise, codenamed Determination 97, and those involving occupation troops, codenamed Toros 97, are part of a "Liberation Plan" scenario supposing the "occupation of the TRNC" by National Guard and Greek military forces.

    Determination 97 began yesterday when four frigates and three submarines set sail from Akasz naval base, near the Agean coastal town of Marmaris.

    Around two dozen Turkish fighter jets are also expected to take part in the manoeuvres, which end on November 8, with Toros finishing three days earlier.

    The United States is reported to have urged Turkey to postpone its Toros exercise in the occupied areas as it coincides with a meeting between the Greek and Turkish premiers at a Balkan summit on the island of Crete tomorrow.

    Washington fears the Toros manoeuvres, scheduled as direct retaliation for last month's Nikiforos exercise, could scupper talks between Greek premier Costas Simitis and his Turkish counterpart Mesut Yilmaz.

    The Turkish General Staff argues the exercises were planned a year ago and are a matter of routine.

    But with Turkish jets flying in close proximity to flight paths used by Greek planes the potential for conflict is very real during a climate of political hostility in the region.

    Greece is still smarting over Turkey's violation of its air space and the buzzing of defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' plane when arriving and departing from Cyprus in the wake of Nikiforos.

    Turkey's Defence Minister Ismet Sezgin and Turkish Armed Forces commander general Huseyin Kivrikoglu will fly to the occupied areas on Tuesday to observe the Toros war games.

    However, Cyprus Defence Minister Costas Eliades has said there is no cause for alarm and the National Guard had taken all the necessary step in view of the Toros exercises on its doorstep.

    [03] Denktash-Holbrooke talks a 'frank exchange of views'

    By Andrew Adamides

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's visit to Washington this week saw "wide-ranging discussions" on the Cyprus problem, US State Department Spokesman James Rubin told his daily press briefing on Friday.

    He said Denktash's two meetings with Richard Holbrooke had seen the discussion of many aspects of the Cyprus problem, providing "a useful opportunity for a full exchange of views on the issue."

    Holbrooke, however, was blunter. He pointedly described the meetings as a "frank and confidential exchange of views," and refused to make any further comment. Denktash for his part said he could not accept a proposal by the American envoy that the Turkish Cypriot side should attend EU accession talks "without a flag".

    "I told him clearly that attending the talks without a flag was out of the question," Denktash is quoted as saying, though he added that he "had not shut the door on Holbrooke," and they would continue talking in the future.

    After his second meeting with Holbrooke on Thursday evening, Denktash repeated his warning that EU accession was a "trick".

    If the Greek Cypriots were admitted to the European Union or were given guarantees to that effect, Denktash said, "Greece would extend its territorial waters to 12 miles and would then provoke Turkey." Once the Greek Cypriots were in the EU, Denktash further explained, they would reject the 1960 agreements and Turkey's guarantees and would "commence their provocation and pressure by demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the return of refugees to their former homes."

    Denktash also complained that he had not been consulted about the date of the forthcoming visit to the island by UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez, which is expected to take place on November 18.

    He warned that he might not be able to meet with the UN envoy as the suggested date for the visit clashed with medical tests he was due to have in Turkey for his heart condition.

    In September, Denktash's health forced the cancellation of crucial meetings with resident UN representative Gustave Feissel ahead of direct security talks.

    Denktash is scheduled to meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan tomorrow.

    [04] Documents could help trace other lost treasures

    By Andrew Adamides

    MUNICH police have revealed that documents found in the possession of Turkish "archaeologist" Dikmen Aydin suggest he is the leader of an art and antiquities smuggling ring.

    Aydin was arrested in Germany on October 8 after dozens of priceless religious antiquities pillaged from the occupied areas were found hidden in two Munich apartments occupied by the Turk, a permanent resident of the city. Further searches revealed more treasures hidden in other parts of the building.

    Police said the documents found included records of transactions made by Aydin, which are expected to help police trace many of the treasures thought to have passed through his hands. These papers also link Aydin to others believed to be in the same racket.

    Photographs were also found of four pieces of a fresco taken from the Ayios Solomonis Stengoma church in the occupied village of Yiallou. This fresco was not among the items found, and it is thought that Aydin may have sold it on already.

    In addition to the frescoes and icons found, Aydin also had statues, terracotta pots and coins.

    German police are now classifying the items found in the Munich raid, but a detailed listing of the artefacts, including the place of origin of each one, is expected to be carried out by the Archbishopric's archaeological adviser, Byzantologist Athanasis Papageorgiou.

    The Attorney-general's office has begun procedures to extradite Aydin to Cyprus.

    [05] Free private cancer checks for women

    THE HEALTH Ministry has struck a deal with the medical association for 160, 000 women to get free cervical cancer screenings.

    Health Minister Christos Solomis said the agreement meant the private sector would introduce a programme for free cancer checks aimed at women at the "critical age" of between 25 and 65.

    This would allow women to choose one of a 100 gynaecologists islandwide to undertake a cervical smear.

    The agreement to have a 160,000 women screened is part of the ministry's campaign to tackle the growing number of cases of cervical cancer which is the number one killer among women.

    Solomis said that by incorporating private doctors into the scheme - at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds - the state was offering the best possible care to fight the spread of cancer.

    [06] Crash victim donates organs

    FOUR people have so far benefitted from the death of 23-year-old Constantinos Kakais through organ transplants.

    Kakais died on Thursday from injuries sustained in a car crash.

    Kakais' kidneys were transplanted into two renal failure patients, 38-year- old Limassolian Charalambos Charalambous and 56-year-old Anastasia Malakka, from Dhali. The operations were carried out at the Paraskevaidion Transplant Centre, and were expected to be successful.

    In addition to this, Kakais' corneas were given to Michalis Kakalis, 27, from Nicosia and 16-year-old Dora Argyrou from Kaimakli, both of whom were suffering from cataracts. These transplants took place at the Makarios Hospital. The two are expected to regain sight in a few days' time.

    Kakais' liver and heart were flown to the UK.

    [07] Larnaca follows Limassol into the red

    LARNACA municipality has a deficit of 13 million and wants the government to increase its subsidy to help it survive.

    Larnaca has followed Limassol municipality in its move to ask central government to bail it out.

    Although Limassol municipality has received assurances that more money will be forthcoming, its 1998 budget still shows an overall deficit of 1.8 million.

    Its spending forecast for next year is over 17 million, with expected income at around 15.5 million.

    But adding to this deficit are previous shortcomings, leaving Limassol municipality around 6.2 million in the red next year.

    Despite being in financial straits, Larnaca municipality has got its budget passed, though with reservations from Akel councillors.

    The town hall is now calling on the government to earmark one per cent of its budget for local authority subsidies instead of the current 0.4 per cent.

    Larnaca mayor George Lykourgos has suggested services need to be streamlined and revenue increased in order to tackle the city's growing debts.

    The municipality's expected revenue for 1998 is 5.6 million some 490,000 short of its spending commitments.

    [08] Crime rates remain relatively low

    ACCORDING to latest police statistics, some 4,500 serious crimes are committed annually in Cyprus with a satisfactory 70 per cent detection rate.

    The rate of serious crime on the island is considered low when compared to Europe, where up to 7,000 serious crimes are committed for every 100,000 inhabitants.

    For every 100,000 Cypriots, the rate is no more than 700.

    In rural areas, crime detection rate is slightly lower at 67 per cent. From a total of 119 serious offences, 77 were solved.

    [09] Airport police find cannabis in socks

    AN ENGLISH tourist and an Anglo-Cypriot were remanded in custody yesterday on suspicion of bringing cannabis into the country with intent to sell.

    George Louis Costa, 20, and his friend David Francis, 24, both from London, were stopped at Larnaca airport on Friday as suspected drug couriers.

    Police said they received a tip-off that Costa was arriving on a flight from London in possession of drugs he intended to sell.

    A search by drug officers at the airport uncovered a total of 37 grammes of cannabis hidden in the Costa's socks.

    Costa claimed the drugs were for his own use and was arrested on the spot.

    No drugs were found on Francis, but police believe he is implicated in buying some of the cannabis.

    Larnaca district court issued a four-day remand order against the two.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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