|Sunday, 25 February 2024
Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-11-14
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>
 Talks on status the ‘real issue ’, insists DenktashBy Jean Christou
RAUF Denktash has warned that if no progress is made in the proximity talks he expects on status, all contacts will be cut until after the presidential elections in the north in April 2000.
"If there is a chance for a settlement with the recognition of my state, the elections do not mean anything to me," the Turkish Cypriot leader said in an interview with The Sunday Mail this week. "But if I see no chance of a settlement I'll stop any contacts until the elections are over," he added.
He did not rule out early elections either. This would appear to confirm recent fears expressed by opposition Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat that Denktash would attempt to sabotage international efforts on Cyprus in order to put off the possibility of direct talks.
The issue now is not what role the talks will play in the elections in the north, but how much the elections will affect the Cyprus problem.
Denktash told The Sunday Mail that proximity talks on his status are now the real issue. But he admitted that there is a difference of opinion with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan on where they will take place.
Annan wants the talks to be held in New York, but Denktash said he only willing to go there for three or four days at most. He said he is waiting for Annan to get back to him on this.
"If the Cyprus problem is settled (there) it's settled; if it's not it's not," he said.
Annan is expected to invite Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides to talks within the month following his visit to Istanbul next week to attend the OSCE conference.
"Some will interpret this as Mr Annan inviting the two sides to face-to-face talks," Denktash said. "I know that he will not do that because he knows that until our status is established I will not accept face-to-face talks with a party which calls itself the government of Cyprus, well knowing that it's not."
Annan was due to call the leaders to direct talks without preconditions in October, but the proposal fell apart because of the Turkish side's insistence on recognition.
However Denktash said it is not international recognition which he seeks prior to direct talks.
"International recognition will come afterwards," he said. "Now we are trying to settle the Cyprus problem and I'm saying that to settle the Cyprus problem parity between the parties is absolutely essential."
He does not agree that talks without preconditions between the two communities, as envisaged by the UN, means equality "because following such talks in the past Clerides was still able to emerge from talks as the government of Cyprus".
Nor is Denktash intimidated by pressure from the international community to return to the table. "What pressure can they put on me?" he said. "They are not feeding me; they are not defending me." In fact, he said, progress is now up to them.
He said that until those countries that recognise the Greek Cypriots as the government change tack, there is not going to be a settlement. "They made a solution impossible. It is when they realise that they have done so that they may change, but I don't see it coming yet."
The robust Turkish Cypriot leader who has not, he said, had a chance yet to launch an election campaign, also told The Sunday Mail he wished he had more time to pursue his hobbies: "Time to go and see my birds, play with my dogs, take my photos, go and sit in the coffeeshop and talk about something else (except the Cyprus problem)," he said.
 US plays down prospects of progress on CyprusBy Martin Hellicar
THE United States doubts whether any sort of progress towards the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks can be achieved during Bill Clinton's current tour of the region.
The US President arrives in Ankara today and is set to visit Athens on November 19 and 20. The Cyprus problem is high on the agenda for his contacts in Greece and Turkey, but US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was keen yesterday to discourage high expectations from the visit.
Berger, speaking in Washington, said Cyprus was an important issue, and the US was working for the restart of UN-brokered peace talks.
"(Cyprus) is obviously a very important issue for us. Our objective here is to see substantive talks between the parties under UN auspices," he said.
"This is what we have been working towards now for some time. We have been engaged in serious discussions with all those affected."
But he said Clinton's current tour might not break the talks deadlock. "I do not know whether that will happen in this trip or not," Berger was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
The US views a Cyprus settlement as part of an effort to create stability in southeastern Europe.
Berger said this stability could be achieved "by promoting stability in the Balkans, democracy in Serbia, reconciliation in the Aegean, a settlement on Cyprus, peace in the Caucasus and the integration of Russia into the global community."
UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan is also due in Turkey next week, for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference. Both Annan and Clinton are expected to try to use the recent thaw in Greco-Turkish relations to push for a Cyprus breakthrough.
Annan is expected to invite Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides to resume settlement talks in the next few days. Denktash this week expressed his willingness to enter into proximity talks with Clerides. But he still insists he will not sit at the same table as Clerides unless he is recognised as the legal head of his breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 Driver who killed woman is himself run overA 43-YEAR-OLD woman was killed yesterday after she was hit by a car in Latsia, and the driver of the car that hit her was himself seriously injured when he too was knocked down.
Marina Kurbakova, a permanent resident of Cyprus, was killed at 12.45am yesterday, when she was hit by a car on Limassol Avenue in Latsia.
The driver who had hit her, 39-year-old Kyriacos Kalorkitis from Dhali, was seriously injured after he was then hit by another vehicle while trying to help Kurbakova.
Kalorkitis who was rushed to hospital in Nicosia, is not in danger. Police said they questioned the driver of the third vehicle about the incident.
In a separate traffic accident in Paphos, a 42-year-old man was critically injured early yesterday morning when his car overturned.
Theodosis Andreou, from Lemba, was driving to Paphos from Peyia when he lost control of his car and it overturned.
Andreou was rushed to the Limassol Hospital, where he is reported to be in a critical condition.
 Gay? Thats OK (Just don t have an affair...)By Jean Christou
TOLERANCE towards homosexuality is on the increase in Cyprus but extramarital affairs still receive a big thumbs down, according to the results of a new poll.
Since homosexuality between consenting adults was legalised two years ago, total opposition to it on the island has dropped from 55 to 45 per cent.
Tolerance was most prevalent among the younger generation and the most educated, while 92 per cent of those over 60 condemned homosexuality outright.
The poll noted that there was no difference in attitude between districts.
The survey was carried out islandwide by Cyprus College Centre of Applied Research and involved 600 people over the age of 18.
According to the results, Cypriots continue to be opposed to extramarital sex. Eight out of ten believe extramarital sex is always wrong for married men while nine out of ten believe it's wrong for women.
Attitudes on premarital sex have not changed much either. But while very few Cypriots believe it is wrong for a man to engage in premarital sex, 46 per cent consider it wrong for a single woman.
Almost all of those over the age of 60 took this view, as well as the majority of those aged between 45 and 59. The great majority of young people accept premarital sex for both men and women.
Nicosia emerged from the survey as the most liberal on this issue with Larnaca and Paphos leaning towards the more conservative and Limassol recording an average.
Compared to other countries, Cypriot views on premarital sex are more liberal than in predominantly Catholic countries such as Ireland and the Philippines, but is more conservative than most other European countries.
This is almost exclusively due to the mass condemnation of premarital sex for single women by people over 60.
 Jubilee day out for disabled sailorsFIVE DISABLED Cypriots will get a rare opportunity tomorrow to visit the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Sir Bedivere at Limassol port.
The five, whose ages range from 23 to 46, come from Paphos and Larnaca.
They had recently sailed with the Cyprus branch of the Jubilee Trust, a charity founded in the UK that is dedicated to integrating physically disabled and able bodied people in the challenges of providing the crew of a sea-going sailing ship.
The guests will be given demonstrations of equipment aboard the Sir Bedivere, including a hovercraft. They will also be treated to a fast trip around the harbour in a rigid inflatable rescue boat.
British High Commissioner Edward Clay will also attend, in his capacity as patron of the Cyprus branch of the Jubilee Trust.
 Minister praises education at English SchoolMINISTER OF EDUCATION Ouranios Ioannides yesterday attended the Founder's Day celebration at the English School in Nicosia.
The anniversary of the founding of the English School by Canon Newham was celebrated in the school grounds with traditional games between the school and the Old Boys and Girls.
In his address, Ioannides praised the English School for the high standards of education it has provided for the past 99 years.
"The founder's vision was to provide a high standard of education and at the same time to mould characters who can cope with society's needs," Ioannides said.
"With the high standard of knowledge it provides, the English School aims to shape human beings with critical ability and education, based on the principles of democracy, freedom, and justice, thus participating in the creation of responsible citizens who staff vital areas of the state, society, and the economy," he added.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999