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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-02-18

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, February 18, 2001


  • [01] CoE to pressure Turkey on Loizidou court ruling
  • [02] Abducted man's relatives stage angry protest
  • [03] Arson suspected in Limassol fire
  • [04] Bombers target traffic cop
  • [05] Fire hits furniture factory
  • [06] Soldiers sacked for taking drugs
  • [07] Bases deny 'Baghdad mission' report
  • [08] Kornos villagers plan Panayia protest
  • [09] Truckload of timber set on fire

  • [01] CoE to pressure Turkey on Loizidou court ruling

    By Athena Karsera

    THE COUNCIL of Europe's Committee of Ministers is set to issue a strongly worded third interim resolution pressuring Turkey to comply with the European Court's decision and pay compensation to a Greek Cypriot refugee.

    Announced yesterday, the decision was taken by a more than two-thirds majority during a Committee meeting on Thursday.

    Titina Loizidou challenged Turkey before the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that her right to enjoy her property in the occupied areas had been violated by the continued presence of the occupying Turkish army.

    On July 28, 1998, the Court ordered Ankara to allow Loizidou access to her property and pay her damages of $900,000 (approximately £570,000), and said that Loizidou was and must be regarded as the legal owner of her property.

    Turkey has refused to pay, arguing that the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', which only Ankara recognises is an independent country.

    But the Court said that Turkey was responsible for what happens in the occupied areas because of the presence of its troops there.

    The draft of the third interim resolution will be finalised at the next Committee meeting in early April.

    Nicosia lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, who represented Loizidou in her battle, welcomed the decision yesterday.

    “It is encouraging to see that a third interim resolution will be discussed, but we also have to study its contents to see if it is more severe than the previous ones,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

    “Turkey's obligation to comply with the Court decision must and should always be raised in the context of Ankara's links with the EU, in that the Copenhagen criteria relating to its accession course are directly related to human rights issues,” Demetriades said.

    In its second resolution in July 2000, the 41-nation group's Council of Ministers said that Turkey's failure to obey a European Court of Human Rights judgment was unprecedented. The first interim resolution was issued in October 1999.

    Although the Council of Europe, which monitors human rights and democracy in the region, is independent of the European Union, a sanction would reflect badly on Turkey's bid to join the EU. The EU has granted Turkey candidate status, but also said it must improve its human rights record if it is to begin the actual accession process.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Abducted man's relatives stage angry protest

    By Melina Demetriou

    FRUSTRATED relatives and friends of Panicos Tsiakourmas, who has been held in the occupied north on drug smuggling charges for more than two months, staged an angry protest yesterday in Nicosia, saying that the government was not doing enough to free him.

    The 39-year-old Greek Cypriot contractor is due to appear before the 'criminal court' in Famagusta tomorrow. He was abducted from within the Sovereign Base Area territory of Dhekelia in early December when he went to pick up Turkish Cypriot workers employed in the free areas..

    His wife Niki, who has been allowed a number of visits to her husband since he was abducted, has repeatedly said that Panicos is not receiving the medical care his diabetic condition requires, and that his health has deteriorated.

    Yesterday Tsiakourmas' supporters demonstrated in Eleftheria Square, demanding that the state should ansure that the father of three is swiftly released.

    They then marched from the Square to the Ledra Palace UN checkpoint, where they staged another protest.

    Two top-ranking members of the United Democrats, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou and Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous, were attending a party event in Eleftheria Square yesterday morning when the protest took place.

    “When we go and see Tsiakourmas he asks us what is going on. What are we supposed to tell him? That he is going to die?” asked one of his angry relatives.

    “My husband... might be sentenced to five or even 10 years in jail,” said Niki. “We demand his immediate release. Panicos feels that everyone, his family, the state and society in general, have forgotten about him and are letting him rot in prison.”

    “The relatives of the missing have been waiting for their loved ones for so long. We know for sure Panicos is alive. We know where he is, so why don't you get him back to us?” she cried.

    “Give your loved one the message that we are doing our best to set him free, and that the whole country is behind him,” Papapetrou replied.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf “Denktash told us through other people that there was a way for Panicos to be set free tomorrow. Why don't you do this?” one of Tsiakourmas' brothers said, referring to statements that Tsiakourmas would only be released in exchange for Turkish Cypriot coffee- shop owner Omer Tekogul from Pyla, currently being tried in Larnaca on drugs charges.

    “Let's not discuss this in front of television cameras,” Papapetrou said.

    Both the government and British Bases authorities say the drugs charges against the Greek Cypriot detainee are trumped-up.

    The Turkish Cypriots say they will only release Tsiakourmas in exchange for Tekogul, who was arrested just 10 days before Tsiakourmas' abduction. The government has rejected such a swap.

    Because Tsiakourmas was abducted from British bases territory, Britain has been working hard behind the scenes to try to secure the Greek Cypriot's release.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Arson suspected in Limassol fire

    By a Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL police were yesterday investigating an apparent arson attack on an empty flat in the tourist area.

    By the time the fire was spotted at 10am it had already completely destroyed the flat, whose British tenants had moved out the previous night.

    Police said that the flat had been broken into and that the fire had broken out in three different locations.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Bombers target traffic cop

    By a Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL bomb squad was called in yesterday after a traffic policeman had a lucky escape when he found a bomb in the back of his car.

    Modestos Georgiou had been about to get into the vehicle at 7am to go to work when he saw a large pipe-bomb in the back of his 'double-cabin' vehicle.

    Police immediately evacuated the area and cordoned off Georgiou's car, which was parked outside his home, and called in the bomb squad's 'Themistoklis' robot.

    The device was disabled three hours later and taken away for laboratory tests. Limassol police said that if the bomb had gone off it would have caused a devastating blast. Georgiou said that he had no idea who might have planted the bomb.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Fire hits furniture factory

    By a Staff Reporter

    A NICOSIA furniture factory had its interior damaged in an apparent accidental fire. The fire at M. Constantinides Furnishings in Ayios Pavlos was spotted at approximately 9.45pm on Friday and was put out by the fire brigade having already caused extensive damage to machinery and destroying furniture.

    The police said that investigations so far had indicated the fire, which started in the factory's basement, had been accidental.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Soldiers sacked for taking drugs

    By a Staff Reporter

    THREE King's Own Scottish Borderers have been sacked from the British army after failing random drug tests at Episkopi, the British Bases confirmed yesterday.

    Bases Spokesman Captain Rupert Greenwood said the tests had been carried out in December 2000 and that the results had come out late in January because of Christmas delays.

    “The three were dismissed within 24 hours of the results being known. The Army has zero tolerance for drug taking. It is simply something that is not compatible with a soldier's purpose,” Greenwood said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Bases deny 'Baghdad mission' report

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE British Bases yesterday denied a newspaper report that the Royal Air Force jets involved in attacking targets near Baghdad on Friday night had flown out of RAF Akrotiri.

    Machi newspaper yesterday reported that it had exclusive information that the jets had taken off from Akrotiri and that the base had been “a buzz of activity” earlier in the day.

    But bases spokesman Captain Rupert Greenwood told the Sunday Mail: “The RAF and US strikes had no involvement with the RAF in Akrotiri. We have RAF planes permanently stationed in the Gulf.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Kornos villagers plan Panayia protest

    By a Staff Reporter

    KORNOS residents plan to protest today against construction works on a hill near their village in the Larnaca district.

    They are set to hold a demonstration at 10am outside the historic Panayia chapel, which they say is under threat from road construction and the division of parts of land in the area.

    “About 200 parts of land have been divided on an hill with flora and pine trees. The works will destroy this unspoiled land,” a Green Party announcement said yesterday.

    “Damage has already been caused to Panayia chapel and Kornos residents are prepared to fight against the Town Planning Department's plans. We back their struggle and are asking the Department to revise its decision,” the Greens said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Truckload of timber set on fire

    By a Staff Reporter

    A TRUCKLOAD of timber was the apparent target of a dawn arson attack in Larnaca yesterday. The fire was put out before it could spread to other cars in an underground car park.

    While the vehicle itself was not damaged, approximately £100 worth of the timber was destroyed.

    Flammable liquid was also found in and around the vehicle, Larnaca police said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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