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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-05-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, May 11, 2001


  • [01] Government will not attend Sampson funeral
  • [02] Tsiakourmas to take Turkey to European court
  • [03] Denktash warns of threats over Tekogul detention
  • [04] State Fair to attract 150,000 visitors
  • [05] MaxDATA owner remanded for further eight days
  • [06] Charter flight in near miss with US fighter jet on way to Cyprus
  • [07] Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns
  • [08] Limassol hotel workers out on strike

  • [01] Government will not attend Sampson funeral

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday expressed sympathy at the death of coup president Nicos Sampson, but stopped short of any gesture forgiving him for his part in the 1974 coup that triggered Turkey's invasion.

    Sampson died on Wednesday from cancer at the age of 66. A prominent fighter in the EOKA struggle against British colonial rule and founder of Machi newspaper, he will however mainly be remembered as 'eight-day president' of the 1974 coup to oust President Makarios, which precipitated the Turkish invasion.

    Sampson was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1977 for usurping the presidency, despite his persistent denial that he did not have anything to do with planning the coup.

    Adored by a handful of passionate followers, Sampson was heavily criticised by many for his far-right politics and controversial involvement in inter- communal fighting in the 1960s.

    President Glafcos Clerides yesterday sent a telegraph to Sampson's family, expressing his condolences. Sampson left behind a wife and two children.

    Sampson's body will lie in state at Machi's offices in Nicosia today between 11am and 2pm. His funeral will take place at 3pm tomorrow.

    However, the government will not send any representative to the funeral, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday.

    "I want to express my deep condolences to the family of Samson," the Government Spokesman said.

    But when asked why the government would not be represented at Sampson's funeral, Papapetrou replied: "This is not the best time to pass historic or other judgments. The history and the facts are well known to the Cypriot people."

    But socialist Takis Hadjidemetriou, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Cyprus File of the outgoing parliament, was much more outspoken: "Leaving this world, Sampson leaves crucial and unanswered questions behind, questions about this country. Sampson's action to take on the presidency of the tragic coup in 1974 marked the end of an era in Cyprus' history and this is unfortunately what he will always be remembered for. It must be said, he is personally responsible. He will always be linked to those events. Our lives are judged by our last actions," Hadjidemetriou charged.

    But Sampson's close friend and lawyer Manolis Christofides, a former Health Minister and Government Spokesman, paid tribute to the man "who was so much loved by his friends and allies in good times and in bad.

    "When he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, he said 'it is the state's duty to convict me and it is my duty to serve my sentence'," Christofides said.

    But Sampson avoided most of that sentence, travelling to France in 1979 and remaining there in exile until 1990. When he returned, he served only a few more months in jail before being released.

    Machi's front page was yesterday dedicated to the death of Samson, the paper's founder, with an obituary entitled: "The invincible has died."

    There was no regret at news of his death in occupied northern Cyprus.

    "We hope Nicos Sampson will first be forgiven by the Greek Cypriot people for having partitioned the island and by God for all the ferocious acts he committed," said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    "He is a very sad part of our history and we don't want to remember him"

    "He was nothing more than a terrorist," said Faik Koyuncuoglu, head of the Turkish Cypriot resistance fighters' association.

    "He started out in 1955 as a journalist with a camera in one hand and a gun in his bag."

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Tsiakourmas to take Turkey to European court

    By a Staff Reporter

    ABDUCTED Greek Cypriot contractor Panicos Tsiakourmas yesterday met President Glafcos Clerides to thank the government for its efforts in having him released from prison in the north.

    Speaking after the meeting, Tsiakourmas told reporters of his plans to file an application to the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey for his abduction last year.

    Tsiakourmas, 39, was sentenced to six months jail in the north on trumped up drugs charges on April 25, but was freed later in the day after the 'court' decided he had already served his time. The Greek Cypriot contractor had been detained in the north since December 13 last year after being abducted from British bases territory early that morning on his way to pick up some Turkish Cypriot workers.

    He was convicted and freed only hours after his mother died of a stroke doctors said was brought on by her son's detention in the north.

    Tsiakourmas said his family would undertake the cost of the application to the European Court, which must be submitted within six months of his abduction, by June 13.

    Lawyer Nicos Pelides told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the whole issue was being handled by a committee of lawyers, including Kypros Chrysostomides and a British law firm. "Surely the application will be based on the abduction. This man was abducted and ill-treated by the occupation forces," Pelides said. He said the application would be submitted by the end of the month.

    Tsiakourmas said the British had done "everything they could, from what I understand", to secure his release.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Denktash warns of threats over Tekogul detention

    By Jean Christou

    AN UNNAMED organisation in the north has threatened to take action over the jailing of Turkish Cypriot drugs smuggler Omer Tekogul.

    Tekogul, 42, from the mixed village of Pyla, was jailed for 10 years by the Larnaca court in March for possession of heroin. The Turkish Cypriots claim he was arrested inside the UN-controlled village where Greek Cypriot police have no jurisdiction.

    Turkish Cypriot papers said yesterday that certain people had initiated a movement for the release of Tekogul and that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had been receiving signed and unsigned letters containing the threats.

    Denktash told reporters some of the letters were signed "the organisation".

    "The state is doing whatever necessary," Denktash said. "I do not want any incidents. Especially any incident in Pyla will only render our work very difficult."

    Denktash said he had been receiving the letters for the past 10 days. He said all asked for Tekogul's release and contained a threat of action, which he did not specify.

    "I do not know how serious the contents of these letters are," he said. "I have given the necessary directives to our security organisations to investigate the issue. I do not know whether there is such an organisation. On the other hand it might be a serious thing."

    He said he had recognised some of the signatures on the letters and called on those persons meet with him. "Do not make the situation more difficult with the activities you intend to initiate thinking that you will be helping Tekogul," he said in a public message to the perpetrators. "We should conduct this business through normal channels. We are not idle regarding the issue. Be patient."

    Denktash also said that writing letters claiming to take various actions was unacceptable and that there was no need for such methods.

    "Tekogul was captured through a deceitful plot unacceptable to any judicial authority as a show of force to the Turkish Cypriots of Pyla and to show that the Turkish Cypriots are the source of drug trafficking in the Greek Cypriot side," Denktash said. "He was harshly punished. We believe that such a treatment would have been invalid in any other court."

    Denktash hinted that Tekogul's case could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

    The papers in the north also carried reports yesterday of another Turkish Cypriot ill treated by Greek Cypriot police after he was arrested on drugs charges in 1995.

    Ercan Eimez won nearly 10,000 from the Cyprus government after he took his case to the European Court of Human Rights. Eimez is filing another case to Europe because the police officers who abused him have not been punished, he told reporters in the north.

    He said the case had not been closed with the compensation and criticised the Greek Cypriot side for not taking the issue further.

    Shortly after Eimez was released, the two police officers were promoted. After a public outcry, their promotions were revoked but no other action was taken against them.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] State Fair to attract 150,000 visitors

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE Chairman of the State Fair Authority, Jacovos Dimitriou, said yesterday that over 150,000 people were expected to visit the 26th Cyprus International Fair.

    The Fair is to be held from May 18-27 at the International Fair Grounds, between 6 and 11pm during the week and Sundays and 6pm and midnight on Saturdays.

    The Fair provides an opportunity to view a variety of consumer and industrial products as well as services from Cyprus and other countries.

    This year there will be 13 foreign participants, with 20 others exhibiting products through Cypriot Agents, as well as 217 Cypriot exhibitors. They will cover a total of 38,053 square metres.

    Germany has pulled out this year because of different views regarding their exhibitions. German exhibitors wanted to display cars in their stands and not at the motoring section, but the State Fair Authority could not accommodate them. They will be returning for next year's Fair.

    Entrance fees are 2 for adults and 1 for students, which have been the same for the past five years. Demetriou said the Authority was run as a self sustained business giving them the ability to keep the fees at the same level.

    The Municipality of Engomi and police will be providing security for the duration of the Fair.

    The Authority has access to enough grounds to expand by 30 per cent and is looking for either government subsidies or private investors to expand the grounds in preparation for when Cyprus becomes a member of the EU, bringing in more exhibitors.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] MaxDATA owner remanded for further eight days

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE OWNER of MaxDATA Holdings Ltd was yesterday re-remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of using 680,000 of investors' money for personal purposes.

    Andreas Athanassiou, 52, from the Strovolos suburb of Nicosia, was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department on Thursday last week. He was remanded in custody for five days the following day on suspicion of withdrawing the money from a bank account between March and October last year.

    The company had obtained the money from investors ahead of a stock market listing that never happened.

    The suspect was earlier this week admitted to Nicosia Hospital, where he is still being treated for chest pains and exhaustion. Athanassiou was yesterday remanded in custody for eight more days.

    The company began preparations to enter the CSE early last year. It was ordered to return investors' money after its entry was delayed and issued cheques to pay back the money. But about 100 investors in the company have claimed their cheques bounced and that they now face financial ruin.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides has clarified that Athanassiou is being accused of committing a criminal offence and not of breaking the law on the stock market.

    Markides said that in 500 different cases companies that failed to enter the CSE had not returned investors' money. The companies in question would not be allowed to enter the CSE, he added.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Charter flight in near miss with US fighter jet on way to Cyprus

    By a Staff Reporter

    DETAILS of a near air miss involving a tourist flight on its way to Cyprus were disclosed yesterday in an accident report.

    A missed call to climb to a higher altitude led to the mid-air "near disaster" involving an F-15 military fighter and a Britannia holiday jet on its way to Paphos carrying 234 passengers.

    Reports in the UK said it was one of the most serious UK near misses recorded. The American F-15, which failed to hear the climb instruction, passed so close to the Boeing 757 that the jet was caught up in its wake turbulence.

    At their closest, the two aircraft were separated by less than the minimal range - 115 metres - that can be detected by radar, the accident report said.

    It said that the F-15 was one of two from the US air force base at Lakenheath in Suffolk involved in an exercise over Nothamptonshire on the morning of November 22 last year.

    Some confusion arose, and one of the F-15s missed two transmissions to climb higher taking it close to the jet. The crew of the Britannia, which had taken off from Birmingham for Cyprus had been informed of the first F- 15 but suddenly became aware of another aircraft to their left at very close range.

    "The aircraft passed rapidly across the Boeing's nose and disappeared down their right side," the report said. It was only after the Boeing's crew filed a near miss report that the F-15 crewman realised what had happened.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    By George Psyllides

    THE GOVERNMENT Spokesman yesterday launched a scorching attack against a high-ranking state attorney who has, according to Michalis Papapetrou, repeatedly published insults in a party-run newspaper against President Glafcos Clerides and the government.

    The attack came in reply to opposition accusations that the government was becoming increasingly autocratic.

    Papapetrou wondered how the government could be autocratic when it had exhibited "too much tolerance in the case of state attorney Akis Papasavvas".

    The spokesman noted that there was too much discussion over the government being autocratic.

    "The example of the specific attorney is classic evidence of the government showing too much tolerance," Papapetrou said.

    He stressed that in the Papasavvas case the government clearly did "not function properly".

    "I do not think there is any other country in the world where a top state attorney, every Monday in Haravghi, insults and abuses the president," Papapetrou added.

    He said: "He is sarcastic about the President's age and disputes his mental ability."

    Papasavvas' comments are published every Monday by AKEL mouthpiece Haravghi.

    Papapetrou repeated that, in this case, the government had failed to act as it should, arguing that it deliberately opted not to take any measures despite the fact that several disciplinary probes had proved that the attorney had committed specific infringements.

    The Government Spokesman told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that nothing had been done by the authorities after the investigating officer came up with incriminating findings.

    Papapetrou stressed that there was no problem with him writing for a newspaper, rather with the contents of his columns, which were "insulting, if not vile".

    "The stuff he writes undermines the authority and ethos of his superior, the Attorney-general," Papapetrou said.

    He also criticised a book written by Papasavvas, in which he disputed the legality of the Foreign Minister, the Attorney-general, and the Undersecretary to the President accompanying Clerides during talks on the Cyprus issue.

    "If they do not go with the president, who will?" he said.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides was yesterday unavailable for comment.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Limassol hotel workers out on strike

    By a Staff Reporter

    HOTEL workers in Limassol came out on a two-hour strike yesterday morning to protest against two hotels they say are violating agreements on working conditions.

    The strike, which affected hotels between 10am and midday, was organised by left-wing workers' union PEO and its right-wing equivalent, SEK.

    The Hotel Association, PASYXE, and the Association of Tourism Businesses, STEK, both condemned the work stoppage, saying there was no justification for it.

    PASYXE took particular exception to a decision by workers at the Apollonia Beach and Mediterranean Beach hotels to begin their strike action four hours early, at 6am. PASYXE said the hotels had not been given any warning about the 'extra' strike action.

    Papapetrou lashes out at state lawyer's Haravghi columns

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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