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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-03

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 3, 2003


  • [01] Chrisostomides: TC measures are already under way
  • [02] Government working on phone and power co-operation in the north
  • [03] Greek Cypriots detained in the north
  • [04] New checkpoint in the next few days
  • [05] Cyprus elected to UN executive committee
  • [06] Unions from across the divide come together for May Day
  • [07] Skeleton found at Lara Bay
  • [08] Car bomb in Nicosia
  • [09] New Attorney-general is sworn in

  • [01] Chrisostomides: TC measures are already under way

    By Alex Mita

    GOVERNMENT Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said yesterday some of the support measures announced last week to help Turkish Cypriots had been implemented.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, Chrysostomides said the establishment of telecommunications, the issuing of birth certificates and passports and the registration of Turkish Cypriots with the Social Services were already under way.

    Chrysostomides said reactions from the Turkish Cypriot opposition showed the measures were to be accepted.

    The Turkish-Cypriot media were sceptical about the measures announced by the government last week, while Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash insisted they where an effort by the Greek Cypriots to overshadow his initiative to allow free movement to and from the occupied areas.

    According to Kibris, the main Turkish Cypriot parties were reserved in their first reactions.

    The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat has said that at first the measures seemed worth considering but they soon discovered that they fell short of their expectations.

    “We as Turkish Cypriots expect there will be openings that will confirm our equal partnership rights and that will integrate us with the world,” he said. “Within this framework, we are ready to consider and evaluate every proposal that aims at the rapprochement of the two communities.”

    Speaking soon after his return from Turkey where he gave a series of lectures, Denktash said the mainland Turkish people urged him not to turn Cyprus into Crete and to respect the remains of those Turks who died on the island during the invasion.

    Denktash will discuss the measures with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who is expected to visit the north for one day on May 9.

    Commerce and Industry Minister George Lillikas said the support measures announced by the government are within the law and the EU acquis communautaire and are based on the equal treatment of Greek and Turkish Cypriots but stressed the government would not allow trade of illegally imported goods from the north.

    Communications Minister Kikis Kazamias said telecommunications with the north and Turkey had been restored and that CyTA had been given the go- ahead to discuss ways of working together with Turkish companies to link up mobile phone networks.

    The movement of Turkish Cypriot cars to the free areas will not be possible until May 10 to give the House time to approve a relevant law.

    Kazamias said cars from the north would be temporarily registered to the Republic and insurance companies in the south would be allowed cover them for one day.

    Labour Minister Makis Keravnos said some Turkish Cypriots had already registered at the Department of Social Insurance to find work in the south.

    Keravnos said all the necessary steps where being taken to aid Turkish Cypriots into finding jobs in the republic.

    Chrysostomides said no date had been set for removing mines from the cease- fire line but that President Tassos Papadopoulos has insisted that all mines be removed despite Denktash’s refusal to do the same.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [02] Government working on phone and power co-operation in the north

    By Elias Hazou

    WITH THE physical barriers between the two communities now being lifted, efforts are underway to improve telecommunications with the north.

    On Wednesday the government authorised Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) to work with its counterpart in the breakaway regime. The political situation on the island has meant that, among other things, telecoms contact between the two communities on the island has been almost impossible.

    Currently there are only 20 private phone exchanges allowing direct communication but CyTA has been encouraged to cooperate with its Turkish- Cypriot counterpart TELSEN and the United Nations to install more lines.

    “This will take some time obviously,” said CyTA spokesman Paris Menelaou. “Everyone needs to work together on this.”

    Moreover, the government has instructed CyTA to operate an automatic phone service with the north via the network in mainland Turkey. By dialling the prefix “0090” callers will now be able to get through to Turkey, adding “392” contacts the north of Cyprus. This of course is an international call, but Communications Minister Kikis Kazamias yesterday said the government was working with Turkey’s telecommunication authorities to lower these call rates.

    For as long as memory serves, there has been no direct telephone link with Turkey; the country is not even listed in CyTA’s phone directory. The telecoms network in the north is linked to that of Turkey’s.

    As expected, mobile telephony could not be left out the loop, so CyTA has entered negotiations on a roaming agreement with Turkish providers TurkCell and TelSim. “Some technical issues need to be ironed out first,” said Menelaou. “So it may take from a few days to a couple of weeks to set things up.”

    CyTA is in contact with TELSEN and Turkish mobile companies via the Foreign Ministry.

    As far is electrical power supply was concerned, cooperation would for the time being be limited to minor undertakings.

    Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) spokesman Costas Gavrielides explained that, on the one hand, the breakaway regime was self-sustained in power supply but on the other, any plans for providing power to the occupied coastal town of Famagusta must by definition be kept on hold until Greek Cypriots are allowed to resettle there.

    Gavrielides said the EAC has been in periodic contact with its Turkish- Cypriot counterpart for some time and on occasion the two have worked together to repair faults in the power network in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    As things stand, said Gavrielides, there was limited scope for cooperation in this area. However, EAC technicians have installed street lighting near the checkpoints springing up in Nicosia and other places.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [03] Greek Cypriots detained in the north

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE TURKISH Cypriot regime yesterday released 21 Greek Cypriots who were detained on Thursday for various reasons, including allegedly trying to return the bell of a church to the government controlled areas.

    The first group consisted of 21 men, women and children aged between five and 76 years who crossed over into the occupied north from a non-designated point.

    Police said the group, travelling in four vehicles went through from the area between Pergamos and Achna, near the church of Ayios Ionas.

    They were immediately seized by Turkish soldiers who subsequently released an elderly woman and four children.

    The rest were brought before a military court and were made to sign a £3, 000 guarantee to be paid if they repeat the ‘offence’ within one year.

    Three other men, who allegedly tried to carry the bell of their occupied village’s church to the government controlled areas were yesterday released after posting £300 bail to be summoned to ‘court’ later.

    One of the men assured that he would not appear for the ‘hearing’.

    The three, along with three women and a child, were detained on Thursday after allegedly attempting to recover the bell.

    Police said the group had visited their village of Spathariko in the occupied areas and saw their church had been turned into a mosque, like most churches in the occupied north.

    They found the bell in an adjacent storage room and allegedly tried to load it on their cars.

    They were seen by the Muslim cleric who asked them to leave the bell where it was.

    They did, but on their way back they were detained at the Strovilia checkpoint in the Famagusta district.

    The three women and child were released while the men were kept overnight.

    Two youths were also fined £40 for failing to buy insurance at the Strovilia checkpoint.

    Polis Michaelides, 22, from Nicosia and 23-year-old Maria Pavli from Paralimni were brought before a ‘court’ in Famagusta for failing to get a visa.

    The two youths told the Cyprus Mail that officers at the British bases in the area had told them to go ahead and it was okay.

    They were caught just a few metres from the checkpoint and taken to holding cells in Famagusta where they spent the night.

    The youths were made to pay a £40 for not buying insurance and were released with no further penalties.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [04] New checkpoint in the next few days

    By a Staff Reporter

    WORK to re-open the Ayios Dometios checkpoint next to the racetrack in Nicosia is expected to be finished within the next couple days the UN said yesterday.

    Municipality bulldozers were yesterday busy clearing the old Nicosia- Kyrenia road and prefabricated offices for police officers where placed at the entry points. It is hoped the new crossing will ease traffic congestion around the other checkpoints.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, UN spokeswoman Major Ingrid Tomekova said UNFICYP was hopeful that the checkpoint would be opened within the next couple of days.

    “We are hopeful that the opening of the Ayios Dometios checkpoint will ease the traffic congestion,” she said.

    “So far we’ve had no problems except trying to work out how to accommodate the flow of traffic to and from the north through the checkpoint.

    Both sides agreed to open Ayios Dometios would be reopened while other checkpoints are also expected to be reopened in the near future.

    The Ayios Dometios checkpoint will be opened for cars only. Pedestrians will still only be able to cross from the Ledra Palace checkpoint.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [05] Cyprus elected to UN executive committee

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS WAS elected by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a new member of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    The election took place after a decision by the General Assembly to expand the Executive Committee from 61 members to 64. Besides Cyprus, Kenya and Yemen were also elected.

    UNHCR’s Executive Committee (ExCom) is made up of 64 countries that meet every autumn in Geneva to review and approve the agency’s programmes and budgets and to advise on protection matters. ExCom sets international standards on the treatment of refugees and provides a forum for wide- ranging exchanges among governments, UNHCR and its numerous partner agencies. (CNA)

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [06] Unions from across the divide come together for May Day

    By Elias Hazou

    THIS YEAR’S May Day celebrations had one of the largest turnouts in recent history, as Turkish-Cypriot trade unionists joined various events across the island.

    Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square was packed with thousands, with trade unionists celebrating the first joint events of their kind since 1958. Delegates from almost all Turkish-Cypriot trade unions and some political parties attended the celebrations.

    After a peaceful march through the streets of Nicosia, the crowd gathered in the park for free souvla, live music and performances by Greek and Turkish Cypriot dancers.

    Contact between labour and trade union associations from the two communities has gathered momentum in the past couple of weeks after the breakaway regime allowed passage into the south.

    A direct result is that a forum of all Cypriot trade unions, originally scheduled to be held in Budapest in June, will now take place in Nicosia next week.

    For now, the focus of these joint activities is informing the Turkish- Cypriot unions of the EU labour directives and workers’ rights and obligations according to the acquis communautaire.

    Speaking at an event in Limassol, Oder Konuloglu, president of the Turkish- Cypriot trade union TURKSEN, said “Cyprus’ EU accession process, and the excellent days we have started living through after April 16, shall be the beginning of reunification and a permanent solution.”

    Speakers also made mention of the obstacles raised by the northern breakaway regime to stonewall such bi-communal activities.

    Cyprus Workers' Confederation (SEK) general secretary Demetris Kittenis said all trade unions’ priority at this stage was the practical implementation of the EU acquis on all levels. “In a year from now,” he added, “our country will be a full member of the European Union…guaranteeing both human and worker rights.”

    Both leaders of SEK and the Pancyprian Federation of Workers (PEO), Pampis Kyritsis, described as ''sensational and touching'' the response of the Turkish Cypriot workers and their trade unions to the call for joint celebrations.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [07] Skeleton found at Lara Bay

    By a Staff Reporter

    A HUMAN skeleton was found buried in the sand at Lara Bay in Paphos yesterday, police said. At around 1.30pm a passer-by found the remains buried in sand 25 metres inland.

    Paphos CID, Peyia police station officers and state coroner Sophoclis Sophocleous were called to the scene. Sophocleous said the skeleton was more than 30 years old, although he was unable to determine the sex of the remains, police said. No other evidence was found at the scene. The bones were sent to the Institute of Genetics for forensic examination.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [08] Car bomb in Nicosia

    By a Staff Reporter

    A BOMB exploded in a car in Nicosia early on Thursday morning causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

    According to police, the home made device went off at 3.20am in the £110, 000 Mercedes belonging to businessman Christoforos Tornarides. The vehicle was parked in the car park of an apartment block in Acropolis where Tornarides lived. As a result of the explosion, the car was engulfed in flames, which had to be extinguished by the fire brigade. Preliminary examinations carried out by Nicosia CID and the crime squad revealed the device had been placed in the body of the car.

    Police estimate the bomb caused more than £70,000-worth of damage.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 3, 2003

    [09] New Attorney-general is sworn in

    By a Staff Reporter

    NEW ATTORNEY-general Solon Nikitas said he hoped to be able to contribute to equality before the law, noting that without it the people will not be able to feel safe and progress.

    Speaking during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace where he was sworn in on Wednesday afternoon, he said “dedication to human rights” is his concern, adding that “this is the only way to handle successfully the difficult years and challenges ahead”.

    President Tassos Papadopoulos, in a speech, said Nikitas' appointment was “an important event”.

    He said Nikitas assumes office during a significant period for Cyprus, especially with Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    The Attorney-general, Papadopoulos said, has complete independence and authorities granted by the Constitution of the Republic and defends the legality of the state, promoting the rule of law, firm implementation of human rights and freedoms for the people and protecting the people from every form of violation of authority by the state and administration. (CNA)

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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