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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-06

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, May 6, 2003


  • [01] Denktash ‘not ready to re-enter negotiations’
  • [02] No exceptions for Turkish Cypriot traders
  • [03] Hottest day of the year heralds summer
  • [04] Boy still missing in Limassol
  • [05] Bomb arrest
  • [06] Question marks hangs over north car insurance coverage
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot journalist detained at checkpoint
  • [08] Fighting in occupied village
  • [09] Peyia residents still without mail
  • [10] North taxi drivers warned on profiteering
  • [11] Phone lines to Turkey and the north up and running
  • [12] New SARS measures
  • [13] TC land transfer requests a headache for registry

  • [01] Denktash ‘not ready to re-enter negotiations’

    By George Psyllides

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday restated its strong objection to the opening of the occupied Famagusta port while the Turkish Cypriot side appeared reluctant to restart negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

    “There is no issue to discuss concerning the opening of the Famagusta port, ” Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said.

    Regarding the handing over of Varoshia, which has been closed since 1974, Chrysostomides said the Republic’s permanent demand was for it to be given either directly to the Republic or the United Nations for its legal residents to return.

    Chrysostomides stressed the government did not want negotiations on the substance of the Cyprus problem to be relegated to discussions related to confidence building measures.

    “The Greek Cypriot side, the President and the National Council repeat that they are ready for direct negotiations on the substance of the Cyprus problem, as was our position in The Hague,” Chrysostomides said.

    Foreign Minister George Iacovou suggested yesterday that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan could announce the hand over of Varosha during his visit to Cyprus on Friday, stressing the government would not accept the opening of the Famagusta port.

    “The government cannot accept the opening of ports and airports to enable (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash to export goods unhindered and take in visitors from around the world legally,” Iacovou said.

    The minister said he had no specific information on what Erdogan would announce during his visit, adding something was expected in view of the isolation Turkey was experiencing and the negative climate in the country following the signing of the EU accession treaty by Cyprus on April 16.

    But the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Democratic party Serdar Denktash yesterday said Erdogan would not be unveiling any measures during his visit.

    Speaking after a meeting between Greek and Turkish Cypriot parties during which he rejected a proposal to restart negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Denktash said he did not expect Erdogan to announce any measures and added it was not the time to restart negotiations.

    “From the start of this new era (partial lifting of movement restrictions), the Democratic Party supported that the UN, EU and USA should for the time being remain observers and should not intervene,” Denktash said.

    He added: “What we wish is to let the people come to a point where they could understand each other and problems would be solved.”

    He said it was too early to conclude the two communities could live together, adding it would be better to wait a few more weeks before any initiatives were taken to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Former president and leader of the United Democrats George Vasilliou, who had tabled the proposal to restart negotiations, said the only one who disagreed was Serdar Denktash who insisted that more time was needed.

    Vassiliou said it was obvious that parties aligned with the Turkish Cypriot leader where trying to keep the UN out of any efforts to solve the Cyprus problem adding that such an attempt was sure to fail.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [02] No exceptions for Turkish Cypriot traders

    By George Psyllides

    TURKISH CYPRIOT companies wanting to trade with Greek Cypriot businesses must abide by the laws of the Republic, Trade Industry and Tourism Minister George Lillikas said yesterday.

    The minister also warned tour operators that the government opposed any plans of organising tours to the occupied north.

    Lillikas yesterday confirmed that foreign tour operators were planning to include the occupied areas in their programmes but was sure they would understand the government’s concerns on the matter.

    “Surely what we’ll do as a government in case some tour operators attempt this is to convey our opposition and I’m convinced these foreign operators will respect the Republic’s decision,” Lillikas said.

    Concerning trading with the north, Lillikas said any Turkish Cypriot businesses wanting to do that should abide by the laws of the Republic and European Union directives, which include registering with the VAT service.

    “Any Greek and Turkish Cypriot companies or businessmen wishing to co- operate or trade products, which are produced in Cyprus, should follow the procedure specified by Cyprus law,” the minister said.

    He warned that private citizens could not move goods apart from those bought for personal consumption and anything else would be confiscated by customs, which carried out regular checks at the three checkpoints.

    Around £7 million have flowed to the north since movement restrictions were lifted by the Turkish Cypriot regime on April 23.

    The regime’s decision to allow overnight stays has sparked controversy as many Greek Cypriots stayed in hotels taken over by Turkish Cypriots after the 1974 invasion.

    Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides yesterday said the government was trying to find out the names of those who stayed over and despite not being able to take legal measures, it will support any civil suit against them filed by the legal owners of the hotels for trespassing.

    Chrysostomides said it was a different issue when it came down to goods produced in the north, as they could not be viewed as stolen in the strict sense of the law since it was difficult to determine where they came from.

    “It very different from the hotel, which is there with ownership titles; there is the history of every hotel and laws concerning illegal entry as well as decisions by the European Court of Human Rights that recognise a continuance in ownership titles,” Chrysostomides said.

    He said despite being displeased that products could originate from Greek Cypriot properties, determining that, was next to impossible and in any case the two issues had to be differentiated.

    Regarding stays in hotels owned by Turkish Cypriots prior to 1974, Chrysostomides said there was no way to prevent anyone from staying and in effect helping the Turkish Cypriot regime financially.

    The spokesman said as far as he knew, Turkish Cypriots owned 16 per cent of the privately owned land across the island. He could not say how much of that land was located in the north.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [03] Hottest day of the year heralds summer

    By Sofia Kannas

    TEMPERATURES in Nicosia soared to 36 degrees Celsius yesterday – the hottest day of the year so far.

    Temperatures across the island have been steadily rising since the middle of last week, pushing thermometer-readings into the thirties and prompting people to turn on their air conditioning systems earlier than expected.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, a meteorologist at Larnaca Meteorological Office said the temperature recorded in Nicosia yesterday was several degrees above the average for this month. “This is about seven degrees above normal. Twenty-eight Celsius is the average temperature for May in Nicosia.”

    The unusually high temperatures can be attributed to hot north-easterly surface winds from Asia.

    “The main reason we get these type of temperatures is that air passes over hot surfaces and right above Cyprus’ Mesaoria plain, which heats up the air.”

    He added the high temperatures which have been building up since last Wednesday did not come as a surprise to forecasters.

    “This is not a very rare situation really. Almost every year we have these hot days and temperatures in April and May.”

    The source also stressed that the last few days of hot weather did not necessarily indicate that Cyprus was in for a ferociously hot summer.

    “We cannot really tell what the summer will be like -- there is no connection with the current temperatures.”

    The Meteorological Office forecasts that temperatures will fall to between 31-32 Celsius in Nicosia after tomorrow.

    “On Wednesday the temperature will drop slightly, although it will still be hotter than average.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [04] Boy still missing in Limassol

    By a Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL police yesterday appealed to the public’s help to locating a Russian boy who went missing on last Thursday.

    Twelve-year-old Alexander Pougatchev was reported as missing by his parents on Saturday.

    He was seen on Sunday outside a hotel in Limassol by some of his friends, but despite rushing to the scene CID investigators told the Cyprus Mail they were unable to locate him. Police said the twelve-year-old, who lives in Cyprus with his father and stepmother is thought to have had problems with his parents and left home on Thursday.

    “The boy was seen on Sunday night outside a hotel by some of his friends,” CID spokesman said.

    “We rushed to the scene but we were unable to find him. We have no reason to believe for the moment that he has been kidnapped.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [05] Bomb arrest

    By a Staff Reporter

    POLICE HAVE arrested a man in connection with a bomb which exploded in Nicosia on Thursday causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

    The home–made device went off at 3.20 am 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.

    According to police the suspect, from Nicosia, was arrested late on Sunday night.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [06] Question marks hangs over north car insurance coverage

    By Elias Hazou

    GREEK CYPRIOTS using their own cars to visit the north may be putting themselves out on a limb, as highlighted by the recent arrest and jailing of a 19-year-old involved in an accident.

    Christos Lovaris yesterday appeared before a ‘court’ in the occupied part of Nicosia. He was detained by authorities after refusing to pay a hefty 12, 000 euro compensation fee for allegedly wrecking a Turkish-Cypriot’s car.

    Lovaris was released by Turkish Cypriot ‘police’ later in the afternoon and fined £55. The damage to the luxury car of the Turkish Cypriot involved in the crash will be covered jointly by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot insurance companies after an agreement was reached between them last night. A number of car accidents involving Greeks have already taken place in the north, but this was the most serious to date.

    As well as receiving extensive media coverage, Lovaris’ detainment elicited angry remarks from politicians, who stressed that Greek Cypriots should exercise extra caution when driving in the north.

    What is controversial about this case is the apparently arbitrary compensation fee quoted. Lovaris’ father claims the Turkish Cypriot authorities kept changing their tune about the figures, eventually going up to 12,000 euros, or about £7,000.

    The youth’s car was insured by a Greek Cypriot company whose contracts state they cover the entire territory of Cyprus but the breakaway regime does not recognise this. To enter the north Lovaris had to pay the eight- pound insurance fee to one of the Turkish-Cypriot companies operating at the checkpoints. This fee covers only up to £2,000 in damages.

    But there is no way for anyone this side of the border to ascertain the extent of the damages in an accident or who was at fault; the relevant police report is compiled by the breakaway regime’s authorities. What this means is there are no guarantees -- one man crossing the Ledra Palace checkpoint yesterday remarked that “you’re on your own out there”.

    When the checkpoints first opened a couple of weeks ago, Turkish-Cypriot insurance companies charged four pounds, but this was quickly upped. Saloon cars now have to pay eight pounds, while larger vehicles such as vans or minibuses pay £10. This supposedly is good for three days after the time of recording.

    Greek Cypriots at the checkpoints told the Cyprus Mail the insurance agents did not bother to explain in detail what the insurance covers. “We just pay up, and then you’re on your way.” Another woman’s receipt read that the insurance was valid for 24 hours, not three days.

    Sigorta may be buzzing at the checkpoints, but in this case the Turkish word for insurance or security may be anything but that.

    Yesterday things began clearing up on how the government would deal with Turkish Cypriots coming into the south with their own vehicles. This will be allowed as of 10 May, by which time the House will amend the salient law.

    As things stand, for political reasons the government does not recognise Turkish-Cypriot licence plates. The amended legislation will, however, allow non-registered cars to secure a temporary circulation permit.

    According to an announcement by the Communications Ministry yesterday, there will be no charge for the circulation permit and a small insurance fee paid to registered Greek-Cypriot companies. In an apparent case of one- upmanship, Communications Minister Kikis Kazamias said the fee would be less expensive than the one charged by the breakaway regime.

    Insurance companies yesterday hinted they were waiting for their cue from the government. Evi Stavrou, Marketing Manager for Gan Direct Insurance, told the Cyprus Mail that a few days ago they received a memo from the insurance association asking for their thoughts. Her company’s response was that they would be interested in insuring Turkish-Cypriot vehicles under certain conditions. A spokesman for another company said they would wait and see: “A lot of things need to be straightened out first, like every other matter since things opened up.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [07] Turkish Cypriot journalist detained at checkpoint

    By Alex Mita

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday condemned the refusal of access to the free areas as well as the arrest of Turkish Cypriot journalist Sener Levent by the Turkish Cypriot authorities yesterday.

    Levent was refused access to the south to meet with Union of Cyprus’ Journalists (UCJ) president Andreas Kannouros.

    Levent protested saying he was allowed to cross over on Friday without problems but he was told he had escaped the attention of the police at the checkpoint.

    Levent asked UCJ representatives waiting for him to inform President Tassos Papadopoulos of the incident saying that as a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus he was illegally arrested by the Denktash regime and asked the President to make representations to the European Court of Human Rights as well as other European and international organisation.

    In a statement yesterday, UCJ slammed the Turkish Cypriot authorities for the incident saying “strongly stigmatised the continued, inhuman attitude of the Ankara and Denktash occupation regime towards the Turkish Cypriot journalist”.

    “Denktash insists on keeping Levent a hostage and captive in the occupied areas, provocatively violating every sense of international law and fundamental principles and rules of international conventions on human rights and freedoms.”

    UCJ announced it would be carrying out a demonstration today during which journalists will show their solidarity towards their Turkish Cypriot colleague.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [08] Fighting in occupied village

    By a Staff Reporter

    A GREEK CYPRIOT man narrowly escaped a lynching in the north on Sunday during a visit to his village, when Turkish Cypriots accused him of killing one of his fellow villagers in 1974.

    According to a police bulletin the man visited his old village Ayia Irini in Kyrenia together with 25 other members of his family on Sunday.

    He claimed that while he was standing in the village square around 15 Turkish Cypriots who had recognised him closed in, hurling abuse and accused him of having killed one of his fellow villagers in 1974.

    Other Turkish Cypriots rushed to protect the man and a fight broke out between the villagers. Together with his family the man fled the village with the help of the Turkish Cypriots and reported the incident to the police in the Republic.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [09] Peyia residents still without mail

    By Alex Mita

    RESIDENTS OF Peyia in Paphos have been without mail delivery since the beginning of April after the resignation of the only postman in the area.

    Local residents told the Cyprus Mail yesterday letters have been mounting at the old Co-op bank because there no postman is available to deliver them.

    “In order to get our mail, we have to go down to the old Co-op and rummage through huge stacks of letters just to see if we have anything or to find something that was sent to us,” one resident said.

    In the last ten years the delivery of the mail has gradually decreased from daily to twice a week and when residents complained that they weren’t getting their mail on time, the local postman resigned leaving Peyia without mail delivery since the beginning of April.

    “The population of Peyia has doubled in size and in order to deliver mail to all parts of the municipality on a daily basis, as required by the regulations of postal service, two or more postmen need to be recruited,” another resident said.

    But Paphos Post Office deputy chief Themistocles Gregoriou yesterday assured that steps had been taken to ensure that the delivery service resumes as soon as possible.

    “We have now assigned two postmen to the area, but the reason we’ve had a delay in resuming the service was due to the large amounts of letters that have piled up at the old Co-op due to the resignation of the old postman,” Gregoriou said.

    “But we have now divided Peyia into two regions and each postman will be responsible for delivering the mail in his region. I would like to assure Peyia residents that the problem will be solved within five to six days and that service will resume without any further delay.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [10] North taxi drivers warned on profiteering

    By Alex Mita

    GREEK AND Turkish Cypriots crossed the divide yesterday but in lower numbers than last week.

    More than 4,500 Greek Cypriots and around 2,000 Turkish Cypriots had crossed over by 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, compared to Sunday’s figures of almost 18,000 Greek Cypriots and around 8,500 Turkish Cypriots. More than 3, 000 Greek Cypriots have stayed overnight in the north and reports say hotels are fully booked.

    Greek Cypriots have also visited the casinos in the north and reports said one Greek Cypriot has lost around £15,000.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press the authorities in the north yesterday announced a series of measures to stop profiteering against Greek Cypriots by Turkish Cypriot taxi drivers.

    Reports said the ‘Transport Ministry’ in the north has issued a list in both Greek and Turkish of set prices for key destinations in the north.

    According to the list, trips around Nicosia are priced at £3, from Nicosia to Famagusta is £25, Nicosia to Kyrenia is £10, Nicosia to Morphou is £18, Nicosia to Trikomo is £25 and the trip from Nicosia to Apostolos Andreas is £45.

    Taxi drivers where warned they would lose their licence for overcharging.

    Meanwhile the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus UNFICYP said yesterday the Ayios Dometios checkpoint was not expected to be opened until at least Thursday because resurfacing and other preparations on the occupied part of the road have not been completed.

    A police spokesman told CNA that the works on the Greek Cypriot side have been completed and that they were ready to open the checkpoint once the work on the other side was completed.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [11] Phone lines to Turkey and the north up and running By Sofia Kannas

    TELEPHONE CALLS to the occupied north and Turkey from the free areas have been possible since Friday May 2, Communications Minister Kikis Kazamias announced yesterday.

    In an official statement, Kazamias said calls could now be made to the north and the Turkish mainland using the international dialing code for Turkey. He said the fact that people wanting to communicate with the north were required to use the Turkish dialing code proved that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was little more than Ankara’s “mouthpiece” in the occupied areas.

    Regarding the improvement of telecommunications with the north, Kazamias said the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) had already come into contact with two Turkish telecommunications companies which hold Turkish mobile phone licenses. He added that CyTA aimed at “the further improvement of mobile reception up to the Pentadaktylos Mountains, Morfou and Famagusta areas.”

    The Minister revealed that efforts were being made with the collaboration of the United Nations to upgrade a UN-controlled telephone centre, which currently provides only 20 telephone lines.

    “Our objective is to increase the number of telephone lines from 20 to 100, so that call costs (currently charged at international rates) can be reduced,” said Kazamias. He added that the UN had been asked to study the possibility of introducing CyTA landline networks, “in order to decrease fees from 20-22 cents a minute to 2-3 cents.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [12] New SARS measures

    By a Staff Reporter

    NEW MEASURES were announced yesterday to prevent an outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) on the island.

    The measures were revealed following a conference chaired by the Director of Medical and Public Health Services and also attended by representatives from the Police Immigration Office.

    The measures require people entering Cyprus from regions affected by SARS will be sent to the Airport Police’s immigration department to have their temperature taken on arrival. Anyone found to have a temperature above 38 Celsius or displaying signs of the disease (particularly coughing and breathing difficulties) will then be examined by a doctor in a purpose built airport ward.

    Meanwhile, students flying in from affected areas will be advised to remain indoors for 10 days after they arrive. They will then be monitored by doctors, and should present themselves for two medical examinations during the 10-day period. This procedure will be recommended even if students do not display SARS’ symptoms at the time of their arrival.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 6, 2003

    [13] TC land transfer requests a headache for registry

    By a Staff Reporter

    TURKISH CYPRIOTS visiting the free areas have put in requests for the Land Registry Office to transfer the titles of properties they owned before the invasion to their children, according to press reports.

    Reports in Simerini suggested yesterday the requests, made by scores of Turkish Cypriots crossing from the north, are causing a headache for the responsible authorities in the south.

    According to the paper Interior Minister Andreas Christou said on Sunday that “the property rights of every Cypriot citizen had to be considered,” but added that “the law on custody of Turkish Cypriot property” also had to be taken into account.

    Officials from the Interior Ministry, chaired by Christou, were yesterday expected to meet to discuss the issue and are set to inform the Turkish Cypriots involved of the Ministry’s decision in the next few days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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