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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Sunday, May 11, 2003

CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots cross in their cars for the first time
  • [02] 1974 victim Vasso, 15, buried at last
  • [03] Europa Nostra honours Lellos and Mustafa
  • [04] BOA and Leptos discuss training deal
  • [05] Alecos Markides to have heart op'

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots cross in their cars for the first time

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE FIRST Turkish Cypriot car to cross into the Republic in 29 years arrived at 11.15am yesterday through Nicosia's newly opened Ayios Dometios checkpoint.

    By 6pm the number of Turkish Cypriot cars coming across had risen to 166 (666 people), compared with 494 Greek Cypriot vehicles (1,960 people) going in the other direction.

    Speaking at the new checkpoint, Communications & Works Minister Kikis Kazamias said the authorities had been well prepared for the crossover of Turkish Cypriot vehicles, and had been present at the checkpoint since 6am.

    Justice Minister Doros Theodorou said information leaflets in Turkish had been printed, containing instructions and useful telephone numbers for the Turkish Cypriots. This was done to inform "our compatriots", in a language they understand, everything they need to know about driving in the Republic and its roads, and what to do in the event of an accident, he said.

    Theodorou said he hoped everything would run smoothly and that people coming through the checkpoint would not be inconvenienced. He said the Republic's authorities' procedures to deal with yesterday's latest development were efficient and that drivers would only have to wait a maximum of five or six minutes.

    However, Kazamias blamed delays on what he called the Turkish Cypriot side's inflexibility for failing to open the checkpoint earlier in the morning, which resulted in long queues of cars building up. He predicted that traffic crossing through Ayios Dometios would increase today, and that by tomorrow things will be running more smoothly.

    Theodorou added that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's recent relaxations on free movement between the occupied areas and the Republic would not result in the acknowledgement of the occupation regime in the north.

    The Justice Minister likened the crumbling of the Green Line to the fall of the Berlin Wall 14 years ago. He said the message to emerge from the recent development was that "Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots wish to move forward together on the road of progress, happiness and peace" and added the dividing wall had already begun to crack.

    Commenting on the opening of the Ayios Dometios checkpoint, United Nations Chief of Mission Zbigniew Wlosowicz told the Sunday Mail that "another road to reconciliation on the island has been opened".

    "The Ayios Dometios/Metehan crossing point is a very impressive project, efficiently executed by both sides," he said. "UNFICYP is happy that it was facilitated, and we hope more things will follow as a natural consequence of what has been happening on the island recently."

    Asked if there were plans in the pipeline to open more checkpoints, Wlosowicz said that although the Greek Cypriot side wanted more, this would have to be agreed with the north first.

    Shopkeepers and municipality authorities on both sides of the Green Line have been calling for Ledra Street in Nicosia to be opened up, but according to Wlosowicz there has not yet been agreement on that point.

    On Friday both sides agreed the Ayios Dometios checkpoint would only be used for vehicular traffic. Vehicle access through the Ledra Palace checkpoint ceased yesterday, and it is now only open to pedestrians.

    Theodorou said the Republic's authorities would also be on the look-out for stolen vehicles and that any found would be confiscated.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Sunday, May 11, 2003

    [02] 1974 victim Vasso, 15, buried at last

    By Jean Christou

    A 15-year-old Greek Cypriot girl who was killed in 1974 while collecting food and water for National Guardsmen in the suburb of Omorphita was buried yesterday in Nicosia.

    The remains of Vasso Socratous were uncovered during exhumations at Constantinou and Eleni cemetery and were identified through DNA testing in March this year.

    Socratous was one of five children born to George and Kalliopi Socratous, who are now in their seventies. The family lived in Omorphita, an area of heavy fighting in July 1974, and most of which is now under Turkish occupation.

    During the outbreak of hostilities, Vasso was caught in crossfire and took cover with her mother and two sisters in an abandoned house, where other women from the neighbourhood had also taken refuge.

    In the evening of July 20 they made their way home. At around 5am they began gathering food and water to help the soldiers in adjacent lookout post. Kalliopi was in one room and Vasso in another when a mortar shell hit the house, killing the 15-year-old.

    Vasso was taken to the Nicosia General Hospital by National Guardsmen but it was too late to save her. The family left her name and address on the body and fled to safety in Xylotymbou.

    When her father returned to Nicosia to claim his daughter's body he was told she had probably been buried along with other victims at the Constantinou and Eleni cemetery.

    Hundreds of sets of remains of soldiers and other people on the missing persons list have been exhumed at two Nicosia cemeteries over the past two years. The remains are taken to a special facility in Nicosia where DNA testing is carried out and the remains are returned to the families for burial.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Sunday, May 11, 2003

    [03] Europa Nostra honours Lellos and Mustafa

    By a Staff Reporter

    FORMER Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci have been awarded the Europa Nostra Medal of honour for their dedication to the heritage of their divided capital.

    The award, given out in Brussels, recognises the merit of a sustained and exemplary contribution made by a particular person to the protection and/or enhancement of Europe's cultural heritage.

    An announcement from Europa Nostra said that both Demetriades and Akinci, both long-serving Mayors of Nicosia on their respective sides of the Green Line, had between 1976 and 1990 collaborated in making practical arrangements for the joint operation of the sewerage system in the city.

    They were also honoured for the creation of the Nicosia Master Plan, a long- term scheme in the event of reunification, which is designed to wipe out the scar of a dividing line across the city in a minimum amount of time.

    Demetriades and Akinci thanked Europa Nostra for honouring them and referred to the close co-operation they had over the years in implementing projects of mutual benefit and contributing to the creation of a climate of trust. They welcomed efforts for Cyprus' reunification. Europa Nostra will also give a posthumous award to the late Constantinos Leventis, former Permanent Representative of the Republic to UNESCO, for his contribution in protecting and safeguarding Cyprus' cultural heritage and funding multiple projects aiming to maintain the island's traditional architecture. Leventis' widow Mema, honorary Ambassador and the Republic's Permanent Representative to UNESCO, will receive the medal on behalf of her late husband at a special ceremony in Strasbourg.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Sunday, May 11, 2003

    [04] BOA and Leptos discuss training deal

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE BRITISH Olympic Association (BOA) and Paphos-based Leptos Calypso Hotels (LCH) are looking into the possibility of the group acting as a headquarters for warm weather training for the next ten years.

    Cyprus last month made an agreement with BOA for British athletes to use Cyprus as their base in preparation for Athens Olympics in 2004. Beyond the Olympics, British athletes will use the island for warm weather training during winter and periodically use the facilities throughout the year to prepare for other major events. This would make Cyprus the main European training centre for British athletes outside the UK.

    LCH said in an announcement that it will carry out a comprehensive feasibility study and assessment of the prospects for the development of the appropriate training facilities required by BOA for Athens and beyond. In addition the hotel group will provide accommodation and the use of conference and other facilities.

    "The importance of this prospective partnership is in designating Cyprus as a niche tourism destination, as well as positioning both the Paphos and Peyia districts as leading sports tourism resort areas in Europe by offering specialised services and facilities while combining the natural setting and beauty of the area," said LCH chairman Michael Leptos.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Sunday, May 11, 2003

    [05] Alecos Markides to have heart op'

    By a Staff Reporter

    According to press reports Markides was admitted to hospital on Friday morning, after an angiography performed by cardiology department head Dr Costas Zampartas showed that some of his arteries were blocked, and that he will require surgery.

    The former Attorney-general's condition is said to be stable. His operation has not yet been scheduled, but Politis reported that he was expected to fly to London for surgery over the next few days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003


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