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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-15

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Chief deplores buffer zone killing
  • [02] US comment on buffer zone incidents
  • [03] UN records arrival of ''Grey Wolves'' in Cyprus
  • [04] Turkish Foreign Minister en route to occupied Cyprus
  • [05] Injured woman: stable but serious
  • [06] UN top envoy sees President - Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [07] UNFICYP mandate does not include riot control, UN maintains
  • [08] US Congressmen condemn killings - call for measures
  • [09] Quiet atmosphere after buffer zone killing
  • [10] UN top envoy concludes meetings
  • [11] Greek President ''enraged and indignant'' at killings
  • [12] Turks release two abducted men

  • 0035 :CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN Chief deplores buffer zone killing

    United Nations, Aug 15 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali deplored incidents in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Cyprus, where a second Greek Cypriot youth was killed during a peaceful demonstration against the continued Turkish occupation of the island.

    In a statement, Boutros-Ghali said he ''deplored the violent clashes that took place in the UN buffer zone last Sunday and again today (yesterday)''.

    In an indirect reference to the Turkish Cypriot side, the UN Chief said he is ''greatly concerned at the excessive and indiscriminate use of force which has caused two men to be killed and many more to be injured, including UN peacekeepers.''

    The Secretary-General appealed to the leaders of the two communities on the island to ''calm tempers and resolve their differences through dialogue and negotiations.''

    Finally, he declared his intention to ''continue to assist the two sides in this endeavour''.

    Turkish troops killed yesterday 26-year-old Solomos Spyrou Solomos, while he was trying to pull down the Turkish flag from a flagpole at the edge of the Turkish post, in Dherynia area, in eastern Cyprus.

    The demonstration took place only an hour after the burial of 24-year-old Tasos Isaac, who was savagely beaten to death on Sunday by Turkish extremists, in a similar demonstration in the same area.

    Meanwhile, the UN Security Council, issued a warning against any escalation of the situation around the UN-controlled buffer zone in Cyprus.

    The body was briefed again by Under-Secretary Chinmaya Gharekhan, regarding yesterday's incidents along the buffer zone.

    Two UN British peacemakers and nine Greek Cypriot civilians were injured.

    ''The Council has deplored the circumstances of this new distressing incident'', a statement released after the Council briefing said.

    It further noted that the incident, in the view of the Council, followed ''an eruption into the buffer zone which was not contained by the Greek Cypriot side and was then followed by the shooting of one person which in the view of the commanding officer of UNFICYP was unnecessary because people were already at work to pull him down from the mast where he tried to unleash a flag.''

    Furthermore, the Council said it is ''issuing a warning against any escalation of the situation around the buffer zone and asks all sides to exercise restraints and particularly to respect the buffer zone''.

    In comments to reporters, Council President Tono Eitel, of Germany said ''if the Council were to see that these warnings were not heeded, I foresee that some sterner action would come''.

    Although he said the Council did not discuss the issue of reinforcing the UN mandate on the island and that he did not ''see a need for that'' Eitel expressed the hope that the UN ''could hope that in the light of these distressing incidents, both sides would exert restraint''.

    Furthermore, he noted that UN officials in Cyprus had called Wednesday's killing ''unnecessary'' as UN peacekeepers were trying to pull the protester down from the flagpole when he was shot by the Turkish troops.

    Asked why the peacekeepers did not stop Wednesday's protest, Boutros-Ghali's spokeswoman Sylvana Foa said the peacekeepers were unarmed as is the practice during civilian demonstrations.

    Foa further said the peacekeeping presence had been reinforced today in anticipation of unrest.

    CNA JD/EC/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0100:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] US comment on buffer zone incidents

    Washington, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The United States sent a ''vigorous message'' to the parties on the island to stop ''provocative acts'', following incidents yesterday which left one Greek Cypriot dead and 11 wounded, including two UN peacekeepers.

    State Department spokesman Glyn Davies told reporters the situation in the area ''around the buffer zone in Cyprus, does remain tense''.

    He said ''the message that we are sending to all of the sides there is that it's very clear that they need to take more resolute measures to prevent unauthorised incursions into the buffer zone.''

    Davies said there has been ''a continuance of this tragic situation unfolding in Cyprus''.

    ''We are sending this very vigorous message to the parties that provocative acts really have to stop. That's the only way to end the violence and the bloodshed that's occurred in recent days. And that's where our diplomatic message is today,'' Davis said.

    Asked how the message is communicated, the State department spokesman noted that principally it is done through the US ambassador on the island Kenneth Brill.

    Davies added that ''it is very important that both sides on Cyprus move quickly and strongly to prevent any further incursions into the buffer zone''.

    CNA EC/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0830:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] UN records arrival of ''Grey Wolves'' in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- A significant number of members of the Turkish organisation the ''Grey Wolves'' participated in last Sunday's demonstrations on the island, a UN report has said.

    This assertion comes to vindicate government concerns about the arrival of members of this terrorist organisation in Cyprus with the express purpose of a shoot-to-kill policy.

    It also noted that the Turkish forces had allowed some 1,000 persons in buses to pass through the three kilometre military zone and assemble along the Turkish forces cease-fire line ''including persons carrying the flag of the Grey Wolves who had come from Turkey.''

    The report, released here last night, outlines the events which led to the brutal beating of a Greek Cypriot by Turkish demonstrators and confirms that Turkish Cypriot demonstrators aided by so-called Turkish Cypriot police ''mercilessly beat all those they were able to catch.''

    It also establishes that Turkish Cypriot ''police shot at Greek Cypriot demonstrators from behind the Turkish Forces.''

    ''A Greek Cypriot demonstrator, Anastasios Isaac, was beaten to death by a number of Turkish Cypriot demonstrators, including three Turkish Cypriot policemen,'' the report reveals.

    Two UN Irish civilian police officers tried to rescue Isaac from the Turkish Cypriots but ''it was too late,'' the three-page report says.

    UN resources ''were stretched to the extreme,'' it adds.

    The report also refers to the ineffective manner in which the Cyprus police controlled the crowds and said the police lifted a cease-fire line barrier which allowed demonstrators into the UN buffer zone.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1120:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Turkish Foreign Minister en route to occupied Cyprus

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Turkey's Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller will pay an illegal visit to the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus later today, her office has announced.

    Ciller's illegal visit comes a day after Turkish troops shot dead a Greek Cypriot demonstrator, in the UN-controlled buffer zone and follows the announcement of a visit to Cyprus by Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The Greek Premier will pay a one-day visit on Saturday (August 16) during which he will attend a meeting of the National Council, the island's top advisory body to President Glafcos Clerides on the handling of the Cyprus problem.

    Last Sunday, Turkish extremists savagely beaten to death another Greek Cypriot young demonstrator, who was protesting peacefully, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, against the continued occupation of his homeland by Turkish troops since 1974.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1145:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Injured woman: stable but serious

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- A Greek Cypriot woman, shot in the abdomen by Turkish troops during yesterday's demonstrations in the UN patrolled buffer zone which left one man dead, is still in a serious condition, doctors at Larnaca Hospital have said.

    Doctor Michalis Taliadoros told CNA today 50-year old Georgia Andreou, from Pyla village, that her condition is ''stable but serious.''

    The wounded woman, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said yesterday, was not in the buffer zone when a bullet hit her.

    Eleven people, including two UN peace-keepers, were injured on Wednesday when Turkish troops fired indiscriminately against demonstrating crowds when one demonstrator tried to lower the Turkish flag from its pole.

    One of the wounded, the doctor said, Photis Photiou, 20, who is suffering from a gunshot wound in the abdomen, is ''satisfactory and the man is out of danger.''

    Taliadoros said the post mortem on the Greek Cypriot who was shot dead by Turkish troops will probably take place Friday.

    Solomos Spyrou Solomou, 26, a refugee from Turkish-occupied Famagusta, on the eastern coast, was gunned down when trying to lower the Turkish flag from its pole.

    The two British UN peace-keepers, 29-year-old bombardier Neil Emery, and 22year-old gunner Jeffrey Hudson, of 39 Regiment Royal Artillery, are still in the military hospital in one of the two British bases on the island.

    A spokesman for the bases told CNA both are in good condition and are expected to make a full recovery.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1220:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] UN top envoy sees President - Turkish Cypriot leader

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General's resident representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel had a meeting this morning with President Glafcos Clerides, the first since yesterday's killing of a Greek Cypriot demonstrator by Turkish troops.

    The meeting was not made public and nothing has been released about its contents but it is assumed the two men discussed the current situation and possibly future moves.

    Feissel is at present meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Nicosia, the world's last divided capital.

    Yesterday, Turkish troops shot dead Solomos Spyrou Solomou, 26, when he was trying to lower the Turkish flag from its pole during demonstrations after the funeral of another Greek Cypriot demonstrator, Tasos Isaac, 24, who was savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists on Sunday.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1200:CYPPRESS:06

    [07] UNFICYP mandate does not include riot control, UN maintains

    by James Delihas

    United Nations, Aug 15 (CNA) -- United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) are there as ''observers and monitors and have no mandate to control demonstrations which is the task of local authorities on both sides'', Spokesperson Sylvana Foa has declared.

    In this and other statements on the buffer zone incidents made in the course of the daily briefing for UN correspondents, Foa appeared to further distance UN authorities from any responsibility in the violent events on Sunday and yesterday that left two Greek Cypriots dead, one by brutal clubbing, the other by gunfire from the Turkish side of the buffer zone. More than a score have been wounded including peace-keepers.

    Asked repeatedly about the apparently ineffectual response of the UN forces, Foa stated that the force was down to 1,200 men who had to patrol a 180 km stretch of cease fire lines and implied that deployment of adequate numbers in times emergency was difficult.

    UN records show UNFICYP numbering 6,275 thirty two years ago. It was down to 3,700 in 1970 and was downsized again in 1993 by more than half.

    By her estimate over a thousand demonstrators, Greek and Turkish Cypriots combined, took part in disturbances.

    Foa was at pains to explain that not only were the UN forces stretched thin but were also unarmed and do not even carry nightsticks.

    ''When the buffer zone is stormed by 300 bikers who are throwing stones and hurling insults, and there is storming on the other side as well by another group, then there is little a few hundred peacekeepers can do. When agreement with both sides is that it is up to their police authorities to leap the peace. We are there as observers and monitors'', she added.

    At another point, seemingly on the defensive, Foa said ''in riot situations when kids are determined to create problems, and are being begged, and remember the Secretary-General begged them on Saturday, 'don't do this' ... there is nothing unarmed peacekeepers", she repeated, "can do".

    Told by a member of the press that the Secretary-General's warning of August 10 and her own characterisation of events seemed to be directed predominantly towards the Greek Cypriot side, and yet the violence was the doing of the Turkish side and that the casualties have all been on the Greek Cypriot side... was there not something odd in this, Foa paused for some time and replied, ''I assure you a report will come out'' on these incidents.

    On the question of the interpretation of the UNFICYP mandate, Foa's view of its scope was confirmed by a high UN official who happened to be present at her briefing in another connection. Lt. General Manfred Eisele, the acting Under-Secretary for Peace-Keeping Operations, said riot control can be more efficiently performed by local authorities and that ''protests to that effect had been made to the ambassadors of both sides.''

    Security Council Resolution 186 (1964) however defines the mandate of UNFICYP as follows:

    ''... to use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of fighting and, as necessary, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions.''

    In yesterday's incident, a Greek Cypriot was killed by a volley of shots while trying to climb a flagpole.

    In his 7 June 1996 report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali noted that incidents of shooting near the cease fire lines had increased, three such incidents being of particular concern. All three had to do with shots fired by Turkish forces, May 8, May 10 and June 3.

    The June 3 shot resulted in the death of an unarmed Greek Cypriot National Guardsman. Turkish live fire was directed at UNFICYP forces attempting to go to the aid of the guardsman said Boutros-Ghali. The guardsman subsequently died of his injuries.

    CNA JD/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1320:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] US Congressmen condemn killings - call for measures

    New York, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Leading American Congressmen have expressed disgust and abhorrence at yesterday's killing of a Greek Cypriot demonstrator by Turkish troops in the UN-patrolled buffer zone.

    They have also called for ''concerted and renewed'' efforts to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern areas and some have even advocated sanctions on Turkey.

    The calls came after yesterday's incident in the buffer zone where Greek Cypriot demonstrators were protesting Sunday's savage killing of another Greek Cypriot in the buffer zone during an anti-occupation rally.

    Congressman Ben Gilman, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, described the killings as ''abhorrent'' and called for a ''reduction of tensions and a prompt resumption of comprehensive talks to peacefully resolve the division of Cyprus.''

    Congressman Lee Hamilton, ranking minority member of the same committee, called for ''concerted and top-level attention and the involvement of the US President''.

    Congressman Robert Menendez, also a member of this Committee, said he would ''formally protest the barbaric acts of Turkish troops'' and urged his President to ''consider imposing sanctions on Turkey.'' He added the US must review its ties with Turkey.

    Congressman John Porter expressed revulsion and condemnation at the killings and said they were ''yet another Turkish obstacle to peace and reunification of this divided island.''

    Congressman Eliot Engel called for the ''demilitarisation'' of Cyprus, as proposed by President Glafcos Clerides.

    Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney described the killings as ''brutal, senseless and vicious attacks.'' She added ''those responsible must be brought to justice.''

    Other US Congressmen have stressed the need to end the illegal occupation of Cyprus.

    These calls were echoed by Greek American leaders who condemned and deplored ''this unprecedented and indefensible action by the Turkish forces.''

    Spiro Macris, President of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), called on the US administration to ''take action now and use every possible means to end Turkey's illegal and brutal occupation of Cyprus.''

    Another AHEPA official, George Savidis, head of AHEPA's government affairs office in Washington, pointed out ''US congressional, administration and media support for Turkey is significantly eroding over the oil deal (signed with Iran) which places Ankara in direct opposition to the US policy of economically isolating Iran.''

    Andrew Athens, President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General urged him to do all he can ''to protect innocent civilians in Cyprus against these growing incidents of hostilities and human rights violations.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1350:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Quiet atmosphere after buffer zone killing

    Paralimni, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The situation in and around this eastern coastal town, where Turkish troops shot and killed a Greek Cypriot demonstrator yesterday, is ''quiet and mournful'', according to Paralimni Mayor Nikos Vlittis.

    He told CNA today that people feel ''extremely saddened by the killings and indignant''.

    Vlittis said the post mortem on the body of Solomos Spyrou Solomou, 26, shot dead by the Turks during yesterday's demonstration by Greek Cypriots, at Dherynia, will take place Friday morning and his funeral late afternoon.

    Some 200 Greek Cypriots broke into the UN-controlled buffer zone yesterday to protest an earlier brutal murder of another Greek Cypriot, Tasos Isaac, 24, from Paralimni, by Turkish extremists in Sunday's anti-occupation rally.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of its occupation troops from this east Mediterranean island.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1445:CYPPRESS:10

    [10] UN top envoy concludes meetings

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- A UN top envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, discussed today the recent unrest on the island with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, UNFICYP spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski has told CNA.

    He said Feissel, UN Secretary-General's Resident Representative in Cyprus, held separate meetings today with Clerides and Denktash, in the aftermath of the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish troops during anti-occupation rallies.

    ''The meetings were a follow up of UN Secretary-General's appeal to avert unauthorised entry into the UN buffer zone and last Sunday's and yesterday's demonstrations in the buffer zone,'' Rokoszewski said.

    In a statement on Saturday, UN Chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali expressed ''concern'' about plans by Greek Cypriot demonstrators to violate the cease-fire lines and the buffer zone and called on the government of Cyprus ''to take effective measures to prevent any unauthorised entry into the UN buffer zone.''

    The government acknowledged that it was wrong for demonstrators to break into the buffer zone but pointed out it was twice as wrong to shoot unarmed demonstrators in the buffer zone.

    The UN spokesman noted that ''other topics were on the agenda of today's talks'' but refrained from further comment.

    Asked to comment on today's illegal visit to Turkish occupied Cyprus by Turkey's Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller, the spokesman restricted in saying that ''the UN would welcome every effort to calm the situation on the island.''

    Ciller's office in Ankara announced earlier today she would visit the occupied areas of Cyprus this afternoon. The announcement comes only a day after Greek Premier Costas Simitis announced his one-day visit to Cyprus on Saturday to review the situation on the island.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of this east Mediterranean island's territory since 1974, in violation of numerous UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1520:CYPPRESS:11

    [11] Greek President ''enraged and indignant'' at killings

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos has expressed ''rage and indignation'' at the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish occupation troops in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    Speaking from the Greek island of Paros, Stephanopoulos said the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish-occupied Cyprus is ''one of armed murderous violence.''

    ''Two young men, who sacrificed their lives to protest the continuing Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus by Turkish occupation troops, were murdered,'' Stephanopoulos was quoted by the Athens News Agency (ANA) as saying.

    The Greek Premier has criticised UN's inability to ''implement its decisions'' and said international organisations fail to come out with the truth and are more concerned about maintaining equal distance from different sides.

    He also said he shared the grief and the rage of the entire Greek nation and expressed the hope that there would not be any escalation of tension.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1630:CYPPRESS:12

    [12] Turks release two abducted men

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The Turkish occupation regime released today two young men, who were detained on Monday when they mistakenly strayed into the occupied part of the island.

    Both men, 24-year-old Greek Cypriot Kyriacos Hadjidimou and 17-year-old Greek national Christos Zaharopoulos drove back to the government-controlled areas of the Republic in their car, escorted by officers of the UN peace-keeping force.

    Neither of them made any statement to the press and both looked in good health.

    Hajdidimou said he did not wish to say anything to the press because he ''had had enough in the past few days.''

    They were met at the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia by family members and Greek embassy officials.

    The two men were on a road to Turkish-occupied Famagusta, through one of the two British bases on the island, Dhekelia, on the southeastern part of Cyprus, when the Turkish soldiers abducted them.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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