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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-13

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU brings G/C and T/C women together
  • [02] British concerns over Turkish Cypriot asylum seekers
  • [03] International "Women and Sport" forum in Cyprus

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] EU brings G/C and T/C women together

    by Maria Myles

    Brussels, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The European Union is bringing Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women together in Brussels to discuss matters of mutual interest and exchange views with Israeli and Palestinian women, already involved in a cooperation programme through the EU.

    Some 20 Greek Cypriot and 20 Turkish Cypriot women will meet here from 17-19 April under the umbrella of AIM (Action In the Mediterranean), the group's President Simone Susskind told CNA in an interview.

    "A smaller group of three women from each community will meet tomorrow (March 14) in Jerusalem, Israel, to prepare the agenda for the April meeting", she explained.

    The six Cypriot women will meet with Israeli and Palestinian women involved in the EU-sponsored scheme, entitled "Jerusalem Link" to be informed about their experience in this field, Susskind said.

    The "Jerusalem Link" acts as a common coordinating committee between Israeli and Palestinian women working on both sides of the divide in Jerusalem through their own separate groups.

    "The idea is to help women get together, work within their own communities but also work together", the AIM President explained.

    The April meeting in Brussels will be opened by EU Commissioner for External Affairs and Enlargement Hans Van den Broek.

    UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, is also expected to be here to address the meeting in April.

    Greek Cypriot MP Kate Clerides, daughter of Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, is one of the three women, who will be attending the Jerusalem meeting tomorrow.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [02] British concerns over Turkish Cypriot asylum seekers

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Britain has admonished the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime over a sharp rise in the numbers of Turkish Cypriots seeking political asylum in that country, using so-called Turkish Cypriot "passports".

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press, British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, complained last Tuesday to occupation regime leader, Rauf Denktash, that if the numbers of asylum seekers are not curbed, then Britain may require visas from citizens travelling from the occupied areas to the UK.

    Spokesman for the British High Commission in Cyprus, Piers Cazalet, told CNA today the rise in numbers has been significant enough to warrant action on the part of the High Commissioner.

    "It's a problem for us insofar as we have asylum seekers who are probably bogus, and in fact the courts in Britain have not accepted a single asylum claim from (the occupied areas)," Cazalet said.

    The Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Ortam" reported a total of 303 Turkish Cypriots holding the invalid passports have applied for asylum in the past three months.

    Among the applicants are many mainland Turks, who have settled illegally in the occupied areas. The pseudo-passports are "a little too freely available", Cazalet said, prompting Turkish Cypriots to pitch in bids for asylum and tying up British courts with legal wranglings that can drag on for years.

    Each case for asylum is thoroughly scrutinised by British law requiring "a really long time" to investigate, Cazalet said.

    The High Commission spokesman added Britain only accepts the pseudo- passports as proof of identity for travel. Cazalet speculates the reason for the increase in Turkish Cypriot claims is part of a general world-wide problem where people from poorer parts of the world come to settle in richer countries like Britain "clearly for economic purposes".

    "Whether that's the case with people coming from the (Turkish occupied areas), I don't know, but that would be my guess," he said.

    Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared their own breakaway state in 1983, nine years after Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island.

    The illegal entity has been internationally condemned and is recognised only by Turkey.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [03] International "Women and Sport" forum in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Around 120 women from all over Europe will participate in the second "Women and Sport" Conference, organised by the Cyprus Sport Organisation to encourage women to play a more active role in the sporting life.

    The conference, set to begin March 22, coincides with the convening of the European Women Sports Group (WSG) Executive Committee meeting, hosted this year by Cyprus.

    President of the "Women and Sport" Conference Organising Committee, Iro Mitsidou, said the event was organised at this time to take advantage of the WSG meeting, "so we can give Cypriot women the opportunity to hear first hand what the European Women Sports Group has to say".

    "We call on women involved in sports to participate in the conference not only to enrich their knowledge, but send the right messages regarding the role women should play in the highest levels of sport organisations," Mitsidou added.

    Among the guests speaking at the "Women in Sport" conference will be the head of the sports department of the British Athletics Organisation, Sallie Barker, who will expand on gender equality issues in her country and Inge Berndt, who will speak on rythmic gymnastics in Germany.

    Other women speakers will come from Finland, Greece and Sweden.

    WSG Secretary, Rosemarie Nicolakopoulou, will elaborate on her group's mission.

    The WSG is a coordinating committee of women's sports organisations in Europe with representatives from 23 European countries.

    Its eight-member Executive Committee, presently presided over by Greece for a two-year term, will meet here later this month.

    CNA MH/GP/1997
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