Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Environmental Issues in Greece Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Wednesday, 29 November 2023
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Occupied areas lair of illegal gambling
  • [02] Italian FM repeats unacceptable positions
  • [03] Archbishop Chrysostomos begins US tour
  • [04] Vatican honours Cypriot diplomat
  • [05] July arrivals in Cyprus
  • [06] Central Bank to issue Develpment Stock
  • [07] WHO regional meeting opens
  • [08] "Nikiforos '97" to take place, says Defence Minister
  • [09] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 0830:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Occupied areas lair of illegal gambling

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) -- In a bid to fill the coffers of a bankrupt regime and line the pockets of the ruling elite, occupation authorities are now trying to pass the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus off as the mecca of gambling in the southeastern Mediterranean.

    The one hitch with the grand vision of transforming a backward and isolated pseudo-state shunned by the rest of the world into a Mediterranean Las Vegas is that it is all illegal.

    Pressured by Turkey's previous Islamic-led government of ousted Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, Turkish casino lords recently invaded occupied Cyprus to set up dozens of casinos in cahoots with the occupation regime.

    Turkish authorities themselves believe that many of these casinos are mere window dressing for the Turkish mafia to launder money from international drug trafficking.

    The jewel of the 18 casinos now operating in the occupied areas is the "Jasmine Court Casino" located in the graphic northern sea-side occupied town of Kyrenia.

    The "Jasmine", opened in 1993 at the cost of 10 million US dollars, is a 5,000 square-metre complex of gambling excess with 500 slot machines, 30 roulette tables and a staff over 100 and can reportedly accommodate up to 2, 000 gamblers at one time.

    The casino is touted to be the largest in the world next to those in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo.

    The man who invested heavily in the "Jasmine Court Casino" was Omer Lutfu Topal, the so-called king of Turkey's casinos, who owned 20 of Turkey's 100 operating casinos.

    Topal, who once served five years in a Turkish jail for trafficking drugs to the US, was killed in Constantinople (Istabul) more than a year ago by an of assassin's bullet.

    The Turkish press reported that the fingerprints found on the silencer of the gun used to kill Topal belonged to Abdullah Gatli, an underworld kingpin on the run from Turkish police, who was also an assassin for the Turkish extremist "Grey Wolves" organisation.

    Gatli was himself killed along with a top Turkish police officer, a Turkish deputy and a fashion model in a November, 1996 car crash. All four were passengers in the same car.

    The discovery of underworld figures rubbing elbows with politicians and the country's top cops touched off a huge storm of protest in Turkey.

    The entire country is still reeling from the revelation of just how deep corruption seeped into the highest echelons of Turkey's political leadership.

    "Grey Wolves" members were responsible for the death in August last year of Tassos Isaac, an unarmed Greek Cypriot demonstrator beaten to death in the UN-controlled buffer zone near the occupied ghost-town of Famagusta.

    It seems the blood of many a Turkish mafia don stains the casinos' ill- gotten gains. Oner Kaan, who managed a casino in Famagusta, was decapitated when his Range Rover careered off a road five years ago in the occupied areas.

    Turkish Cypriot authorities said Kaan's death was an accident, but never recovered his head from the scene. It was widely rumoured the disappearance of Kaan's head was no lapse in basic investigative procedures - it was never found because it had a bullet in it.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash insists that the casinos are a necessary means of securing valuable foreign exchange and boosting the tourism industry which, according to him, is the only source of income for his floundering economy.

    Things are so bad for the 160,000 downtrodden people, including thousands of Turkish colonist settlers, living in the occupied north that their annual per capita income is four times lower than that in the government-controlled areas.

    Denktash maintains, however, that strict controls on casinos will repel the importation from Turkey of the social ills brought on by gambling.

    In fact, Turkish Cypriots are not permitted to enter the casinos, but that is all about to change. So-called legislation to be introduced soon by the occupation regime will allow Turkish Cypriots over the age of 25 who have paid "taxes" of 75 Cyprus pounds (approx. 150 US dollars) in the past six months to enter the casinos freely.

    Meanwhile, more casinos are expected to be up and running soon. Three more casinos have been granted operating licenses, while seven applications are pending. Opening a casino in the occupied areas is not altogether that difficult, since licenses can be obtained for as little as 50,000 US dollars.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press, of the 18 casinos now operating in the occupied areas, 11 operate in Kyrenia, five in Famagusta and two in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    But, more casinos may not be Denktash's panacea for his suffering economy. His breakaway entity, unilaterally declared in 1983 and condemned by repeated UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, is recognised by no country other than Turkey.

    As a result, gamblers from Europe and elsewhere have shied away, since entry into the occupied areas either by air or sea is illegal.

    Casinos rely mainly on package tour business from Turkey and on high rollers within the senior ranks of the 35,000-strong occupation army maintained by Turkey in the island's northern part.

    Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and has since occupied 37 percent of the island's territory, forcibly uprooting some 200,000 Greek Cypriots (one third of the island's population) from their homes and properties. CNA/MH/GP/1997


    [02] Italian FM repeats unacceptable positions

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Sep 9 (CNA) -- Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini has once again provocatively said there are "two governments, two entities and borderlines" in Cyprus.

    Dini was speaking to the press Monday during his visit to Washington and prior to a meeting with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    Asked by a Turkish journalist if the part of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of the island needs to be recognised as an "independent state", Dini replied he had never said such a thing.

    "But I think it has to be recognised that there are two entities in Cyprus," noting "if there were not two entities there would not be negotiations... for a federated state. This is the point I made," the Italian Minister added.

    Asked to say whether the "two entities are equal", the head of the Italian diplomacy said "no, I wouldn't say equal entities. There are two entities. They exist, they co-exist. There are borderlines and two different governments and that is a state of fact."

    Dini also noted that a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem "has been tried in different ways, including all the efforts of the UN since 1974" and expressed hope that talks "could be resumed some time soon."

    Concluding his statements, the Italian Foreign Minister described as reasonable the long-proposed solution for a bicommunal federation in Cyprus, for the benefit of all.

    "It seemed to us that the federated state, that a communal, a bicommunal thing, the way it is proposed, had long been proposed by the UN, seems to be a reasonable solution to which to work on the part of everybody."

    The governments of Cyprus and Greece strongly protested statements by Dini in Rome last month, after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, that "there are two republics, two governments and two entities in Cyprus".

    Repeated statements by both the Prime Minister of Italy, Romano Prodi and the country's Foreign Ministry said Dini's statements were misrepresented by the media and assured that Italy recognises only the Republic of Cyprus and that a Cyprus solution should be based on UN resolutions.

    Only Turkey recognises the illegal regime, unilaterally set up in November 1983, and the UN itself has called on all states not to recognise the self-styled entity and "not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity."

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997

    [03] Archbishop Chrysostomos begins US tour

    by James Delihas

    New York, Sep 9 (CNA) -- The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos has begun a visit to the United States determined to plead the Cyprus cause in every quarter possible.

    Over the next couple of weeks he is scheduled to meet with American dignitaries in New York, Washington and Boston and will attend a dinner honouring prominent Greek-American leaders. President Glafcos Clerides is expected to attend the dinner.

    The Archbishop will also consecrate a Greek Orthodox chapel devoted to Ayios Themonianos in Houston, Texas.

    The chapel, built by the US philanthropist and art collector Dominique De Menil, is a replica of the church of Ayios Themonianos located in the Turkish-occupied village of Lysi.

    The Houston chapel will house two priceless 13th-century mosaics stolen from the Lysi church in 1979 by Turkish art smugglers for the purpose of selling them on the international black market.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos, who arrived here over the weekend, conducted Sunday services at the Church of Saint Demetrios, in Astoria, the largest and oldest church of the Greek and Cypriot American community in the United States.

    Yesterday the Archbishop had a private meeting with Archbishop Spyridon, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America.

    He will also be the guest of honour at a reception to be given by Archbishop Spyridon this Wednesday.

    On Wednesday, Archbishop Chrysostomos will also meet privately with Richard Holbrooke, President Clinton's emissary on Cyprus.

    This will be the first of a series of meetings planned with American officials that include government and Congress leaders, in Washington.

    Later this week, the Archbishop will discuss the Cyprus problem with the leadership of the American Jewish Congress and the organization's Chief Rabbi.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos said one major purpose of his visit is to draw greater attention to the continuing human rights violations in Cyprus, the plight of the enclaved in the Karpass peninsula and the desperate situation in the occupied north, where churches continue to be desecrated and Cyprus' cultural heritage is being obliterated day after day.

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

    CNA JD/AP/GP/1997

    [04] Vatican honours Cypriot diplomat

    Washington, Sep 9 (CNA) -- The Holy See has honoured the Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States, Andros Nicolaides, with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, civil division.

    The distinction was awarded to ambassador Nicolaides on behalf of Pope John Paul II by then Apostolic Pro-Nuncio of the Holy See to the US, His Excellency the Most Reverend Agostino Cacciavillan.

    The ceremony took place at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington DC, last Saturday.

    Cacciavillan explained that the Pontiff had decided to honour the Cypriot diplomat for his contribution in further strengthening the relations between the Vatican and Cyprus during his tenure as Cyprus' envoy to the Holy See in 1995-1996.

    The Order of St. Gregory the Great is "bestowed on persons who distinguish themselves for conspicuous virtue and notable accomplishment on behalf of the Church and society, regardless of their religious belief."

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997

    [05] July arrivals in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) -- Arrivals in Cyprus, including same day visitors in July 1997 reached 337.000, compared to 312.000 in July 1996, an increase by 7,9 per cent.

    According to official statistics, 64,4 per cent of the visitors came from European Union member countries, and another 18,8 per cent from the rest of Europe.

    The UK ranks first on the list of origin-states with 31,5 per cent, followed by Greece with 10,9 per cent, Israel with 8,2 per cent, Russia with 7,8 per cent and Germany with 7,1 per cent.

    Tourist arrivals in July reached 276.000. Of these, 38,5 per cent came from the UK, 12,1 from Russia, 9,4 from Germany and 5 from Switzerland.

    In the same month, 49.000 Cypriots returned from their trips abroad. About 46 per cent visited Greece, 11,9 per cent the UK, and 6,2 per cent Israel.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [06] Central Bank to issue Develpment Stock

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) --The Central Bank of Cyprus is to issue Government Registered Development Stock of up to 4 million Cyprus pounds with maturity in three years, and an interest rate of 6,75 per cent per annum, payable six-monthly (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,88 US dollars).

    Interest earned from the Stocks is exempted from income tax.

    According to a Central Bank press release, the aim of the new stock issue is to encourage savings and raise funds for financing government development projects.

    Applications for the issue will be accepted between September 9-16.

    Meanwhile, the Bank announced that it will be offering by auction on a bid-price basis, Government Registered Development Stock of up to 26 million pounds of 7 per cent.

    The date of issue of the Stocks will be September 16, 1997 with repayment of the stock at par in five years.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [07] WHO regional meeting opens

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) -- Delegates from 10 countries in the region and officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) gathered in Cyprus to attend a three-day WHO regional meeting which got underway here Tuesday.

    Opening the first three-day meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborating Centres, held in the capital, Nicosia, WHO regional director Dr. Hussein Gezairy emphasised the great concern WHO has shown during the past five years for its relationship with the network of collaborating centres.

    He said since the 1949 2nd World Health Assembly, WHO's policy is not to establish under its own auspices international research institutions, but assist and make use of the activities of existing national institutions which are then designated as collaborating centres.

    Dr. Gezairy pointed out the problems in the relations between WHO headquarters and these centres resulting in the termination of their designation, noting that WHO "is currently reviewing the various aspects of collaborating centres" in response to the 50th World Health Assembly, of May 1997.

    An Assembly resolution had set out directives of efforts to be made to create the broadest possible network of "partners for health", in order to make full use of all the skills available at country and regional levels, if global health leadership could be exerted in the 21st century.

    The WHO regional director said the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office had taken the initiative of calling this meeting to listen to "the directors of active collaborating members."

    Dr. Gezairy told the participants that in the agenda they will find "that some important and pressing issues have been put forward for discussion in order to reach a consensus on the role of collaborating centres in health policy reform" and their role in the global research agenda.

    "The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and come up with policies and strategies for strengthening future cooperation between WHO and its collaborating centres," he concluded.

    Addressing the meeting, Cyprus Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Achilleas Padjinakos, described the achievements of local collaborating centres gaining international recognition.

    "It is an indication that a major problem in the area of health has been faced in an organised way, with good planning and correct strategies that lead to the control of an important public health sector," Padjinakos said.

    He pointed out, however, that "to be an international centre of excellence means added responsibility."

    Padjinakos referred to the good record Cyprus enjoys in education, training and the control of many diseases, such as the infectious ones, and the genetic prevention of hereditary disorders, such as b-thalassaemia, in Cyprus and the region.

    He also referred to the uniqueness of a WHO regional collaborating training centre for hospital technicians, also recognised by the Commonwealth "who have designated it as a Commonwealth Centre of Excellence, " he noted.

    Apart from WHO officials and Cypriot delegates, participants come from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [08] "Nikiforos '97" to take place, says Defence Minister

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) -- The annual National Guard military exercise codenamed "Nikiforos '97" will take place later this year as planned, in cooperation with Greece's Defence Ministry, Cyprus' Defence Minister Costas Eliades said here today.

    At the same time, he dismissed allegations about foreign interference, urging the Cyprus government to change its plans regarding the military manoeuvres.

    Replying to questions, the Minister said the government's unilateral decision, earlier this year, to suspend flights of Greek warplanes over Cyprus, has been lifted.

    To a question whether the moratorium on flights of Greek fighters over Cyprus has been lifted as well, Eliades clarified there had been no moratorium.

    He explained that the government decision provided that Greek fighters would not participate in the "Vergina" military exercise, in a bid to create a positive climate for the UN-sponsored direct peace talks, already held in July and August.

    The Defence Minister declined to comment on the date of "Nikiforos '97" and whether during this military exercise an air base, currently under construction near the western coastal town of Paphos, will be operationally used.

    Asked whether Greece's Defence Minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, will watch "Nikiforos '97", the Cypriot Minister said "we shall see..."

    Meanwhile in Athens, Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas, announced yesterday that Greek air force planes will take part in the National Guard exercise.

    "The exercise will take place with the participation of military forces as planned," Reppas said.

    Last Sunday, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides dismissed allegations that US ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, had conveyed him a message indicating that no Greek warplanes should take part in the Cypriot manoeuvres.

    CNA KK/AP/GP/1997

    [09] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    78.24 (+0.03)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  89.15 (+0.21)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.80 (+0.83)
    Insurance Companies                    56.48 (-0.37)
    Industrial Companies                   77.52 (-0.19)
    Tourist Industries                     65.80 (-0.59)
    Commercial Companies                   47.07 (-0.17)
    Other Companies                        59.55 (-0.93)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 623229.000
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MCH/1997
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    cna2html v1.04c run on Tuesday, 9 September 1997 - 12:15:43 UTC