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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Number of voters announced
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Turkish Cypriots allege ill-treatment by Cyprus police
  • [04] Britain dismisses Turkish Cypriot claims on visas
  • [05] Political leaders foresee hard times ahead
  • [06] Greece urges Turkey to meet EU terms

  • 1445:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Number of voters announced

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- A total of 446.731 people will cast their vote in the February 8 presidential elections, it was officially announced today.

    After an amendment to the Constitution in November to lower the voting age by three years, 25.402 18-year-olds will be able to vote in the elections for the first time.

    Most voters live in the Nicosia district, 183.699, followed by Limassol, 126.310, Larnaca, 73.931, Paphos, 39.114 and the government controlled areas of Famagusta district, 23.677.

    Kyrenia district and most of Famagusta district have been under Turkish occupation since 1974 when its troops invaded Cyprus.

    In this year's seventh presidential elections since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, there is an equal number of candidates contesting the elections.

    Over 1000 polling stations will operate in the five districts.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1600:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.39 (+0.10)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  89.94 (+0.16)
    Approved Investment Companies          59.04 (-1.06)
    Insurance Companies                    56.29 (+0.29)
    Industrial Companies                   74.11 (+0.30)
    Tourist Industries                     60.06 (-0.10)
    Commercial Companies                   38.79 (-0.21)
    Other Companies                        64.17 (-0.28)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 524392.084
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1725:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Turkish Cypriots allege ill-treatment by Cyprus police

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- The European Commission of Human Rights has accepted as "admissible" applications by nine Turkish Cypriots alleging they were ill-treated by the Cyprus police and then expelled to the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    The Cyprus government denies the allegations, and argues that the applicants crossed into the occupied areas on their own free will and were forced to sign applications to the Commission by the illegal Turkish Cypriot police or soldiers.

    The Commission will now consider the merits of the applications and will try to secure a friendly settlement.

    If a settlement is not reached either the Commission, the Cyprus government or the applicants may refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

    The nine Turkish Cypriots allege that in April 1994 they were detained, ill-treated and expelled to the occupied areas and were threatened to be killed if they returned.

    They also blame the government for the killing of the son of one of the applicants, who was shot on his return to the government-controlled areas in June the same year.

    The Cyprus government says the applicants were beaten by Turkish soldiers and/or the illegal Turkish Cypriot police and then forced to sign applications to the Commission and submit statements according to which they had been expelled and ill-treated by the police of the Republic of Cyprus.

    It describes the applications as manifestly ill-founded and notes that the Turkish Cypriots had not exhausted all domestic remedies before applying to the Commission.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops invaded the island in 1974, occupying 37 percent of its territory.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1755:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Britain dismisses Turkish Cypriot claims on visas

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- Britain's decision requiring Turkish Cypriots to secure entry visas for the UK in Nicosia is not a step towards recognition of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime, a spokesman for the British High Commission said here today.

    Asked by CNA if the decision could imply British recognition of the regime, as suggested by Turkish Cypriot politicians, Piers Cazalet said "absolutely not at all."

    "This is a change of procedure whereby Turkish Cypriots now have to seek entry clearance in Nicosia, rather than at their point of entry in Heathrow or other British airport," Cazalet explained.

    The decision "was taken purely on immigration grounds. It is not politically motivated whatsoever", he stressed.

    "A change of procedures cannot be seem as a step toward recognition. We do not recognise the 'TRNC' (so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), we do not recognise the documents they call 'passports' as passports, we only accept them as proof of identity", Cazalet added.

    He said in the past two years Britain "has had about 1,000 Turkish Cypriots who applied for political asylum. This puts an enormous financial and administrative burden on the British government which we can no longer bear."

    He reassured that "Turkish Cypriots who have genuine reason for travelling to the UK, they have nothing to fear, in fact their entry to the UK will be made a lot easier" because they will not have to go through the procedures.

    "They get prior clearance in Nicosia and then they travel", Cazalet said.

    Replying to questions, Cazalet said British immigration officials have no way of knowing whether Turkish Cypriots seeking entry into Britain are not illegal Turkish settlers, who flooded the island's occupied areas.

    "We look at the documents they are holding, whether they are holding Turkish Cypriot travel documents, which we do not accept as a passport, just as proof of identity to travel, or whether they are holding Turkish passports", he added.

    This measure, he said, "effectively brings Turkish Cypriots into line with Turkish passport holders".

    Britain, he added, explained to Denktash and to other Turkish Cypriots the reason behind the decision.

    Commenting on statements by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, that there will be no more intercommunal talks, the British diplomat replied "we say that we fully support the search for a political settlement under the UN auspices".

    Cyprus has been divided by Turkey since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Turkish Cypriots set up a self-styled regime in Cyprus' occupied areas in November 1983, recognised only by Ankara.

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Political leaders foresee hard times ahead

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today briefed political party leaders on the latest developments in efforts to solve the protracted Cyprus problem and promote the Republic's European Union accession course.

    The President had separate meetings with the party leaders in the presence of Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    All party leaders stressed that the period after February's presidential elections is important for efforts to settle the Cyprus question and said the island's leadership should meet to discuss how to handle issues that may arise.

    Some party leaders pointed to the difficulties that lay ahead due to the lack of pressure on the Turkish side to cooperate for a settlement in Cyprus.

    Others stressed the need to find a formula for Turkish Cypriot participation in the European Union (EU) accession talks with Cyprus, scheduled to begin in April.

    Ruling right-wing (DISY) president, Nicos Anastasiades, said the Greek- Cypriot side cannot reject an initiative for a Cyprus settlement and said it should be prepared to defend its rights.

    On EU accession talks, he pointed to statements by the British presidency that they will begin whether Turkish Cypriots participate or not.

    Leader of left-wing (AKEL) main opposition party, Dimitris Christofias, said the impasse in the Cyprus problem will remain unless the US, the EU and other interested parties pressure Turkey to change its positions.

    He welcomed Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU talks, provided there is no recognition of the illegal regime unilaterally established in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since it invaded in 1974.

    Centre-right (DIKO) president, Spyros Kyprianou, agreed that there are no signs the Turkish side has moved from its intransigent positions and thus sees no prospects for progress.

    He described the period ahead as difficult and dangerous and said that after the elections the party leaders should decide on a new strategy to tackle the situation.

    Socialist party (EDEK) leader, Vasos Lyssarides, said a decision on Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession talks should be taken, and stressed he would not accept a formula that would give the impression they comprise a separate entity.

    Lyssarides met Clerides yesterday because he was leaving for Athens today.

    Leader of United Democrats party and former president, George Vasiliou, stressed the urgent need for a Cyprus settlement because time is working against a solution.

    He also said that the Greek-Cypriot side should take decisions on Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks and on ways to handle Ankara's aggressive policy.

    Nicos Rolandis, of the Liberal Party, said the government and the two communities on the island should be prepared to face the new initiative to settle the Cyprus problem.

    He added that if Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession talks is sorted out, this would in turn solve one of the main aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    Leader of conservative New Horizons party, Nicos Koutsou, stressed the need for collective decisions on the main issues of the Cyprus question which will determine the island's future.

    Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, stepped up their intransigent positions on the Cyprus issue after an EU summit decision, taken in Luxembourg in December, to open talks with the Cyprus Republic in April.

    They have threatened with partial integration of the occupied areas into Turkey and already agreed on the participation of Turkish Cypriots in Turkish delegations abroad.

    Denktash has also stated he will not participate in UN-led peace talks, unless the illegal entity established in the occupied parts in 1983 takes part on an equal footing with the internationally recognised government of Cyprus.

    President Clerides and Denktash participate in negotiations as leaders of the island's two communities.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1925:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Greece urges Turkey to meet EU terms

    By Costas Iordanides

    Athens, Jan 21 (CNA) -- The Greek government reiterated that it would welcome Turkey's participation in the European Conference provided Ankara clarifies whether or not it accepts the conditions set by the European Union.

    Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, told a press conference Turkey has already integrated the areas it occupies in Cyprus, forcing Turkish Cypriots to migrate.

    "We also want Turkey's participation in the European Conference in March, provided that it satisfies the conditions set during the Luxembourg summit," he said.

    In December, the European Council included the improvement of human rights standards in Turkey, the establishment of stable relations with Greece and its support of negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, among the conditions for strengthening Turkey's links with the EU.

    At the same time, the EU decided to invite Turkey to the European Conference to be held in London, in March.

    Pangalos said he does not expect Turkey to force the Turkish Cypriot side to solve the Cyprus problem before the March meeting.

    "But we expect Turkey to express the political position that negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem should take place and that all parties should participate in good will," he said.

    Since the Luxembourg decision, Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash stepped up their intransigence.

    Denktash has threatened not to participate in peace talks unless the illegal entity set up in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus is recognised.

    Pangalos pointed out that Ankara and Denktash have always sought recognition of the pseudostate, unilaterally established in 1983, but recognised only by Turkey.

    Invited to comment on Turkish threats to partially integrate the areas of Cyprus it occupies since it invaded in 1974, Pangalos said "this has already been done, forcing Turkish Cypriots to leave."

    The Greek Foreign Minister noted that Turkish Cypriots make up only about 40 percent of the population in the occupied areas and Turkish settlers the remaining 60 percent.

    Pangalos said the impression he formed after a meeting with US State Department coordinator for Cyprus, Tom Miller, is that there are no "encouraging new elements" for a Cyprus settlement.

    Miller met the Greek Foreign Minister in Athens on Monday, after meetings with the Turkish government in Ankara.

    However, Pangalos said the US official reassured him that American interest in a Cyprus settlement will continue.

    CNA KI/MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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