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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-08-14

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus marks on Thursday the 34th anniversary of Turkey`s second offensive against the island, in the summer of 1974, which resulted in the occupation of its northern third.

    It was 14 August 1974 when Ankara`s representatives to the Geneva peace talks refused to give the Greek Cypriot representative time to consider their proposals and effectively presented Glafcos Clerides, former President of the Republic, with an ultimatum.

    Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974, five days after the legal government of the late Archbishop Makarios III was toppled by a military coup, engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece.

    Two unproductive conferences in Geneva followed; the first between Britain, Greece and Turkey (the Republics three guarantor powers) and the second included representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

    Three weeks after a ceasefire was declared on 22 July 1974 and despite the fact that talks were still underway and just as agreement seemed about to be reached, the Turkish army mounted a second full-scale offensive.

    As a result, Turkey increased its hold to include the booming tourist resort of Famagusta in the east and the rich citrus-growing area of Morphou in the west. All in all almost 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish military occupation.

    Nearly one third of the population, some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, were forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties, thousands were killed during the hostilities, over 1,000 persons were listed as missing while thousands of Greek Cypriots and Maronites remained enclaved.

    In the years that followed the Turkish invasion, the government of Cyprus took Turkey to the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, accusing it of human rights violations. The Court found Ankara guilty of mass violations of human rights in Cyprus and said by virtue of the massive presence of its troops it exercises effective control in the areas it occupies and is therefore accountable for what happens in this part of the country.

    Over the years, a number of unsuccessful rounds of peace talks had been launched under the auspices of the United Nations to find a settlement. These efforts were short lived as they stumbled on the Turkish Cypriot sides insistence to gain recognition for the illegal regime it set up in November 1983. Only Turkey has recognised this regime which the UN Security Council has branded as ``legally invalid``.

    Ankara has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for respect of the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. Furthermore it has failed to comply with repeated UN calls for the immediate withdrawal of its occupation troops.

    Last month, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed to begin full-fledged negotiations on 3 September, under the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.

    The aim, they said, is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

    The agreed solution, they added, will be put to separate simultaneous referenda.

    In recent remarks, President Christofias reiterated that the key to a solution is in the hands of Turkey and a settlement depends largely on Ankaras will. The President has stressed that the Greek Cypriot side would do its utmost to create the conditions for a solution.


    As the relatives of victims of the worst air disaster in Cyprus and Greece mourn their loved ones, on the third anniversary of the tragedy, the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus has vowed that there will be no cover up. A memorial service was held at the chapel of Panagia Eleftherotria and Agia Paraskevi at Mosfiloti village on Thursday, which is dedicated to the memory of the 121 persons who lost their lives on 14 August 2005, when an Helios Airways Boeing 737 aircraft, on its way to Prague via Athens, crashed into Grammatikos mountain side, north of the Greek capital, Athens.. Most of the dead were Cypriot holidaymakers. The relatives repeated their demand that those responsible for the tragedy must be brought to justice and said that all measures necessary must be taken to avert a similar disaster.

    Communications and Works Minister Nicos Nicolaides, who represented the government at the memorial service, said today is a sad day as Cyprus mourns 121 people who perished in the Grammatikos air tragedy. The memories and pain are still fresh for the relatives of the victims and the only thing we can do is to share their grief and give them courage as they go on with their lives, he said, adding what remains to be done is for justice to take its course, as soon as possible. He told reporters that no concessions will be made as far as safety issues are concerned, adding that flight safety must always be diligently observed.

    A similar memorial service was held at a chapel erected at the site of the air tragedy. Relatives of the victims traveled to Grammatikos to lay a wreath or flowers for their loved ones. Three years have gone by and we are still at the same site, at this open grave for our 121 people who lost their lives in vain, Nicolas Yasoumis, President of the Relatives Committee told CNA. He said that three years later thoughts turn not only to those who were killed but also to those who are responsible for their death and the relatives demand justice and punishment.


    Inflation in Cyprus showed in July an increase, reaching 5.3% compared to 5.2% in June. According to Eurostat, the annual inflation in the Euro area was 4.0% in July unchanged, compared to June 2008. A year earlier the rate was 1.8%.

    EU annual inflation was 4.4% in July 2008 up from 4.3% in June. A year earlier the rate was 2.0%. In Greece, inflation reached in July 4.9%, unchanged compared to June. Inflation in Cyprus was 4.6% in May and 4.3% in April.

    The highest inflation rate was in Latvia (16.5%), Bulgaria (14.4%) and Lithuania (12.4%), which are non eurozone member states, while the Netherlands had the best performance with 3%, followed by Portugal with 3.1% and Germany 3.5%.


    Cypriot athlete in shooting, Andri Eleftheriou, has secured the seventh position in the overall ranking of women skeet at the Beijing Olympic Games. The 24 - year old Cypriot athlete, who was competing against 19 shooters, came seventh with a score 67/75. According to the correspondent of the Cyprus Union of Sports Writers Petros Hadjichristodoulou, who is covering the Olympic Games in Beijing, this is the greatest success Cyprus has achieved in the Olympic Games since its participation in the Games in 1980.

    World skeet leader, Cypriot George Achilleos will make his third effort for an Olympic medal in mens skeet on Friday. Achilleos secured the gold medal in the ISSF World Cup Final in Belgrade, Serbia last year. Achilleos is considered a candidate for the gold medal in skeet.

    A second Cypriot athlete in skeet, Antonis Nicolaides will compete on Friday as well. The 41 year old athlete represents Cyprus for the fourth time at the Olympic Games. Meanwhile, three Cypriots, Kyriakos Ioannou (high jump), Anna Fitidou (pole vault) and Alissa Kallinikou (400m) will try to give their best at the athletics, which will begin tomorrow as well.

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