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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-07-09

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 128/10 09.07.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat: Governance and power sharing is the source of the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Serdar Denktas says the community is heading towards annihilation
  • [03] Reaction to Koran lessons continue
  • [04] Kurdish houses raided by the occupation regime
  • [05] A new branch of the Turkish Airlines on the eve of the closure of Turkish Cyprus Airlines
  • [06] Cratos Premium hotel land allotted by TRNC
  • [07] Turkish Foreign Ministry to be restructured
  • [08] Turkish and Iranian Presidents meet in Nigeria
  • [09] Turkish and Iranian officials discuss new border gates and a joint industrial zone
  • [10] Reactions over the ruling of the constitutional court
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 8 July 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat: Governance and power sharing is the source of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, has said that heading a political party is not in his considerations, but he will continue to be involved in politics.

    In statements to Anatolia news agency in occupied Keryneia, Talat said that the Cyprus talks are proceeding very slowly and expressed the view that the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu should seriously put on the table his idea regarding the intensification of the talks, which he had expressed many times. He claimed that Eroglus advantage is the fact that he is face to face with a Greek Cypriot side, the tricks of which have surfaced and which is not in a hurry for a solution, as it has been proved by the Turkish Cypriot side. However, the lack of will is mutual of course, he added.

    Talat reiterated his opinion that resuming negotiations from the property issue was a great mistake and responded to the statement that before the so-called presidential elections he had agreed with President Christofias to continue the negotiations with the property issue. He, inter alia, said: () Such a thing is out of the question. We insisted on the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing to be concluded first. This is the reason for which we have conducted the intensified negotiations ().

    Talat alleged that continuing the negotiations with the property issue is wrong on two grounds: it is an issue that could very easily come to a deadlock, and most difficult to advance. Therefore, a serious mistake has been committed, he argued.

    Talat expressed the view that the main source of the Cyprus problem is governance and power sharing and that discussing the property issue before solving this matter is meaningless, because it is an anomaly created by the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the proposal made by Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu to the UN Secretary-General regarding a three-party meeting in New York in September, Talat said there is no meaning in presenting this proposal as if it were important because the Turkish side has always been submitting it and the Greek side has always been rejecting it.

    Talat also referred to the issue of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines (KTHY) and said that the National Unity Party (UBP) is exclusively responsible for developments. He said that removing the KTHY from the administration of the TRNC was a very serious political mistake and accused the UBP government of not taking any measures. If the trade unions march in the streets today and protest against Turkey, let no one be offended. The government is the one that created this situation, he said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Serdar Denktas says the community is heading towards annihilation

    Under the title, We must take urgent measures, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.10) reports on statements by Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), that the Turkish Cypriot community is heading towards annihilation and that urgent measures are needed to stop this.

    Responding to questions by Kibris in Istanbul yesterday, Denktas said that for many years the Turkish Cypriot people have somehow willingly been accustomed to the easy way of doing things and that they must start solving their own problems.

    He noted that the statements he made the day before yesterday caused great reaction and added that his intention was to warn the community. He described these statements as self-criticism and added that if he had not made them, he would have regretted it after six months. We are heading towards annihilation, he said adding that he warned everybody, including Ankara.

    Denktas noted that after these warnings, the problems should be discussed with a transparency, determine targets and prepare a road map to achieve them.

    He added: We do not have much time. When we reach a conclusion, we must convey this communal agreement to Ankara. We have to secure their support to this project. There is no other way. They are not our enemies. However, they should see that we are doing something. If we continue in this manner, our end will not be good.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Reaction to Koran lessons continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) has announced that the school inspectors are on strike until the conclusion of the summer courses on religion, or Koran lessons, as they are called. Speaking at a press conference, the chairman and general secretary of KTOS, Guven Varoglu and Sener Elcil respectively, said that every year the governments bring on the agenda the Koran lessons following instructions from the government in Turkey.

    Varoglu noted that these lessons are requested by people from Turkey who live in occupied Cyprus. He expressed the view that the actual aim is to change the main agenda of the country. He said that the duty of the inspectors is not to supervise the Koran lessons.

    Moreover, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.10), two associations of settlers from Turkey expressed their support to the Koran lessons. The paper reports that the association of settlers from Hatay area (Alexandretta) issued a statement yesterday noting that religious education is every citizens right. The president of the association, Huseyin Demirelisci criticized the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS), Adnan Eraslan for his stance against the Koran lessons.

    Moreover, the association of settlers from Konya protested against the trade unions which reacted to the Koran lessons. The president of the association, Huseyin Sancar expressed the view that the religious education offered by the Religious Affairs Department is in harmony with the values of the Turkish nation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Kurdish houses raided by the occupation regime

    Under the title, Police raid in the houses, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.07.10), in its front-page, reports that yesterday morning police raided at houses in occupied Rizokarpasso of Kurds originating from the East Anatolia part of Turkey.

    Hamza Guner, a Kurd living in the occupied areas, said to the paper that they used to see such kind of pressure during the previous term of UBP, noting that the raids and the pressure have suddenly reappeared. He also said the reasons given on the court documents were fabricated and called on the police to confess that the reason of the raids is that they are Kurds.

    (DPs)

    [05] A new branch of the Turkish Airlines on the eve of the closure of Turkish Cyprus Airlines

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.07.10), in its front-page under the title, The funeral oration for KTHY, a cake for THY, reports that while they buried the Turkish Cyprus Airlines (KTHY), they enjoyed the cake for the Turkish Airlines (THY).

    The Turkish Airlines office in the occupied Omorfita was inaugurated by Dervis Eroglu and Irsen Kucuk.

    THY carries out 19 flights per week between Istanbul Ercan (occupied airport of Tymvou).

    (DPs)

    [06] Cratos Premium hotel land allotted by TRNC

    Turkish daily Taraf newspaper (08.07.10) reports that Ismail Abidin, member of the board of directors of Cratos Premium hotel, replying to a question whether the fact that the hotel is built on Greek Cypriot property is a problem said: "It is said that the land is a Greek Cypriot property. But we were allotted the land by the TRNC for 49 years.

    Referring to the latest decisions of the EHCR regarding the property issue, he said: Our interlocutor here is the government. These kinds of problems are solved through interstate relations, the interlocutors are the states.

    (DPs)

    [07] Turkish Foreign Ministry to be restructured

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (07.07.10) reported from Ankara that the Turkish parliament approved a bill envisaging restructure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Accordingly, the ministry will consist of 25 directorates, including Directorates for Crisis Management, Policy Planning, and Global and Humanitarian Issues. Under the bill, Turkey will open new missions especially in African countries. The bill also envisages establishing a "Diplomatic Academy" for training of ministry personnel.

    Commenting on the bill, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the aim is to create a brand new diplomacy tradition. Turkey has a sound state tradition which includes a sound Foreign Ministry tradition. But it should be restructured in line with the changing international conjuncture, he said. Our vision is to form a zone of peace, stability and prosperity around Turkey. We want Turkey to become the guarantor of peace and stability in its region. We want to complete Turkey's accession into the European Union as soon as possible, he added.

    [08] Turkish and Iranian Presidents meet in Nigeria

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (08.07.10) reported from Abuja that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Thursday. Present at the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the D-8 summit in Abuja, were the Turkish State Minister and Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. Turkish President Gul is currently in Nigeria for the 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Developing-8 (D-8).

    [09] Turkish and Iranian officials discuss new border gates and a joint industrial zone

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (08.07.10) reported from Ankara that the Turkish State Minister Hayati Yazici and the Iranian President's Special Envoy Ali Aga Muhammedi met in Ankara yesterday to discuss new joint border gates between the two countries. According to A.A, Turkey has been holding talks with neighbouring countries to modernize and jointly build and operate new border gates.

    As it is reported, Yazici said that Turkish and Iranian officials have had meetings earlier for this purpose and signed an agreement to modernize two existing gates --Esendere and Dilucu-- and open a new one along the border. Yazici added that both countries expect to increase trade volume.

    On his part, Muhammedi said that Turkey and Iran agreed to build shopping centres and provide other facilities near these border gates. He added that a preferential trade agreement between the two countries will be signed during an upcoming visit by Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

    Furthermore, A.A. news agency (08.07.10) reported from Ankara that Turkey and Iran would soon construct a joint industrial zone in an eastern or southeastern Turkish province.

    Speaking after his meeting with Ali Agha Mohammadi, Turkey's Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun said technical delegations had been carrying out studies for the establishment of a joint industrial zone and that the governments were now trying to determine the location.

    [10] Reactions over the ruling of the constitutional court

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (09.07.10) reported the following:

    The Constitutional Courts partial annulment of a government-backed constitutional amendment package was met with mixed reactions by Turkeys political parties. While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) expressed hope about the results of a planned public referendum on the package, the opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) vowed to vote against the amendments in the referendum.

    I find the top court's decision extremely positive. The constitutional amendment package is pretty good even in its new form. I will (...) vote yes in the referendum, stated Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek.

    According to Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun, the top court overstepped its authority by examining the content of the reform package and rendering its verdict accordingly. He also urged Turkey's voters to cast a vote on the package on September 12.

    Suat Kilic, AK Party parliamentary group deputy chairman, said his party would concentrate efforts on securing yes votes for the referendum. All AK Party members will be with the public, once Parliament goes on summer vacation. They will travel to all cities and districts and will tell the public about the reform package's vision of democracy and freedom, he noted.

    CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, on the other hand, said his party plans to vote against the reform package. We are a political party that believes that the rulings of the Constitutional Court are binding [for the nation]. And we also believe that ongoing debates will make great contributions to our culture of democracy and law, he stated on Thursday as he addressed the participants of a CHP meeting in Ankara. Kilicdaroglu argued that the planned constitutional changes aimed to politicize the judiciary. We all know that a politicized judiciary would make the public pay a heavy price. A politicized judiciary would bleed the conscience of the public. That's why the CHP attaches importance to the separation of powers and the obstruction of efforts that would politicize the judiciary, he said.

    The CHP leader also expressed dissatisfaction about the Constitutional Court decision on the reform package but underlined that the court sought to protect the separation of powers and rule of law when making its decision. We need to underline strongly that the court made such a decision due to the package's nature against the constitutional articles that cannot be changed. We know that the decision did not satisfy us. We are still concerned that the professional guarantee for judges and the separation of powers are at stake, despite the court annulling the constitutional articles on these two issues, he added.

    Devlet Bahceli, head of the MHP, criticized the Constitutional Court for overstepping its authority on the constitutional amendment package. He added that his party would work to have the nation vote against the package in the referendum. According to the MHP leader, the court usurped the power of political bodies, which his party could never understand or appreciate. With the court decision, however, the Prime Minister will not act like a victim (of the Constitutional Court) in the referendum and will not manage to cheat the nation again, he remarked.

    For Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Yalcin Topcu, political parties should support the government's efforts to amend the Constitution. The existing Constitution was drafted under martial rule after the September 12, 1980 coup d'état. The Constitutional Court played with the balance' of the constitutional amendment package. We will vote for the package in the referendum. I expect other parties to do the same. The top court positioned itself above Parliament with its decision. But I am still happy to be able to hold a referendum on the reform package, he stated. Topcu also recalled a pledge by former CHP leader Deniz Baykal to vote yes for the reform package if the Constitutional Court annulled the package's articles on the planned changes to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the HSYK. The CHP should keep its pledge and vote for the package in the referendum, he added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 8 July 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 8 July 2010:

    a) Constitutional Court ruling on the amendment package:

    Arguing that the Constitutional Court, in reaching its ruling, has scrutinized the content of the amendments and not the manner in which they were approved in parliament, Okay Gonensin writing in Vatan, concedes that the reaction of the ruling party is understandable given the fact that the Constitutional Court decision was "political." However, He adds, this ruling has also removed all the "dark scenarios" from the agenda.

    Also in Vatan, Can Atakli writes that now that the Constitutional Court has reached its decision, it is up to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to decide whether it wants to hold early elections. He adds that the chances of the AKP coming to power as a single party are now diminished because the Constitutional Court ruling, though based on the need to find a 'middle way,' is actually a defeat for the AKP. If the AKP does not come to power as a single party then there is a strong possibility that it will have to account for its deeds, argues Atakli, adding that this is the reason why the AKP is now secretly working on a general amnesty bill.

    Assessing the Constitutional Court ruling Ismet Berkan in Radikal, underlines that the Court should not have the right to oversee the content of the amendments. The Courts duty to safeguard the Constitution, he adds, should be limited to the conformity of the amendments with the Constitution and should not become the guardian of the regime. Berkan welcomes the amendment increasing the number of members within the High Court of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and the Constitutional Court, and also approves annulment of the article on how those members are to be elected.

    The Constitutional Court surprised everyone and found a solution that will not increase the tension in the country, Murat Yetkin writes in Radikal, adding that while it chose to reject the Republican People's Party (CHP) request to annul the entire package, it also disregarded the AKP claim that it has no right to debate the issue. Had the Court accepted the CHP request, Erdogan would very probably have announced early elections, writes Yetkin. He adds that had the articles on the election of members to the HSYK and to the Constitutional Court been annulled in their entirety, then the possibility of early elections would again have been placed on the agenda. Referring to Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin's statement to the effect "there will be no elections but a referendum," Yetkin says that with this statement the government has signalled that it can digest the Court's decision as "the lesser of two evils." The writer concludes: "Therefore, the Constitutional Court took a decision that pleased no one, but it also refused to take part in escalating the political tension in the country; to a certain extent, it also reduced the tension within the judiciary."

    The Islamic Press is highly critical of the Constitutional Courts ruling to annul parts of the amendment package:

    Yeni Safak, under the front-page headline "Top Court thinks it is Parliament," accuses the Constitutional Court of violating the Constitution and usurping Parliament's legislative powers.

    Vakit lams the Constitutional Court for having "exceeded its authority" by adjudicating the Republican People's Party's (CHP) appeal against the constitutional amendment package on merits.

    Zaman in a front-page report says that while the top court "exceeded its authority", the package to be put to referendum in September still retains its "reform" status.

    Writing also in Zaman, Bulent Korucu asserts that although the Constitutional Court violated the limits of its authority, the fact that the package will be put to referendum as planned has blocked the possibility of "chaos".

    b) Election threshold:

    Assessing as a positive development the proposal made by CHP deputy leader Hakki Suha Okay to reduce the election threshold to 7%, Oktay Eksi writing in Hurriyet, recalls the constitutional article that amendments to election rules cannot be applicable in elections to be held within one year of the implementation of that amendment. Referring to the CHP proposal to enact a provisional law that will allow the amendment to be implemented, Eksi assesses the pros and cons of such provisional laws which, he claims, have a tendency to turn into permanent which the ruling party can use to advance its own interests.

    c) SP vs. AKP:

    Viewing the Felicity Party (SP) election platform, Sukru Kucuksahin in Hurriyet, argues that the SP and its leader Numan Kurtulmus will try to strike the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the coming elections, especially through foreign policy issues and its stand on Gaza. The article adds that talking to media representatives in Ankara prior to the party congress expected to convene next Sunday, Kurtulmus underlined that not even a single expectation with regards to the AKP policy of zero problems with neighbours has been met. Criticizing the government policy on the Gaza flotilla incident, Kurtulmus is reported to have said that the government has been pursuing a policy of high rhetoric and zero action and that none of its conditions has been fulfilled.

    d) Turkish-Israeli relations:

    Cengiz Candar in Hurriyet Daily News, responds to the frequently asked question whether Turkey is committing a political mistake by threatening to sever its relations with Israel in the event its conditions regarding the aid flotilla are not met. He underlines that Turkey cannot step back from the conditions put forth by Foreign Minister Davutoglu and has "no other choice but to cut off ties with Israel, even if this has a price tag."

    Viewing the conditions set by Turkey to amend its relations with Israel in article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand argues that Turkey has left no space for Israel to manoeuvre and points out that Turkey's real intention appears to be breaking off relations with Israel. This, he adds, would not be in Turkey's interests and calls on the government "to review its politics and start a new process that would allow Israel to exit." Birand goes on to explain how Turkey's deteriorating relations with Israel and consequently with the United States will affect its plans to eradicate terror.

    Assessing the ultimatum issued to Israel Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News, questions whether Turkey is prepared to burn all the bridges. He also questions recent remarks by Foreign Minister Davutoglu that Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman is not his counterpart and wonders what Davutoglu would do if Lieberman claimed that "his Turkish counterpart 'owing to his rhetoric and attitude' cannot be taken seriously."

    Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak in an article entitled "Might dim-witted Zionists pin their hopes on Ergenekon?" asserts that Israel is looking to the CHP, the Ergenekon network, the PKK, Masonic lodges, and certain business and media groups in Turkey to prevent a backlash from Turkey to its plans to attack Iran and Lebanon.

    Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal, in a n article entitled "Rift on Israel surfaces", comments on indications of a "rift" between "the politically powerful" Turkish military and the ruling AKP on "how to handle the crisis with Israel" caused by the recent flotilla incident.

    e) Akkuyu nuclear power station:

    According Cumhuriyet, the CHP has warned the government in connection with the agreement on the Akkuyu nuclear power plant that is expected to be discussed in parliament. Noting that the agreement on the plant was signed by the Russian Nuclear Energy State Corporation, Rosatom, on behalf of Russia and by the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry on behalf of Turkey, the CHP criticizes the fact that a corporation has been chosen as the counterpart of a ministry. The paper adds that the CHP criticizes the government for granting the land for the construction of the plant, for not being as regards nuclear waste, for not holding an international tender for the project, and for limiting the insurance agreements to only the construction phase of the plant.

    f) General Ilker Basbug's interview:

    In an article entitled "From the military to others: A dark alliance", Yeni Safak columnist, Ali Bayramoglu, criticizes Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug's messages in a recent interview with the Star television channel as an attempt to use "the environment of violence" created by the PKK's latest terrorist assaults as a means of enabling the Turkish military to reclaim its "political role" and "restore its prestige." He also cites an ongoing "discrediting" campaign against the ruling AKP conducted by the Jewish lobby in the United States among the factors that made it possible for Basbug to speak the way he did "like a political boss, issuing threats to other countries, accusing certain members of parliament of treason," etc.

    Criticizing what General Ilker Basbug had to say in his recent interview in an article in Taraf on July 7, Ahmet Altan wonders why he made the statements knowing well that he would receive harsh responses and also knowing well that he would be violating the law by interfering in the ongoing court cases. To be credible in his defence of an officer accused of being a JITEM (alleged intelligence unit within the Gendarmerie) member, the General has firstly to be truthful about the existence of JITEM, argues Altan. Referring to his remarks on sending certain parliamentarians up to the mountains at a time when efforts are being exerted to bring back those up there, Altan criticizes the insolent and disrespectful style the General uses about certain members of parliament. In conclusion, Altan advises the General not to use the stars on his shoulders to frighten the people, adding that if he wants those stars to be respected he should also learn to respect those who have granted him the stars.

    Interpreting General Basbug's statement as a warning to the United States and the North Iraqi authorities that a large-scale operation will be launched in Iraq in an article in Radikal, Akif Beki wonders whether Basbug was speaking with the knowledge and directive of the government. Noting that a similar method was employed in the past to remove Ocalan from Syria, Beki writes that the tripartite mechanism and the instantaneous intelligence cooperation was also established through that method following the summit meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Bush.

    In an article entitled "Supporters of bureaucratic tutelage at home and abroad swing into action", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay describes General Basbug's "preposterously disrespectful" remarks "against the rule of law, democracy, Parliament, and the people" as part of a general campaign against the AKP being carried out by the higher judiciary, the military establishment, and the PKK at home and neo-conservative circles in Washington.

    Columnist Emre Uslu in Todays Zaman, asserts that General Basbug's recent remarks attributing the PKK's long-standing existence to "luck" suggest an outlook that "ignores ... the significant public support [for the PKK] from Kurdish society."

    g) Kurdish issue:

    Mustafa Karaalioglu writing in Star says, "The government, through its policy of meeting the needs of the regional people directly and without considering the PKK to be an interlocutor, has demonstrated for the first time that the Turkish state accepts the regional people as equal citizens. The recent attacks are aimed at sabotaging this policy." Since these attacks are the PKK response to the democratic overture, the policy to be pursued should be further democratization, concludes the writer.

    With the exception of General Hilmi Ozkok, there has never been a chief of the General Staff with the capability of commanding any developed army in the world, writes Ahmet Altan in Taraf, criticizing the army for having failed to build decent outposts after having waged a war for 25 years. Viewing the proposal to conduct a cross-border operation into Iraq, Altan wonders what can be achieved though such an operation since many cross-border operations were conducted in the past with no satisfactory results. Underlining that the Kurdish issue cannot be resolved through wars, weapons, operations, and by begging other countries for their help, Altan writes: "The problem is within the country, so is the solution. Kurds and Turks will be equal. The Constitution will accept the equality of the citizens of this country. Just as we do not tell Turks 'you are a Turk but you will say that you are a Kurd,' we will not tell the Kurds 'you are a Kurd but you will say that you are a Turk'."

    h) Jews in Turkey:

    Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi in an article entitled "How many types of Jews are there in Turkey?" identifies the following "categories" of Jews in Turkey: 1. "Citizens of this country who are described as Jewish in the section on religion on their ID cards." 2. Sabbateans, "whose Turkish and Muslim identity is superficial" and who are actually members of "a heterodox sect of Judaism." 3. Karaite Jews, who are "members of a small Judaic community." 4. "Crypto Jews," who came to Turkey in the 17th and 18th centuries and assumed Alevi, Bektashi, and "possibly" Sunni identity. 5. Kurdish Jews, who have tried to "lie low" in the past 100 years by representing themselves as Sunnis or Alevis. 6. Jews from the Caucasus. 7. Tatar Jews. 8. Albanian Jews.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION: http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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