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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-01-09

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. 6/13 09.01.13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

No.: 6/13 Date: 09.01.13

  • [01] The occupation regime announced that it will finance the restoration of Apostolos Andreas Monastery; statement by the so-called presidency
  • [02] Bagis: "Greek Cypriots do not feel disturbed by the Ataturk statue in occupied Cyprus but from Turkey's presence in Cyprus which is becoming even stronger"
  • [03] Five more person were "granted" the occupation regime's "citizenship"
  • [04] Reactions by KTAMS and KTOS trade unions to the unlimited "granting" of the occupation regime's "citizenship"; Elcil: "We were sold for 5.75TL"
  • [05] Eroglu wants the voice of the breakaway regime to be heard in the international arena
  • [06] EU draft report criticizes Turkey's stance during Cyprus EU term presidency
  • [07] Serdar Denktas: "Cyprus negotiations could not continue open ended"
  • [08] Senior Turkish diplomat leaves for Russia for talks over Syria
  • [09] Nationalist leader against "dialog" with Kurdish
  • [10] Pro-Kurdish BDP says difficult part of peace process yet to come
  • [11] General Staff denies press reports on "Sledgehammer" coup case
  • [12] Turkey plans to buy 20 Sikorsky made helicopters in the use against forest fires
  • [13] Several opposition parties and NGO in the occupied area of Cyprus to organize a joint action against the policies of AKP and UBP governments
  • [14] UBP case still pending
  • [15] "Turkey's foreign policy at crossroads"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] The occupation regime announced that it will finance the restoration of Apostolos Andreas Monastery; statement by the so-called presidency

    Under the title: "We will pay the money for the restoration of the church", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.01.13) reports that the so-called presidency of the occupation regime has announced yesterday in a written statement, to the Greek Cypriot side and the UN, that the occupation regime will finance the project for the repair and restoration of the main building of Apostolos Andreas Church, as well as the other buildings adjacent to the church, since as it said, the Apostolos Andreas Monastery is an important cultural heritage monument not only for the "TRNC" but for the whole humanity.

    According to the statement made by the "presidency", this was announced during the meeting of the technical committee of cultural heritage which took place yesterday.

    The statement of the so-called presidency said: "In the framework of the restoration project prepared by Patras University, our ministry of tourism and culture which acts with same understanding like it did in the past, has launched the process for the environmental monitoring of Apostolos Andreas Monastery, the restoration of the pavements and the asphalt of the roads, as well as the restoration buildings surrounding the monastery".

    The statement pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side supports totally the efforts of the cultural heritage technical committee which has undertaken an important duty to protect the cultural heritage monuments in the island and made a call to all the interested sides in the island to support the works of the committee.

    The statement said also the following: "Since the issue of the finance of the problem, which was the main problem for years for the launching of the restoration of the monastery has been overcame, we expect that the necessary works will be launched the soonest".

    (AK)

    [02] Bagis: "Greek Cypriots do not feel disturbed by the Ataturk statue in occupied Cyprus but from Turkey's presence in Cyprus which is becoming even stronger"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (09.01.13) reports that Egemen Bagis, the Turkish Minister responsible for European Affairs, stated that the Greek Cypriots do not feel disturbed by the Ataturk statue in occupied area of Cyprus but from Turkey's existence in Cyprus which is becoming even stronger.

    Bagis made these statements after a written question issued by Belgium EU MP Claeys Philip, Non-attached Member of the European Parliament, who asked the following:

    "The EU gives money to Northern Cyprus pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 with the aim ? Article 1 ? in addition to economic integration and preparation of the acquis, also of 'improving relations between the communities'. If one drives into the South from the North near Nicosia, one does not see any conspicuous symbols. If one drives into the North from the South, one sees various symbols: a large slogan 'happy to be Turk' above the road, a very recent statue of Ataturk surrounded by at least 10 Turkish flags, large flags, inter alia of Turkey, and an enormous drawing containing Turkish symbols on the face of a cliff.

    All these symbols, some of which have only recently been displayed, clearly have the sole aim of intimidating or provoking the Greek Cypriot population.

    Does the Commission believe that displaying these symbols, keeping them on display and even displaying additional ones is compatible with efforts to achieve better relations between the two communities?

    Does the Commission ask those who de facto hold power in the North to remove these symbols? If not, why not?

    Are any projects proposed under Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 to move these symbols or, as in the case of the drawing on the cliff, to remove them, in order to improve relations between the communities? If not, why not?".

    Commenting on the issue, Bagis said that Greek Cypriots feel disturbed because of the growing presence in occupied Cyprus and said that they are entitled to feel as disturbed as they want. He also said that "despite the intransigency of the bankrupted part of the island", the breakaway regime will continue to grow and to become even stronger.

    [03] Five more person were "granted" the occupation regime's "citizenship"

    Under the title: "5 more persons became TRNC citizens", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (09.01.13) reports that the self-styled council of ministers of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has approved the "granting" of the occupation regime's "citizenship" to five more persons.

    According to the latest decision of the "council", which was published in the "official gazette" of 26 December 2012, the so-called government granted the "citizenship" of the regime to another 5 persons who are the following: Hamdi Akin, born in Istanbul, Gamze Kilic born in Gaziantep, Suayip Bakacak, born in Bekirler, Burak Baslilar born in Ankara and Hayrullah Gok, born in Saimbeyli.

    (AK)

    [04] Reactions by KTAMS and KTOS trade unions to the unlimited "granting" of the occupation regime's "citizenship"; Elcil: "We were sold for 5.75TL"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.01.13) reports that Guven Bengihan, secretary general of the Turkish Cypriot "Public" Servants Trade Union (KTAMS) has accused the "UBP government" that it "distributes citizenships like golifa [Translator's note: traditional Cyprus product which is distributed during funerals, for memorize somebody], in order to stay in the will-power".

    Issuing a written statement, Bengihan expressed KTAMS's full support to the action protest of TIP-IS trade union not to provide health services to those visiting the "hospitals" for the "TRNC's citizenship".

    Meanwhile, under the front-page title: "We were sold for 5.75TL", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (09.01.13) reports on statements by Senel Elcil, secretary general of Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) who in a written statement yesterday expressed in his turn, his support to the TIP-IS action.

    Elcil said that the unlimited increase of the population is contrary to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and added that they will continue their efforts to transfer this issue to the international arena.

    Elcil also stated that daily per head financial support that the Turkish government said that it offers to the occupation regime is 5.75 T.L and added that it is a betrayal for the Turkish Cypriot community to sell out its political will by distributing the "citizenship" for 5.75 TL per head.

    Elcil went on and said that assimilation and integration policy followed by Turkey in the "north" of the island, has damaged the demographic structure of the island. He added that due to the unlimited "granting" of the "citizenships" the political will of the Turkish Cypriots has been extorted.

    (AK)

    [05] Eroglu wants the voice of the breakaway regime to be heard in the international arena

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.13) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met with a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Cultural Society which is based in Ankara and stated, during the meeting, that the voice of the breakaway regime must be heard in the international arena in a stronger and more effective way.

    A delegation of the society headed by Ahmet G?ksan visited Eroglu and informed him about their plans on new initiatives. G?ksan said that there were plans to organize international symposiums with the aim of explaining the world the facts of the Cyprus problem and making the Turkish Cypriot voice heard more effectively.

    Reminding that three symposiums have already taken place in Ankara, 0zmir and Mersin, he noted that the fourth international symposium will be held in occupied Cyprus.

    [06] EU draft report criticizes Turkey's stance during Cyprus EU term presidency

    Turkish Daily Today's Zaman newspaper (09.01.13) reports that a draft EU report titled "European Parliament resolution on the 2012 progress report on Turkey," penned by Dutch Christian Democrat Ria Oomen-Ruijten, is criticizing Turkey of missing an important opportunity to start a process of normalization of relations with the Republic of Cyprus during Nicosia's EU term presidency and regrets Ankara's decision to abstain from meetings and contacts in the six-month period.

    According to the paper, the draft report criticizes the issues regarding media freedom and fundamental problems together with Turkey's stance on Cyprus, while praising Turkey's regional role, stance on Syria and the work on the constitution.

    "While the draft calls on the EU to open Chapter 15, which is on energy and blocked by the Greek Cypriots, it also strongly supports the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 on judiciary, fundamental rights and justice and home affairs, early on in the negotiation process. Both chapters were also blocked by the Greek Cypriots unilaterally back in December 2009", Today's Zaman argues.

    The draft report also calls on Turkey "to invest renewed efforts towards a political solution to the Kurdish issue" as the debate within the country intensifies among political parties, nationalists accusing the government of "treason." The draft will ask "all political forces to ensure an adequate political platform and to debate in a constructive way the Kurdish issue and to facilitate a real opening to the claims for basic rights in the constitutional process."

    Like the commission progress report published in October, the EP underlines the strategic role Turkey has for the EU's foreign policy and recognizes the country's role as an important regional player, writes the paper and adds: "The draft, however, laments that Turkish foreign policy is not sufficiently aligned with Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) declarations".

    On civilian-military relations, the draft calls on Turkish authorities to continue the process of civilian oversight on security forces and asks for the amendment of the Law on Provincial Administration to give civilian authorities more oversight of military operations and the gendarmerie's activities and the revision of the powers and the composition of the Supreme Military Council.

    It also calls for investigations into human rights abuses by law enforcement agencies.

    On coup cases, the draft takes note of the verdict on the Sledgehammer case and reiterates that these cases should demonstrate the strength and proper functioning of Turkish democratic institutions. It criticizes the wide scope of the cases and the shortcomings in the proceedings.

    On media freedom, about which the EP report has been critical for the last several years, the draft reminds that freedom of expression and media pluralism are "core European values" urging the abolishing of legislation providing high fines on the media and the urgent need to reform Internet law.

    On the hotly debated issue of visa liberalization, the draft notes the Soysal ruling of the European Court of Justice: Turkey is the only country which does not have visa liberalization with EU. It calls for advancement in talks on visa-free travel while, in the meantime, endorses measures to facilitate access to the EU for business people, academics, students and representatives of civil society.

    [07] Serdar Denktas: "Cyprus negotiations could not continue open ended"

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.13) broadcast that the leader of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktas held a press conference outlining his party's views and positions regarding a new negotiations process on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at the press conference Denktas argued that the negative developments in domestic politics had sidelined efforts aimed solving the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that taking into experiences from past negotiation processes, any new negotiations could not continue open ended.

    Denktas also alleged that the issue of Exclusive Economic Zone should be taken up as a separate chapter and that the breakaway regime should be included within the EU. He also argued that Customs Union settled areas, should not be considered for territorial concessions and that the closed city of Varosha should be opened to settlement under a suitable arrangement.

    He also said that should the talks reach a positive conclusion, then the outcome should be put to a referendum that includes "TRNC citizens".

    On the issue of Varosha Denktas said that they were working on preparing special legislation that will open the closed city to settlement.

    [08] Senior Turkish diplomat leaves for Russia for talks over Syria

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.13) reports that Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu left for Russia on Tuesday for a series of talks regarding the Middle East and the Syria crisis.

    In a statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Sinirlioglu will come together with high-level Russian officers on Wednesday and Thursday upon an invitation by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

    The statement said that Sinirlioglu would meet the Russian officials regarding latest developments in the region and in particular in Syria.

    Turkish diplomatic sources have said Sinirlioglu would also travel to the United States next week.

    [09] Nationalist leader against "dialog" with Kurdish

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.13) reports that Devlet Bahceli, Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader, the third largest group in Turkish Parliament, has harshly criticized the meetings held with jailed head of PKK organization, Abdullah Ocalan by the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    MHP leader Bahceli stressed at his address to the party's parliamentary group on Tuesday, that Turkey's currently most important problem was combating "terrorism".

    Using a strong language, Bahceli stated that the government's political preferences would bring negative results and said, "As a state and nation, Turkey faces a serious problem of perpetuity. We understand that a very long global game, plan, project and desire whichever want to pull us into ethnic traps, have risen using AK Party."

    He stressed that Erdogan gambles with Turkey's future and said, "Now Turkey lacks public spirit as sitting on the table with terror is not being hidden. By attempting to this kind of a deal, Turkish PM started to gamble for the future of Turkish people."

    Bahceli added that PM Erdogan considers the "meet ups" with terror organization as "politics" and continued as saying, "Don't you think that negotiations (with Ocalan) stand for betrayal, no- What more will come in order for Turkey to collapse, Turkish nation to break up".

    [10] Pro-Kurdish BDP says difficult part of peace process yet to come

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (09.01.13) reports that the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said the government's peace initiative for a solution to the Kurdish issue is not yet at its most difficult stage, which, he implied, is the negotiation stage.

    "In this initiative, we are not yet at the negotiations stage," Selahattin Demirtas said at his party's group meeting in Parliament on Tuesday.

    To pave the way for a peace initiative, the National Intelligence Organization (M0T) conducted talks with Abdullah Ocalan, who is jailed on 0mral1 Island, following which two Kurdish deputies were allowed to have a meeting with the jailed leader. According to Yal?1n Akdoan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan's chief adviser, in one of his recent articles in the Star daily, the government set out to come up with a solution to the Kurdish problem once and for all. Hakan Fidan, who heads M0T, also revealed that the peace initiative aims to demobilize, disarm and reintegrate to society the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    For Demirtas, the determining factor in progressing to the negotiations stage in the peace initiative, is the attitude the government will adopt from now on. "One of the parties [in the negotiations] displayed its willingness, and now it's the government's turn," he said. But he clearly sounded displeased with some discourse by government officials in the past week, maintaining that it was not in compliance with the spirit of the peace initiative and causes distrust among Kurds. "Everybody should be aware of the language they use," he warned. "A peace process based on an attitude of 'we won' would cripple the peace initiative."

    The BDP co-chair also criticized the latest military operations against PKK, saying: "There is no need to make efforts [for peace] if the government thinks that military operations can continue while negotiations for peace are ongoing. If this is what [it calls] an integrated project, then they should just stop this nonsense."

    In addition, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (09.01.13) also reports that Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, said every necessary step needs to be taken, even if some of these steps might seem unnerving at first, to maintain peace in the country.

    In his latest weekly speech, broadcast on website Herkul.org, Gulen said as long as national dignity and pride are not undermined, every necessary step should be taken to maintain peace because "there are benefits in peace."

    [11] General Staff denies press reports on "Sledgehammer" coup case

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.13) reports that the Turkish General Staff refuted the news in several media, which claimed that the original documents of all evidences regarding Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup case were found in General Staff.

    General Staff said on Tuesday that some media asserted that the original documents of all evidences of the case were found in General Staff, and that it was the General Staff which sent the original documents to court, while defendants of the Balyoz case claimed the documents were fake.

    General Staff said in a written statement, those claims were not true.

    The judges of the case published the details of their verdict yesterday. The verdict says original documents, of which digital copies found in particular places, were provided by the General Staff. General Staff says that does not mean all the evidences were provided by them.

    Sledgehammer Coup Case

    Sledgehammer (Balyoz) is the code-name of an alleged Turkish military coup plan which reportedly dates back to 2003. Reports of the alleged plot first surfaced in the liberal Taraf newspaper, which said it had discovered documents detailing plans to bomb two Istanbul mosques and shooting down a Turkish plane over the Aegean Sea in order to start a war with Greece. The plan allegedly was to stir up chaos and justify a military coup.

    The defendants said the plans had been discussed but only as part of a scenario based planning exercise at a military seminar.

    On February 21, 2010, operations were carried out in nine provinces. 49 people were detained including admirals, generals and colonels, some of them retired. On April 5, 2010, an additional 95 people (including 86 military personnel, 70 of them on active duty), were detained in 14 provinces on the same day. More detentions came until the trial started.

    The trial began on December 16, 2010 with the first court hearing, held in the court house of Silivri Prison near Istanbul.

    On September 21, 2012, Istanbul High Criminal Court announced its verdict. Some 300 of the 365 suspects were sentenced to prison terms, while 34 suspects were acquitted. Three retired generals were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment: Cetin Dogan (retired 1st Army Commander General), Ibrahim Firtina (Air Force Commander retired General) and Ozden Ornek (retired Navy Commander Adm.) on charges of "attempting to overthrow the government by force" but the terms were later reduced to 20 years because the "attempt to stage a coup was not completed."

    The judges published the details of their verdict yesterday.

    [12] Turkey plans to buy 20 Sikorsky made helicopters in the use against forest fires

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.01.13) reports that the Turkish Deputy Minister of Foresty and Water Works, Nurettin Akman has stated that Turkey will use Sikorsky made choppers for fire suppression.

    Akman informed AA that before 2012, every year forest fires burnt approximately 4 thousand hectares of area and unfortunately, last year this rose to 10 thousand hectares of fields.

    Akman stressed that some forest fires were made intentionally.

    He said, "Due to PKK organization's, forest fire in Hatay caused the burning of 3 thousand hectares of area. When we look at Spain, they have 200 thousand hectares of areas being burnt down and in Italy this number goes up to 60 thousand hectares of woods. When compared to other Mediterranean countries, we cope with forest fire suppression much better than them."

    He noted that in the framework of "fire suppression works", they plan to rise the number of aircrafts and more, they are in close cooperation with defense industry. He stated that in the scope of their fire suppression project, they plan to buy 20 Sikorsky made choppers up till 2020 and said, "Sikorksy helicopters will be used in forest fire suppression."

    [13] Opposition parties and NGO in the occupied area of Cyprus to organize a joint action against the policies of AKP and UBP governments

    Under the title: "They united their forces", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.01.13) reports that several opposition parties and NGO and trade unions in occupied Cyprus united their forces and decided to organize a joint protest against the policies followed by the AKP government in Turkey and the UBP government in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, in a meeting organized yesterday at KTOEOS trade union headquarters, several opposition political parties in the occupied area of Cyprus and several NGO agree to organize a joint protest. The Trade Union Platform has stated that that they will announced their action plan tomorrow, January 10.

    The parties participated to the meeting were the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), the New Cyprus Party (YKP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the United Cyprus Party (BKP).

    Also, among the trade unions which participated to the meeting were Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), Turkish Cypriot "Public" Servants Trade Union (KTAMS), "Municipal Workers Trade Union (BES), Press Workers' Trade Union (BASIN-SEN), Turkish Cypriot Physicians' Trade Union (Tip-Is), Cooperative Workers' Trade Union (KOOP-SEN), Unity and Solidarity Trade Union of Eastern Mediterranean "University" (DAU-BIR-SEN) and Trade Union of the Workers in the Turkish Cypriot Telecommunication Department (TEL-SEN) and others.

    (AK)

    [14] UBP case still pending

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.13) broadcast that the "supreme court" will be taking up the "appeal" filed against the repetition of the National Unity Party (UBP) General Congress on Monday, the 14th of January.

    A separate "appeal" against the decision to repeat the Congress within 10 days was taken up by the "supreme court" yesterday.

    The "high court" will resume taking up this issue on Friday, the 11th of January and will announce its decision on the matter on the same day.

    The "supreme court" has started deliberations on the "appeal" filed by the self-styled prime minister and leader of the UBP 0rsen Ku?uk against the ruling of the "Lefkosia district court" regarding the outcome of the UBP Congress held last year.

    "The High Court will take up the appeal demanding the cancellation of the Lefkosa District Court's decision to repeat the Congress, on Monday, the 14th of January", Bayrak broadcast.

    [15] "Turkey's foreign policy at crossroads"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.01.13) publishes the following article by Volkan Vural on the foreign policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and makes reference to Cyprus:

    "I would like to divide, in general terms, the foreign policy performance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) into two distinct periods. The policies pursued roughly between 2002 and 2008 were innovative, groundbreaking, consistent with the domestic reform agenda and defined political choices without raising any doubts about Turkey's priorities.

    On the most fundamental issue of the period, the AKP took a bold stand, risking the reactions that could come from its rank and file. Recep Tayyip Erdoan's attendance as the Party Chairman to the EU's Copenhagen Summit, together with the then-Prime Minister Abdullah G?l in December 2002, as well as his diplomatic initiative to visit a series of EU capitals ahead of the summit, was an important demonstration signaling commitment to the EU membership. [?]

    By accepting the Annan plan, the AKP government turned around the argument that blamed Turkey for the impasse on the resolution of the Cyprus issue. Although this plan was based on the common elements arrived at over years of negotiations under the auspices of the U.N. by both parties in the conflict, it was not easy to break the strong bureaucratic resistance at home. This resistance, however, saved the Greek Cypriot Administration from choosing between accepting the Annan plan or sacrificing the EU membership in the Copenhagen Summit and at the subsequent conference in The Hague.

    After securing EU membership, the Greek Cypriot Administration was emboldened to reject the Annan plan and is now insisting on its own terms for a political solution on the island. It is blocking Turkey's accession negotiations on the grounds of non-compliance to the Customs Union.

    Over this period, we have seen a consistent and multidimensional foreign policy with well-defined priorities. When selective memory is put aside, we can see that Turkish foreign policy has always been multi-dimensional. [?]

    The AKP came to power as a majority government against the background of long political instability and economic crises. It adopted and set out to implement the economic stability program prepared by the previous coalition government to recover from the 2001 economic crisis. It also accelerated the democratic reform process by adhering to the EU National Program left over by the coalition parties, including the Copenhagen political criteria.

    The question marks on Turkish foreign policy and speculations on the shift of axis do not pertain to this period, but were raised after 2008. However, it would be unfair to lay the blame on Turkey alone for some of the erratic policies currently pursued.

    Immediately after the opening of accession negotiations, two key founding members of the EU, Germany and France, began questioning Turkey's membership qualifications. They opened a debate on Turkey by coining an ambiguous concept such as "privileged partnership," and hindered the discussion of some basic negotiation chapters. The European Council, on the other hand, was unable to resist the Greek Cypriot blocking of Turkey. In fact, the EU had overlooked its own criteria when admitting Cyprus as a member, simply in order to pave the way for the membership of Central and Eastern European countries.

    It is evident that the importance ascribed to EU membership, which is often reiterated by the Turkish Prime Minister, is accompanied by a strong feeling of disappointment. It is possible to say that both this disappointment and the increasing national self-confidence play a role in the descriptions of the economic crisis experienced by the EU countries.

    Foreign policy, however, cannot rest only on emotions. Statements intended for self promotion are not viewed kindly by others. I vividly remember reminding my bureaucrat friends and politicians that when Turkey is referred to as "the major power in the region" it should come from others, not from us." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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