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A.N.A. Bulletin, 14/08/96

From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 963), August 14, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Cyprus Government wants 'correct depiction of situation' after killing of Greek Cypriot

  • [2] Evidence to be collected on Isaac's murder

  • [3] Demonstrator died of multiple head injuries, says coroner

  • [4] Reactions over killing in buffer zone multiply

  • [5] Kranidiotis calls for action from Europarliament

  • [6] Overseas Greeks condemn

  • [7] UN security Council condemns killing

  • [8] Turkey responsible for killing, says Euro-Socialist leader

  • [9] Russia stresses need to find immediate solution to Cyprus problem

  • [10] Armed Forces Day to be celebrated tomorrow

  • [11] New Democracy

  • [12] Opposition parties criticize Gov't over FYROM issue

  • [13] Constantopoulos

  • [14] Pangalos to visit Albania

  • [15] Evert meets with president of Bulgarian opposition party

  • [16] Self-confessed murderer is "mentally ill", doctors say

  • [17] Turks transport 35 illegal immigrants to Aegean island

  • [18] Papadopoulos' health slightly improved

  • [19] EU veterinary experts to check results of measures against foot-and-mouth disease

  • [20] Laliotis approves funds for construction projects

  • [21] Threat to ferry services following ruling on foreign cruise ship


  • [1] Cyprus Government wants 'correct depiction of situation' after killing of Greek Cypriot

    Nicosia, 14/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said yesterday events during Sunday's anti-occupation demonstration must be presented in a balanced manner and give a full picture of what the reality of the situation was in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    The minister, however, stopped short of criticizing a statement by UN spokeswoman Sylvana Foa on Sunday's demonstration and said the government will wait until an official report by the UN is issued on the matter.

    Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Michaelides stressed in no uncertain terms that the presence of members of the Turkish "Gray Wolves" terrorist group in the buffer zone and the firing of live ammunition by the Turks there should be noted by the UN.

    "We are anxious to see that events and the situation on Sunday are depicted correctly and that the right messages are sent," he said, referring to serious scuffles that broke out between Greek Cypriot demonstrators and Turkish or Turkish Cypriots who confronted the protesters with iron rods, stones and wooden clubs.

    One Greek Cypriot was killed by the Turks and 41 injured during the clashes, described by many as the worst since Turkish troops invaded and occupied Cyprus' northern part.

    Tassos Isaac was beaten to death on Sunday during a peaceful demonstration held by Greek Cypriots in Dherynia, in the east of the island, demanding freedom of movement and the restoration of their human rights violated since Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus' northern third in 1974.

    The demonstrators faced a crowd of organized extremist Turks, on a counter-demonstration, who were armed with iron rods, stones and pieces of wood. Real gunfire was also shot against the unarmed demonstrators.

    "If it is an error to enter the buffer zone, it is an even bigger error to shoot in the buffer zone, and even more so it is totally unacceptable to kill people in the buffer zone," the minister said, and wondered whether it was the UN who controlled the buffer zone.

    He said the government may look into the question "of asking the UN to re-evaluate their mandate relating to the buffer zone. We want them to have the right mandate," he stressed.

    He said the government will assess the official UN position, once this is outlined in a report.

    The demonstrators should not have entered the buffer zone but, he added, "the reaction they got was criminal as there were people there ready to kill."

    Referring to the stand of UN peacekeepers when a Greek Cypriot was being beaten to death by Turks, he said that some UN officers (Irish civilian police and Austrians) had tried to help him and others were wounded.

    Mr. Michaelides revealed that intelligence reports had clear evidence that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash brought into occupied Cyprus more than 3,000 members of the "Gray Wolves" who landed in the Turkish-occupied port of Kyrenia a few days before Sunday's rally.

    "If this incident goes unnoticed, then Denktash would get the message that he can bring terrorists into occupied Cyprus again," he added.

    The minister appealed to those interested in the Cyprus question, including the US, Britain, Russia and the European Union, to "redouble their efforts to settle the Cyprus problem".

    [2] Evidence to be collected on Isaac's murder

    Nicosia, 14/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)

    The Cyprus Republic will collect evidence to establish the identity of the persons suspected of murdering Tassos Isaac.

    This was stated here yesterday by Attorney General Alecos Markides, after a 30-minute meeting with coroner Petros Vanezis, who has arrived in Cyprus to perform a post mortem on the body of the young Greek Cypriot. Markides stressed the state's interest for "an in depth and objective investigation into the matter".

    "Only if evidence regarding the identity of the suspects is established can an arrest warrant be issued" he explained.

    The Attorney General said that once arrest warrants are issued Interpol will be informed and if the suspects are tracked down in countries with which Cyprus has an extradition agreement or co-operation, the Republic will ask for their extradition.

    "The Cyprus Republic will certainly not ask for their extradition from Turkey or the illegal entity unilaterally established in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island", he stressed.

    Asked if the suspects will be declared wanted based on photographs and film of Turkish extremists lynching Isaac, in order to establish their identity, Mr. Markides said "every effort will be made."

    The possibility of these people being extremists from Turkey who, according to Turkish Cypriot press reports were brought over to hold a counter demonstration, will also be looked into.

    Mr. Markides did not rule out the possibility of the Republic taking the case to international fora, but said this is a serious issue that needs to be examined after investigations are completed.

    He also noted Isaac's family can also take legal measures.

    [3] Demonstrator died of multiple head injuries, says coroner

    Larnaca, 14/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)

    Tassos Isaac, savagely beaten to death by Turks in the UN-controlled buffer zone, died of multiple head injuries, coroner Petros Vanezis said here yesterday.

    Speaking after a post mortem, which lasted nearly five hours, Mr. Vanezis, who flew in from London to carry out the autopsy, said "the man must have died two or three minutes after the multiple injuries he received, most of which were on the head."

    Mr. Vanezis said the 24-year-old did not have any injuries from bullets or beatings by stones.

    The coroner said he had "very rarely" seen such horrific injuries.

    He said forensic tests would be carried out before he issues his final report, which will be handed to the Attorney General.

    [4] Reactions over killing in buffer zone multiply

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has sent a message of condolences to the parents and wife of the 24-year-old Greek Cypriot savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists during a protest in the UN-controlled buffer zone on Sunday. "The brutal murder of your husband and son Tassos, by Turks or Turkish Cypriots in occupied Cyprus, under conditions which shocked millions of Greek television viewers, has caused me abhorrence and deepest grief," Mr. Pangalos said in the message.

    "I declare my outrage over the murder and pay homage to the true courage of your husband and son, which has made him a symbol of the struggle for freedom. Please accept my most sincere condolences," Mr. Pangalos added.

    Tassos Isaac, whose wife is five months pregnant, was to be buried yesterday. An ANA dispatch from Nicosia said later that Isaac's funeral would be held at 11:00 today at the expense of the Cyprus Republic.

    He will be buried in his home town of Paralimni in the south-east of the island republic.

    It was also announced yesterday that President Kostis Stephanopoulos has sent a laurel wreath to the funeral while Coalition of the Left and Progress party president Nikos Constantopoulos also sent a message to Isaac's family.

    "His sacrifice must become the impetus for struggles and the immediate international activation to bring down the walls raised by 'Attila' in Cyprus 22 years ago," the message read.

    [5] Kranidiotis calls for action from Europarliament

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, ruling PASOK party Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday tabled a motion for adoption by the Europarliament, condemning the stance of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and the murder of Isaac.

    In addition, Mr. Kranidiotis demands that the murderers, seen by millions of television viewers all over the world, be brought to justice and steps taken against Turkey to pressure Ankara into fulfilling the obligations it has undertaken within the framework of its relations with the European Union.

    Among other things, Mr. Kranidiotis demands the freezing of EU funds allocated to Turkey for 1997. Mr. Kranidiotis also urges the EU to undertake an initiative for a solution to the Cyprus problem, based on United Nations resolutions and EU decisions, while underlining the responsibility of both the EU and the international community for the situation on Cyprus and the aggressive policy of Turkey "which operates outside international law and order and is the trouble-maker of the region".

    In order to brief the European Parliament on Sunday's incidents in the buffer zone, Mr. Kranidiotis has undertaken the initiative to send a videocassette showing the brutal murder of Isaac to all members of the European assembly, together with a memorandum outlining the situation in Cyprus.

    Mr. Kranidiotis will represent PASOK at Isaac's funeral today.

    In a related development, Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras yesterday called for the replacement of UN resident representative Gustave Feissel following his "provocative and unacceptable statements... which defend Turkish brutality".

    Mr. Feissel attributed some responsibility for Sunday's incidents on the Cypriot government, claiming that if Nicosia had "done its job properly", demonstrators would not have entered the buffer zone and there would have been no violence.

    Mr. Samaras also condemned statements by the US State Department, characterizing them "politically balanced shame".

    "While (the US State Department spokesman) calls the murder of Tassos Isaac brutal, he avoids attributing any responsibility to the filmed brutal murderers on the Turkish side," he said.

    In a related development, a demonstration was held yesterday evening outside the UN offices and the Turkish embassy in Athens. The demonstrators, mostly Greeks, Cypriots, Kurds and Turkish political refugees living in Greece, shouted slogans against Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Turkey and what they called the UN's "apathy" during the killing of Isaac.

    [6] Overseas Greeks condemn

    Chicago, 14/08/1996 (ANA)

    The president of the North and South American branch of the World Council of Overseas Greeks (SAE) yesterday said the murder of Isaac was "a criminal violation of human rights by the Turks".

    "The free protest of citizens is a basic human right, codified in international laws of all civilized states. After 22 full years of the fraught violation of the rights and freedoms of the Cypriot people, the recent events showed to the world once again the barbarity of the Turkish invader. The victims had every right to express their desire for the liberation of Cyprus," Christos Tomaras said.

    He added that the move by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to call off the motorcyclists march was "wise and proper" as otherwise "we would be mourning more victims".

    Mr. Tomaras has lodged a request with the US Congress sub-committee on human rights that it examine the details of the death of Isaac. The US Congress is currently discussing funding and armaments for Turkey.

    An SAE announcement also considered the stance of UNFICYP forces "unacceptable", saying troops stood by and watched Isaac and others savagely beaten without making any effort to rescue them.

    "It is yet another instance," the announcement said, "proving that the regime of the policing of Cyprus by the international community has not and will not have the proper results. This is why an immediate and decisive solution to the problem on the island is imperative."

    Philip Christopher, president of the International Coordination Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) which is based in the US, called on the US to stop providing Turkey with economic aid, due to this country's blatant violations of human rights.

    Mr. Christopher said that Isaac's killing was "an example of the barbarity of the ongoing illegal Turkish military occupation of Cyprus."

    [7] UN security Council condemns killing

    United Nations, 14/08/1996 (ANA/Reuter)

    UN Security Council members yesterday condemned the murder of the Greek Cypriot by Turks and Sunday's incidents in the divided island's UN buffer zone, calling on both sides to renounce violence.

    "The members of the Security Council strongly deplored the incident and they condemned the killing of an unarmed civilian during these clashes," Council president Tono Eitel of Germany said.

    "The Council members called upon both sides to renounce violence. It was stressed that both sides bear responsibility for the events leading to these clashes," he said.

    He was speaking to reporters after closed-door Council consultations on a number of topics during which members were briefed on the violence in Cyprus by Under-secretary-General Chinmaya Gharekhan, a senior aide to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

    Mr. Eitel said Council members also expressed "strong concern about the injuries, some of them severe, suffered by 12 UN personnel."

    "Both sides are asked to prevent provocative acts and to ensure full respect of the buffer zone in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolution," he said.

    The Council felt that last weekend's events underlined the need for a peaceful and durable political solution of the Cyprus problem, Eitel concluded.

    [8] Turkey responsible for killing, says Euro-Socialist leader

    Nicosia, 14/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)

    Pauline Green, leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, holds Turkey responsible for the murder of Tassos Isaac, and wants to see justice administered. But she stops short of actually naming Turkey.

    She also believes that the continuing division of the island "evokes the passions which led to this death."

    "The vicious murder of this young man is the responsibility of those who invaded and occupied the north of Cyprus 22 years ago," Ms. Green said in a statement, issued in Brussels yesterday.

    It is their insistence on maintaining division rather than seeking consensus, which evokes the passions which led to this death, she added.

    The Euro-MP said "nothing can justify the fearful attack which resulted in this death" and expressed the hope that those responsible, are brought to justice with "all speed and urge all responsible authorities to combine in securing justice".

    Ms. Green has already demanded a full debate in the European Parliament in September on relations between the EU and Turkey, the statement said.

    [9] Russia stresses need to find immediate solution to Cyprus problem

    Moscow, 14/08/1006 (ANA - D. Constantakopoulos)

    Russian foreign ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin expressed his country's concern over the incidents which occurred in Cyprus on Sunday.

    "It was with great concern and sadness that we were informed of the news of mass clashes in Cyprus caused by extremist elements in the 'Green Line', which resulted in human losses," Mr. Demurin said.

    "Doubtless this event demands an urgent investigation and it must evidently be appraised by the Secretary General of the UN, his special representative for Cyprus and the command of UNFICYP (the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus).

    "The incidents in the buffer zone, which have occurred more frequently over the past few years, prove the continuation of the explosive nature of the Cyprus problem and the intense need for a solution beneficial to the island's two communities to be found as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

    Mr. Demurin said Russia "sees the dire need for the leadership of both Cypriot communities, in close co-operation with UNFICYP, to take immediate and effective measures for the defusion of (Sunday's) clashes and for such clashes in the buffer zone not to be repeated in the future."

    [10] Armed Forces Day to be celebrated tomorrow

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday stressed the indispensable role of the armed forces in defending the country's peace and prosperity, in a message issued on the occasion of Armed Forces Day tomorrow, which coincides with the religious holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin.

    "Especially at this time of tension and provocations directed against Greece, the thoughts of Greeks turn in affection and trust to the armed forces, which guarantee the security and integrity of the homeland...

    "An equal member of the European Union, with its democratic political system adequately armored, and always respecting the rules of international law, Greece today constitutes a factor of tranquillity and stability", the president said in his message.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in his message for the day that, "in a period when the danger from the east is expressed in various forms and the international crime against Cyprus continues, we reiterate our steady resolve to face any designs against our national interests and sovereign rights.

    "Securing peace, security and stability in the region requires the unanimous support of all the forces of the nation, a common stand by parties and people, the unhindered functioning of institutions, social and economic development and progress and the continuous vigilance and strength of our armed forces".

    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis is to represent the government at events to mark the day of the island of Tinos, where, on the same day 56 years ago, and while Greece had still not entered the war, the Greek navy cruiser "Elli", was sunk by a torpedo fired by an Italian submarine.

    [11] New Democracy

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    New Democracy party Vice-President and former defense minister, Ioannis Varvitsiotis said in his message that this year's celebrations coincide with a deterioration in Greek national issue, "Turkey's irrational demands" and with the apathy of the international community "vis-a-vis the violations of international law and legal order".

    Former prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis said in a statement issued on the occasion that the paramount national priority was safeguarding the strength of Greece's armed forces, and accused the government of showing inexcusable delay on the matter.

    In its message, the Coalition of the Left and Progress party said that the country's strategic aim is stability and security in the region, and for this reason, its foreign policy should be a carefully worked-out proposal for friendship and multiple co-operation.

    "Today that Turkey directly expresses its provocative expansionist theories, the working out of a national strategy and the planning of political and diplomatic initiatives for the international isolation of Turkish tactics is more necessary that ever", said the message.

    [12] Opposition parties criticize Gov't over FYROM issue

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras yesterday called on the government and the prime minister to confirm that they did not intend to make any concessions over the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and to call a halt to all talks at all levels with the neighboring country.

    Mr. Samaras also claimed that the government had given orders for its services to proceed to a final compromise on the name and expressed his opinion that the decision to "freeze" talks in New York was "theater, which no longer convinces anybody".

    [13] Constantopoulos

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress party leader Nikos Constantopoulos yesterday criticized the government's cancellation of a scheduled meeting between Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Ljubomir Frckovski.

    Mr. Constantopoulos said the government's cancellation amounted to "political reprisals to negative statements by FYROM's foreign minister".

    The Greek foreign ministry said on Monday that such a meeting was rendered "unnecessary" after Mr. Frckovski created "a negative climate" through his statements in an interview to a Greek Sunday newspaper that FYROM does not intend to accept a compromise solution regarding his country's name.

    Mr. Constantopoulos said the government's insistence on clashing with Skopje was negative, adding that time passing "is always lost", and that the consequences will be detrimental "if, once again, the problem constitutes the scene of internal political designs".

    The meeting between the two foreign ministers was due to be held in the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions in New York in September.

    [14] Pangalos to visit Albania

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will visit the southern Albanian town of Gjirokaster on August 31 to inaugurate the new Greek consulate general. According to a foreign ministry announcement, Mr. Pangalos will then travel to Avlona to have talks with hi s Albanian counterpart Tritan Shehu.

    [15] Evert meets with president of Bulgarian opposition party

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert met with the president of the Union of Democratic Forces of Bulgaria Ivan Kostov at his party headquarters yesterday. Discussions centered on the current political situation and the impending presidential elections in the neighboring country, as well as Bulgaria's prospects with regard to the European Union and its co-operation with NATO.

    [16] Self-confessed murderer is "mentally ill", doctors say

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Theofilos Sehidis, the 24-year old law student who admitted to murdering and dismembering five members of his family, is "mentally ill and in need of immediate medical attention," Kavala State Hospital doctors said yesterday.

    The doctors said a thorough report on Sehidis' condition would require a series of analytical tests, particularly in relation to his family and social environment.

    [17] Turks transport 35 illegal immigrants to Aegean island

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    A Turkish speedboat yesterday landed at least 35 Kurdish illegal immigrants on the island of Agathonisi and an adjacent islet in the eastern Aegean.

    The speedboat managed to evade a Greek navy patrol boat and fled towards the Turkish coast.

    The immigrants, who were later arrested and requested political asylum, said they each paid US dollars 2,000 for the transfer.

    [18] Papadopoulos' health slightly improved

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Former dictator George Papadopoulos' health was "slightly improved" yesterday, doctors said.

    Papadopoulos was moved yesterday from the intensive care unit at the Tzanneio Hospital to the Athens General Hospital for further observation, after being admitted on Monday with breathing difficulties.

    The 77-year-old is serving a life sentence for leading the coup d'etat of 1967. He is under police guard while in hospital.

    [19] EU veterinary experts to check results of measures against foot-and-mouth disease

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Four members of the European Commission's Standing Veterinary Committee are expected to visit the Evros border prefecture over the next three days, to check on the results of measures implemented since July 12 to counter foot-and-mouth disease in the region.

    Sources said yesterday that the four officials will ask for the destruction of all livestock in south Evros, beyond the 11,000 sheep and goats and the 4,800 cattle already destroyed.

    Agriculture Under-secretary Apostolos Fotiadis, who is to accompany the four officials, yesterday visited the stricken areas and expressed satisfaction over the fact that due to the adopted measures, the disease had not spread beyond Evros.

    On Saturday, the EU officials are to attend a meeting of Greek, Turkish and Bulgarian veterinary officials on the issue of containing the foot-and-mouth and variola diseases in the region, and are expected to ask for the withdrawal of herds from the river border area in the two neighboring countries.

    Sources said yesterday that the agriculture ministry is attributing particular significance to the visit of the EU officials, as their report will determine, at the end of August, whether the Commission will lift the quarantine imposed on the exportation of Greek animal and dairy products since July 12. Goodyear employees to meet with labor and development ministry officials Representatives of the Goodyear tire factory workers' union and of the Thessaloniki Labor Center (EKTh) are to meet with officials of the labor and development ministries in an attempt to find a solution to problems created by the closure of the company 's factory in Thessaloniki.

    The factory closure and the redundancy of all 300 employees was announced last month.

    The meeting, scheduled for next Tuesday, was announced yesterday after Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos met with representatives of the factory workers.

    In a press conference held after the meeting, the workers said they are determined to intensify their mobilizations in protest of the factory's closure, and announced they will blockade the Thessaloniki Industrial Area for two hours on Monday.

    Meanwhile, factory employees held a rally at the Thessaloniki railway station yesterday morning, with the participation of employees from the Siemens factory and representatives of the International Federation of Workers in Energy and Chemical Industries.

    After the rally, the workers conducted a protest march to the Macedonia-Thrace ministry.

    [20] Laliotis approves funds for construction projects

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Environment and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday approved funds totaling 12.27 billion drachmas for road, harbor and anti-flood protection projects. The lion's share of the approved funds, seven billion drachmas, is to be provided for the construction of a freeway linking Neo Faliro with Akti Kondyli in the port of Piraeus.

    Credits amounting to 2.8 billion drachmas for road works projects were approved yesterday, as well as credits of 1.6 billions drachmas for port works and 270 million for anti-flooding works.

    [21] Threat to ferry services following ruling on foreign cruise ship

    Athens,14/08/1996 (ANA)

    Two marine engineer unions yesterday threatened to obstruct the sailings of all categories of vessels, including ferry boats, from ports throughout the country on Friday and Saturday following a Council of State ruling which legitimizes the cruises of the Bahamas-flagged vessel "Marco Polo".

    The unions - PEMEN and STEFENSON - are two of the 14 unions belonging to the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) whose members have been protesting what they claim has been the violation of cabotage regulations by the Marco Polo and the fact that the vessel employs non-Greek crews.

    Protesters have clashed with riot police and harbor police in Piraeus and Nafplio during the past two months when they tried to prevent tourists disembarking from the Marco Polo.

    The two unions yesterday said they were opposed to the Council of State ruling, underlining that their very survival was at stake. They also accused the present and past governments of promoting the free movement of capital without national restrictions, which had resulted in a "plague" of foreign-flagged vessels depriving them of work.

    The merchant marine ministry meanwhile sent a document to the two unions asking them to suspend their 48-hour strike action, citing the hardship that would be caused to travelers and the damage to the national economy.

    NOTE:


    Due to the Feast of the Assumption, the Bulletin will not be

    published tomorrow, August 15. It will appear again on Friday,

    16 August.


    End of English language section.

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