|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
A.N.A. Bulletin, 16/08/96
From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <email@example.com>
Athens News Agency Directory
ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 964), August 16, 1996
Greek Press & Information Office
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
 'Bad navigation' grounds Turkish frigate off Kos
 Greece reacts with horror at second murder of unarmed Greek Cypriot, Simitis to visit Cyprus tomorrow
 Stephanopoulos: deep rage and grief
 Cyprus urges Security Council members to act
 US says Turkish Cypriot forces guilty of excessive force
 UN top envoy concludes meetings
 UN records arrival of 'Gray Wolves' in Cyprus
 UN envoy expresses shock over buffer zone killing
 US Congressmen condemn killings, call for measures
 Iakovos petitions Boutros-Ghali
 Will for freedom strengthened following Isaac's funeral
 Ciller threatens more violence
 Turks release two abducted men
 Pangalos slams Frckovski's attitude to interim agreement
 Greece marks Armed Forces Day, Premier urges calm in light of Cyprus events
 'Bad navigation' grounds Turkish frigate off KosAthens,16/08/1996 (ANA)
Greece on Wednesday said a Turkish frigate which ran aground in the shallows of the Greek island of Kos late on Tuesday night had "faulty navigation" and ruled out any covert intent in the incident.
National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said the whole incident appeared to be a mistake, adding that the case was closed.
Mr. Arsenis attributed the grounding of the 'Yavuz' to "faulty navigation."
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said that Turkey did not attempt to dispute Greek sovereignty, but followed the established route of co-operation during consultations on the dislodging of the Yavuz.
The Yavuz was refloated on Wednesday morning with the assistance of a Greek navy tugboat and two private tugs, and taken to the dividing line between Greek and Turkish territorial waters, from where it headed for a Turkish port. The Greek navy had launched an operation to dislodge the Turkish frigate following agreement between the Greek and Turkish Navy General Staffs. A Greek naval officer had boarded the frigate as liaison and to coordinate the operation. Mr. Arsenis flew to Athens by helicopter from Cephallonia, where he was on holiday, to monitor the situation and spoke early in the morning by phone with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to coordinate the actions of the two ministries.
The Yavuz was sailing in the straits between Kos and the coast of Asia Minor, which has a width of 2.5 nautical miles at the point the frigate ran aground.
The captain opted to pass inside Greek territorial waters under conditions of "safe passage," but miscalculated the depth of the waters, which are four meters deep at that spot.
The Turkish destroyer, the "Pigiale Pasha," which was accompanying the frigate, tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the Yavuz with cables.
The captain of the destroyer was then requested by Greek naval boats patrolling the region to take his boat back into Turkish waters and remain there, which he did.
Under international regulations, the responsibility for dislodging and towing a foreign boat from territorial waters belongs to the tugs of the country in whose territorial waters the incident has occurred.
"Turkey did not for a moment dispute Greek sovereignty, but on the contrary followed the established route of co-operation during the consultations on the dislodging of the Turkish frigate that ran aground near Kos last night," Mr. Pangalos said on Wednesday.
He said the refloating operation had been successfully completed by the Greek navy and the Yavuz, the Turkish naval fleet's flagship, was taken to the dividing line between Greek and Turkish territorial waters, where it was met by Turkish ships that would take it to a Turkish port.
Mr. Pangalos said such passages by ships of both countries were quite common, adding that the problem that arose when the Yavuz ran aground had been handled by the chiefs of the General Staffs of the two countries.
However, he said, the foreign ministry continued to be concerned by a Turkish army report that appeared last week disputing the sovereignty of more than 100 Greek islands, islets and rocks in the Aegean.
Mr. Pangalos said the report was part of a Turkish plan to re-negotiate the status quo in the Aegean and the regime governing the borders.
He said the government had "indications and information" concerning Ankara's aspirations which had been confirmed with the Imia and Gavdos incidents.
When such reports are drafted by official state agencies, they were binding on the government, Mr. Pangalos said. He added that this was more so in this case, when that agency was the Turkish army, "whose role in our neighboring country is very well known."
Mr. Pangalos said the report should be considered as reflecting the position of Turkey "unless its (Turkey's) political leadership denounces it, something which has not occurred to date, despite the fact that Greece has called for this from the first moment."
The foreign minister said all these had been brought to the attention of the Unites States, the UN, the European Commission and the Irish presidency of the European Union, adding that "they all heard the Greek arguments."
Mr. Pangalos said the government would continue its efforts to inform foreign governments of the situation, beginning with the informal EU foreign ministers' meeting in Dublin on September 6-7.
Questioned on Turkey's relations with Iran and his own imminent visit to Teheran next week, Mr. Pangalos said that Greece had no reason not to want Turkey to have good relations with all its neighbors. As for his own visit to Iran, Mr. Pangalos explained that the visit had been arranged some time ago, adding that Greece had substantial financial interests in Iran that it needed to support.
The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party yesterday commented on Mr. Pangalos' statements, saying "at last Mr. Pangalos has re-assumed his duties after his summer vacation, but the content and spirit of his statements still have a holiday air about them."
ND spokesman Prokopis Pavlopoulos said "albeit belatedly, Mr. Pangalos has realized the true intentions of Turkey."
He asked however whether Mr. Pangalos realized "the extent to which the continuous concessions and backpedaling of the prime minister and his government and the total lack of a single long-term national defense and foreign policy have encouraged the unacceptable Turkish provocativeness and frivolous Turkish expansionism ."
 Greece reacts with horror at second murder of unarmed Greek Cypriot, Simitis to visit Cyprus tomorrowAthens,16/08/1996 (ANA)
Greece on Wednesday greeted the news of the second murder in four days of unarmed Greek Cypriots with rage and horror, with President Kostis Stephanopoulos saying that the Turkish occupation regime had shown itself to be one of "armed, murderous violence" and Prime Minister Costas Simitis branding the Turkish occupation forces "common criminals."
Solomos Spyrou Solomos, 26, was shot and killed Wednesday by Turkish troops as he attempted to climb a flagpole near a Turkish guard post in the buffer zone at Dherynia, southeastern Cyprus. He was one of a group of Greek Cypriots who had gone to the area after attending the funeral of Tassos Isaac, 24, who was savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists during a peaceful protest in the same location on Sunday.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis cut short his holiday to return to Athens on hearing the news and will chair a meeting of the inner cabinet today before his departure for the island republic tomorrow where he will have consultations with the Cypriot government and attend a meeting of the Cyprus National Council, the island's top advisory body.
In addition to Solomos, eleven others were injured when soldiers on the Turkish-occupied side fired on Greek Cypriot protesters.
Seriously injured is 59-year-old Greek Cypriot Georgia Andreou who was operated on Wednesday and whose condition is stable.
Among the injured are two British UN peacekeepers, two Cypriot police officers and six civilians.
"This latest criminal act of the (Turkish) occupation forces constitutes an unprecedented provocation for the world community, international organizations and all free citizens," the prime minister said. "The way in which non-combatant protesters are confronted by co-ordinated military forces illustrates that the pillars of Attila (Turkish invaders of Cyprus) are common criminals."
"With feelings of outrage and indignation for this brutality, we express the grief and condolences of all Greeks for the murder of the young men to their relatives and our support for the Cyprus government," he added. "We shall continue to undertake all the necessary initiatives in order to put an end to the Cyprus drama."
The inner cabinet today will examine the latest dramatic developments in Cyprus.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that given Mr. Simitis' decision to visit the island republic, "his participation in the (Cyprus) National Council which will convene on Saturday in Nicosia was considered necessary following consultations with President Glafcos Clerides."
The Greek prime minister and the ministers of foreign affairs and national defense have been in constant communication with the head of the Cyprus government in the past days.
Mr. Simitis will also attend the funeral of Solomos.
 Stephanopoulos: deep rage and griefAthens,16/08/1996 (ANA)
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday expressed rage and indignation over the murder.
Speaking on Paros, Mr. Stephanopoulos, who began a four-day tour of the Cyclades with the islands of Paros and Antiparos, said "all one has to do is observe that this splendid regime of the pseudo-state is nothing more than a regime of armed, murderous violence."
"These two men were quite clearly murdered. They sacrificed their youth to express their sacred indignation at the fact that for 22 whole years half of Cyprus has been occupied by the military forces of Turkey which has shown complete disregard for United Nations resolutions," Mr. Stephanopoulos said.
"Here we must observe the inability of international organizations to impose their decisions, apart from the fact that their representatives behave in a manner which has very little to do with justice and truth. They do not dare speak the truth and their only concern is to maintain those marvelous equal distances," the president added.
Mr. Stephanopoulos said he felt the rage and deep grief being expressed by the entire Greek nation. Asked by reporters if he believed there would be an escalation of the situation, Mr. Stephanopoulos replied: "I hope not."
In an interview with a private television channel on Wednesday night, National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said the ministry was monitoring the situation in Cyprus, branding Turkey's behavior as "unpredictable."
Mr. Arsenis said the ministry was in a state of readiness but ruled out any possible connection between the grounding of the Turkish frigate Yavuz in the shallows of the Greek island of Kos on Tuesday with the latest incidents in Cyprus.
Opposition parties joined the government in soundly condemning the murder of Solomos.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Miltiades Evert said Wednesday that "the second cold-blooded murder of a peaceful Greek Cypriot protester confirms the enormity of Turkish barbarity in Cyprus."
Mr. Evert also criticized international organizations, singling out the United Nations in particular, and the European Union, saying that they had failed to understand the indignation felt over the continuing Turkish occupation of part of the territory of a UN member state and Turkey's systematic violation of all concepts of international legality with impunity.
The ND leader called for the convening of a meeting of political party leaders under the chairmanship of President Stephanopoulos to formulate a single, long-term national strategy to effectively confront the Turkish threat.
New Democracy will be represented at Solomos' funeral by the general secretary of the party's parliamentary group, Stavros Dimas. Political Spring will be represented by its leader, Antonis Samaras, who Wednesday described the Turkish occupation troops on Cyprus as "an army of common murderers." He also demanded that the murderers of Isaac and Solomos be put on trial at the International Court of Justice at the Hague and called for the convening of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) charged that "the latest blunt action of the Turkish occupation troops is the result of the reactionary forces in Ankara becoming bolder following the cover in effect provided by the United States and the other imperialistic powers to the (Turkish extreme right organization) 'Gray Wolves' last Sunday. Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that "the forces of the Turkish Attila are continuing their murderous activity..., taking live s and degrading every notion of international legality."
Mr. Constantopoulos also accused the UN, the United States and the EU of "tolerant, hypocritical and self-interested" behavior.
He warned that the escalation of tension could have unforeseen repercussions for the Cyprus problem and stability in the region and echoed Mr. Evert's call for a meeting of political party leaders to discuss an international campaign to inform public opinion around the world about the Cyprus issue.
 Cyprus urges Security Council members to actNicosia, 16/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)
Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has called on the UN Security Council to "make the necessary demarches" to deal with Turkish shoot-to-kill policy they have been applying during unrest in the UN-controlled buffer zone.
He also urged Council members to evaluate the facts in order to ensure that a true depiction of the incidents is portrayed and warned them against ignoring the fact that Turkish terrorist groups came to Cyprus with intent to cause trouble.
The minister dismissed as "unfounded" rumors that the country is in a war-like situation and explained Wednesday's tension, which had almost faded, was localized.
Speaking after meeting Wednesday night the ambassadors of the 'big five' in Cyprus, the minister said "I stressed to the 'big five' that the Council and each member separately must take the necessary steps to deal with the position the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish occupation troops have adopted in the past few days."
"Council members must also take account of the fact that Turkish terrorists arrived in Cyprus with the express purpose of causing trouble," he said.
The government, he underlined, shall not let this go unnoticed because it would send the wrong message to the Turkish Cypriot side.
Mr. Michaelides pointed out at the meeting that "any attempt based on a policy of keeping an equal distance spells out trouble because it implies that entering the UN-controlled buffer zone and shooting to kill in the buffer zone is the same thing."
The minister said Wednesday's shooting by Turkish troops in the buffer zone started when a signal was given by firing a flare.
This, he pointed out proves that the Turks resumed their attacks which aim to kill, as they did on Sunday when they beat to death a Greek Cypriot demonstrator in the buffer zone.
He said the recent incidents underline the need to "increase efforts by all those who want to see a solution of the Cyprus problem, including the UN, US and the European Union, to do it as quickly as possible."
The Cyprus ambassador to the UN briefed the UN Security Council while President Glafcos Clerides intends to send a letter to the UN Secretary-General early next week, the content or purpose of which he did not disclose.
 US says Turkish Cypriot forces guilty of excessive forceWashington, 16/08/1996 (Reuter/ANA)
The United States yesterday accused Turkish Cypriot security forces of using disproportionate force in trying to quell Greek Cypriot demonstrators who entered the divided island's buffer zone on Wednesday.
"The response from Turkish Cypriot security forces was disproportionate to the threat posed by the protesters, notwithstanding the unauthorized entry of the protesters into the buffer zone," State Department deputy spokesman Glyn Davies told reporters.
He added: "The United States calls on the government (of Cyprus) to meet its responsibility to keep people out of the buffer zone and we call on Turkish Cypriot and Turkish forces to adhere to internationally accepted norms to avoid lethal force in non- life-threatening situations."
President Bill Clinton last month launched a new initiative to try to reunite the divided island. Davies acknowledged that the violence of recent days "complicates" those efforts.
He insisted the administration was still "determined to play a useful role" on Cyprus if the parties so desired but said current efforts are aimed at persuading all sides to halt unauthorized incursions into the buffer zone and violence.
"We would simply call for a strong measure of calm on the island and call for both of the parties to avoid provocative actions," he added.
In Moscow, foreign ministry spokesman Michail Demourin "decisively" condemned "the acts of inhuman barbarity" that led to the violent death of civilians in Cyprus calling for self-restraint and the taking of immediate and effective measures to bring the situation back to normality.
The Russian ministry spokesman further noted the necessity for a speedy just and viable settlement, removing all causes for similar incidents.
 UN top envoy concludes meetingsNicosia, 16/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)
A UN top envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, discussed yesterday the recent unrest on the island with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, UNFICYP spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA.
He said Mr. Feissel, the UN secretary-general's resident representative in Cyprus, held separate meetings yesterday with Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash, in the aftermath of the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish troops during anti-occupation rallies.
"The meetings were a follow-up of a UN secretary-general's appeal to avert unauthorized entry into the UN buffer zone and last Sunday's and Wednesday's demonstrations in the buffer zone," Mr. Rokoszewski said.
In a statement on Saturday, UN Chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali expressed "concern" about plans by Greek Cypriot demonstrators to violate the cease-fire lines and the buffer zone and called on the government of Cyprus "to take effective measures to prevent any unauthorized entry into the UN buffer zone."
The government acknowledged that it was wrong for demonstrators to break into the buffer zone but pointed out it was doubly wrong to shoot unarmed demonstrators in the buffer zone.
The UN spokesman noted that "other topics were on the agenda of today's talks" but refrained from further comment.
Asked to comment on yesterday's visit to Turkish-occupied Cyprus by Turkey's Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller, the spokesman restricted himself to saying that "the UN would welcome every effort to calm the situation on the island."
 UN records arrival of 'Gray Wolves' in CyprusNicosia, 16/08/1996 (CNA/ANA)
A significant number of members of the Turkish organization the "Gray Wolves" participated in last Sunday's demonstration on the island, a UN report has said.
The assertion vindicates government concerns about the arrival of members of this terrorist organization in Cyprus with the express purpose of a shoot-to-kill policy.
It also noted that the Turkish forces had allowed some 1,000 persons in buses to pass through the three-kilometer military zone and assemble along the Turkish forces cease-fire line "including persons carrying the flag of the Gray Wolves who had come from Turkey".
The report, released here last night, outlines the events which led to the brutal beating of a Greek Cypriot by Turkish demonstrators and confirms that Turkish Cypriot demonstrators aided by so-called Turkish Cypriot police "mercilessly beat all those t hey were able to catch".
It also establishes that Turkish-Cypriot "police shot at Greek Cypriot demonstrators from behind the Turkish Forces."
"A Greek Cypriot demonstrator, Anastasios Isaac, was beaten to death by a number of Turkish Cypriot demonstrators, including three Turkish Cypriot policemen," the report reveals.
Two UN Irish civilian police officers tried to rescue Isaac from the Turkish Cypriots but "it was too late," the three-page report says.
UN resources "were stretched to the extreme," it adds.
The report also refers to the ineffective manner in which the Cyprus police controlled the crowds and said the police lifted a cease-fire line barrier which allowed demonstrators into the UN buffer zone.
 UN envoy expresses shock over buffer zone killingNicosia, 16/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)
The UN secretary-general's Resident Representative to Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, described as "totally disproportionate" the latest incidents on the island.
In a statement to CNA Wednesday night, Mr. Feissel described the killing of another Greek Cypriot by Turkish soldiers as a "terrible tragedy. We feel that the shooting was totally unwarranted and inexcusable", he said.
Mr. Feissel told CNA although the Greek Cypriots had broken into the buffer zone, the UN was in control of the situation and was in the process of getting people out of the buffer zone when "out of the blue the Turkish soldiers started firing".
He said UNFICYP was trying to take back Solomos Spyrou Solomou when "for no reason whatsoever" the shooting began.
The UN envoy supported that demonstrations should take place but these should be done within bounds.
"Everybody has the right to demonstrate. Demonstrations should take place within bounds", he said, adding that "one side must react in proportion to what is going on the other side. What happened today (Wednesday) and on Sunday is totally disproportionate to what was going on."
He expresses the view that "there is a feeling of shock" and that what has happened is not Cyprus. For the first time in so many years, he said, there was one person killed and now another in demonstrations. "I do not believe that the people we saw on TV are the people that we have known on this island."
Mr. Feissel said he understands that the people are angry but noted that "we must all come back to our senses and stop such actions".
Asked what the UN intends to do at this stage, Mr. Feissel said the international organization has been trying all along for a settlement but "will not stop now. Efforts should be redoubled."
 US Congressmen condemn killings, call for measuresNicosia, 16/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)
Leading US congressmen have expressed disgust and abhorrence at Wednesday's killing of a Greek Cypriot demonstrator by Turkish troops in the UN-patrolled buffer zone.
They have also called for "concerted and renewed" efforts to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus's northern areas and some have even advocated sanctions on Turkey. The calls came after Wednesday's incident in the buffer zone where the Greek Cypriot demonstrators were protesting Sunday's savage killing of another Greek Cypriot in the buffer zone during an anti-occupation rally.
Congressman Ben Gilman, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, described the killings as "abhorrent" and called for a "reduction of tensions and prompt resumption of comprehensive talks to peacefully resolve the division of Cyprus".
Congressman Lee Hamilton, ranking minority member of the same committee, called for "concerted and top-level attention and the involvement of the US president".
Congressman Robert Menendez, also a member of the committee, said he would "formally protest the barbaric acts of Turkish troops" and urged his president to "consider imposing sanctions on Turkey". He added that the US must review its ties with Turkey.
Congressman John Porter expressed revulsion and condemnation at the killings and said they were "just another Turkish obstacle to peace and reunification of this divided island".
Congressman Eliot Engel called for the "demilitarization" of Cyprus, as proposed by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney described the killings as "brutal, senseless and vicious attacks". She added "those responsible must be brought to justice".
Other US Congressmen have stressed the need to end the illegal occupation of Cyprus.
These calls were echoed by Greek American leaders who condemned and deplored "this unprecedented and indefensible action by the Turkish forces".
Spiros Makris, president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), called on the US administration to "take action now and use every possible means to end Turkey's illegal and brutal occupation of Cyprus".
Another AHEPA official, George Savidis, head of AHEPA's government affairs office in Washington, pointed out "US congressional, administration and media support for Turkey is significantly eroding over the oil deal (signed with Iran) which places Ankara in direct opposition to the US policy of economically isolating Iran".
Andrew Athens, president of the World Council of Overseas Greeks (SAE), in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, urged him to do all he can "to protect innocent civilians in Cyprus against these growing incidents of hostilities and human rights violations".
 Iakovos petitions Boutros-GhaliNew York, 16/08/1996 (ANA)
The former Greek Orthodox archbishop of North and South America Iakovos has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali calling on him to take action over the murder of Isaac by Turkish Cypriot police and mob, saying it was no different to the well-publicized beating of Rodney King in the US a few years ago.
"Trusting your ability and judgment, I address myself once again in a matter of justice as it is in the recent killing of the Greek Cypriot in Derynia Northern Cyprus by the Turkish Cypriot police and mob. When a similar brutality took place outside of Los Angeles, and the motorist was beaten almost to death, the entire sensitive public opinion not only in the US but throughout the world expressed publicly and loudly their indignation over the horrible act of the police force of Los Angeles.
"It is regrettable that none of the countries which participated through a number of motorcyclists protesting the continued division of a United Nations member into two unacceptable communities in the UN which you head, reacted in a strong manner.
"... This message is addressed to you, not only by an Archbishop well known to you, but by all people, Greek, Cypriots and other nationals, who are agonizing for justice and peace to which the UN is believed to be a dedicated guardian," the letter says.
 Will for freedom strengthened following Isaac's funeralParalimni, Cyprus, 16/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)
As a brutally murdered Greek Cypriot was laid to rest on Wednesday, ordinary Cypriots and the island republic's leadership reiterated once again their staunch determination to continue their struggle for freedom and justice in Cyprus.
"Your heroic death has already become a source of inspiration and a call for struggle to bring justice and freedom to this island," the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos said as he bid farewell to the man whose death has come to symbolize Turkish barbarity at its most horrific.
Tassos Isaac, 24, was brutally murdered by Turkish extremists during a peaceful anti-occupation demonstration on Sunday in the UN-controlled buffer zone at Dherynia.
The Archbishop said Isaac "honored his country and his family and gave an example to us all and to future generations, teaching us that freedom demands courage".
"Your sacrifice has brought us before our own responsibilities to demand freedom and justice to vindicate your untimely loss," the mayor of this southeastern town, Nikos Vlittis, said in his obituary for Isaac.
Mr. Vlittis noted that Isaac died "alone and helpless as a result of the barbarity of the Turkish occupation troops, which powerful nations maintain".
"Yesterday you were an ordinary young man. Today you have become a symbol for freedom," Mr. Vlittis said. He pledge that all Cypriots should remember Isaac who represents the fighting spirit of the people of Cyprus, struggling to rid their country of the illegal Turkish occupation.
"The place of your death, a shrine to your courage, will always remind us of your sacrifice for freedom," he added. At the 40-minute funeral service, state and church in Cyprus and Greece laid wreaths to honor Isaac's sacrifice. Thousands of people, including motorcyclists who took part in Sunday's protest ride, also laid wreaths in his memory.
The Greek government was represented by Finance Under-secretary George Drys; main opposition New Democracy and Political Spring party were also represented.
President Glafcos Clerides, Archbishop Chrysostomos, the charge d'affaires of the Greek embassy here, and party leaders, among others, stood silent in front of the coffin as they laid a wreath.
Wreaths were sent by representatives of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation, mayors from Greece and Cyprus, the Kurdish Liberation Front, Greece's defense minister, the commander of the National Guard and many of the thousands attending Isaac's funeral.
 Ciller threatens more violenceNicosia, 16/08/1996 (ANA)
Turkey's deputy prime minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller yesterday threatened that Ankara would "break the hands of whoever tries to touch the Turkish flag". Ms Ciller was speaking in occupied Cyprus yesterday during an one-day visit.
She said the purpose of her visit to the illegally-occupied areas of Cyprus was to convey Ankara's message that it would not allow anyone to lay a finger on the Turkish flag.
Ms. Ciller's visit to the occupied areas comes a day after Turkish troops shot dead a Greek Cypriot demonstrator in the UN-controlled buffer zone and follows the announcement of a visit to Cyprus by Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Mr. Simitis will pay an one-day visit to the island on Saturday during which he will attend a meeting of the Cyprus National Council on the handling of the Cyprus problem.
Commenting on Ms. Ciller's visit to the occupied north, Cypriot Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelidis said the Turkish foreign minister's "presence in the occupied territories confirms Turkey's complicity in the criminal acts by the Turks in Dherynia."
 Turks release two abducted menNicosia, 16/08/1996 (CNA/ANA)
The Turkish occupation regime released yesterday two young men who had been detained on Monday when they mistakenly strayed into the occupied part of the island.
Both men, Greek Cypriot Kyriacos Hadjidimou, 24, and Greek national Christos Zaharopoulos, 17, drove back to the government-controlled areas of the republic in their car, escorted by officers of the UN peacekeeping force.
Neither of them made any statement to the press and both looked in good health.
Hadjidimou said he did not wish to say anything to the press because he "had had enough in the past few days".
They were met at the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia by family members and Greek embassy officials.
The two men were on a road to Turkish-occupied Famagusta, through one of the two British bases on the island, Dhekelia, on the southeastern part of Cyprus, when the Turkish soldiers abducted them.
 Pangalos slams Frckovski's attitude to interim agreementAthens,16/08/1996 (ANA)
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday accused his Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Ljubomir Frckovski of distorting the spirit and the letter of the interim agreement between the two countries, saying he wondered whether his FYROM counterpart had even read the accord.
Mr. Pangalos made the statement in response to recent interviews by Mr. Frckovski in which he said that there was no question of changing his country's name.
At the same time, Mr. Pangalos accused Mr. Frckovski of putting forward "irredentist" demands, "issues which we thought they had abandoned," he said.
"Consequently, there is no point in my meeting with Mr. Frckovski," Mr. Pangalos said, clarifying that it was his FYROM counterpart who had requested a meeting and that he himself had so far given no reply.
Mr. Pangalos also denied reports of a secret meeting with Mr. Frckovski. "If such a meeting had taken place and Mr. Frckovski reiterated what he has been saying in recent interviews, then he would have got the appropriate reply, and this would not help the development of relations between the two countries and would undermine the talks in New York which will resume on August 25," Mr. Pangalos said.
Mr. Pangalos stressed that the impasse in relations between the two countries was due to the violation by FYROM of the interim agreement.
He described Mr. Frckovski as "sly" because "he makes a lot of noise whenever he believes he can get away with it and remains quiet when he can't....".
On the Skopje issue, main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Wednesday that everyone knew that Mr. Frckovski's recent statements in interviews were provocative.
"What is not known is what the prime minister and government have done so far ... to prevent Skopje from daily winning precious time and to prevent the name of Macedonia from being uncontrollably usurped internationally," he said.
 Greece marks Armed Forces Day, Premier urges calm in light of Cyprus eventsAthens,16/08/1996 (ANA)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday said "the inhuman behavior" by the Turks in Cyprus called for reinforced efforts in the settlement of the Cyprus issue, but urged cool-headedness.
"Unless we remain cool-headed we will serve (the interests of) our adversaries," he told reporters during a reception marking Armed Forces Day yesterday. "We must make clear to international public opinion that it should support the efforts of the Cyprus people."
Mr. Simitis said the state would continue reinforcing the Armed Forces with the aim of gaining enough power of deterrence in order to lead to destruction any threat against Greece's national integrity and sovereign rights.
"A powerful Armed Forces are a guarantee for our policy of peace, friendship and co-operation in the region," he added.
In an Armed Forces Day message, National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis referred to the latest incidents in Cyprus noting that "they increase the instability and uncertainty in our geographical region."
Mr. Arsenis said Turkey's "continued intransigence, blunt disputing of parts of our national sovereignty as well as its refusal to participate in procedures aiming at settling the Cyprus problem continue to endanger peace."
National Defense Under-secretary Nikos Kouris said the Armed Forces "are always ready, well trained, with high morale, and capable of facing any threat in the Cyprus and Greek region."
Speaking to reporters, President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis called for the reinforcement of the Armed Forces in order to face "national perils."
Mr. Kaklamanis predicted the intensification of similar events (to the latest incidents in Cyprus) after the US elections, adding that Greece was the "immediate aim of Turkey's strategy."
Main opposition New Democracy official Nontas Zafiropoulos said the latest incidents in Cyprus should unite the Greek people "which must have a collective clear policy in a joint national defense doctrine."
He further called on the government to tell the Greek people the truth "about our national issues."
Coalition of the Left and Progress Nikos Constantopoulos said the Greek government should undertake specific initiatives in the framework of national policy and through understanding with the political parties.
End of English language section.