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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-01-30

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Friday, 30-Jan-98 14:03:18


  • [01] Turkey
  • [02] Cyprus-Attilas
  • [03] PASOK
  • [04] New Democracy
  • [05] India
  • [06] Sports

  • [01] Turkey

    When the Turkish cargo ship Barbaros Oktay ran aground in the shallows around cape ammOglossa in Kos Wednesday, the captain rejected offers of help from Greece, even though the crew had proved unable to free the vessel.

    Despite the captain's wish, Greek tugboats will be enlisted to free the ship, since it is in Greek waters.

    When his ship got in trouble, the captain failed to inform the Greek authorities as he is obliged to do. He justified that later, saying he didn't think the situation was very serious.

    There are Greek naval and coast guard vessles sailing in the area, just as there were when the Turkish navy's flagship "Yiavouz" also got into trouble in shallow water in August, 1996.

    Earlier Wednesday, the captain of another Turkish ship, the Hasan Bay, initially requested Greek help when a fire incapacitated his ship's engines.

    Oddly, an hour-and-a-half later, he radioed the Greeks again, saying that as he was in international waters, he wanted to wait for Turkish tug boats.

    It all may seem insignificant, but the latest mishaps eerily remind Athens of another minor accident that blew up into an international issue in late 1995.

    In October of that year, a Turkish freighter ran aground on the Greek rocks of Imia. Nonetheless, the ship's captain told Greece: "We are on Turkish soil, and want Turkish assistance".

    A few months later, and after an exchange of diplomatic notes over the December affair, Turkish troops would land on one of Imia's rocks, as Ankara made its claim official.

    Interestingly, as the Hasan Bay sailed aimlessly out of control off Evia Wednesday, offers of assistance from another Turkish freighter following it were rejected.

    Making the Greek authorities wonder if there was more than mere innocence to the captain's claim that he wanted to await help from Turkey since he was in international waters.

    As it is, the winds blew the ship into Greek waters near Andros, meaning Greek tugboats were automatically called in to help the craft.

    US ambassador Nicholas Burns was asked to comment on the accidents:

    "I think it's only appropriate to talk to Pangalos...US is a friend of both Greece and out their problems".

    Turkey's long-standing strategy of questioning Greece's sovereignty in the Aegean.

    In January, Turkey scheduled three weeks of military exercises in the sea, some of them in Greek waters.

    Now, Turkey plans more manoeuvres from the third to the 24th of February.

    This time, Turkey has not included the area around Greece's strategic central Aegean isle of Kalogiri.

    However, once again, Ankara says it intends to hold exercises in the shooting range of the island of Andros, and in the airspace between Ikaria and Myconos.

    19 miles separate those two islands, and with Greece's airspace being 10 miles, it means there are no international waters between them. But Turkey says it recognises only six miles of air space, leaving seven miles free for its use.

    Turkey is also planning exercises in Greek waters, scheduling warship manoeuvres within six miles of some islands.

    [02] Cyprus-Attilas

    A Kurd serving in the Turkish army when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, is providing horrible details of the massacres of Greek-Cypriots.

    The man, who has lived with his remorse for the last 24 years, is asking for international protection as he reveals the location of a mass grave containing the remains of 100 Greek-Cypriot civilians butchered in the invasion.

    Kurdish Press Agency reporter Sayfi Kizil tells Antenna: "We've been talking to people who took part in the invasion. They've been telling us of the terrible things they did in Cyprus, that they cut off the ears of Greek- Cypriots".

    Of course, all the statements are off the record, but Turkey already knows all about what happened, contines Kizil.

    Moustafa Ogkan, a Kurd, today 45 years old, remembers his days in a Turkish uniform in the 70s.

    One night his unit was sent to Kyrinia. They killed a hundred Greek-Cypriot civilians in the village of Mora near Nicosia. Turkish officers said, "We might as well kill them so we don't have to feed them".

    Ogkan relates that Turkish commanders and Turkish- Cypriot paramilitary groups were the chief instigators of all the torture and rapes that occurred in 1974.

    Moved by remorse, Ogkan is today awaiting the international protection he seeks, so he can show the world the mass grave in occupied Cyprus - proof that the terrible tale he tells is true.

    [03] PASOK

    Pasok members are split over a document circulated by party MPs criticising government policies.

    The unsigned document was put together as food for thought in advance of next month's party conference on ideology.

    MP Pantelis Ikonomou, believed to be one of the people behind the document, says it is not a manifesto.

    The in-house document indirectly accuses the Simitis cabinet of free market economic policies, which drives society into a state of unbridled competition between interest groups and individuals. At the same time, it argues, collective action is discouraged, and feelings of social solidarity with the less well off are smothered.

    Rebuking the government's belt-tightening policies aimed at trimming the fat and inefficiency off the economy, the document counters that economic development should be for people and the community.

    And there is criticism of tax policies: the document says the government is taxing people to death on their legal incomes, and letting big fish who hide their earnings get away.

    There is also mention of Greece's relations with the European Union. The document calls on the government to ensure that Greece maintains its sovereignty and cultural identiy within the EU.

    MP Yiannis Kapsis said Thursday the document is written in even tones and has unifying potential. He even said he'd sign it. "We need to clarify our ideological identity", he explained, "and get rid of alien concepts at the next ideological conference".

    Those in the prime minister's camp, the so-called modernisers, were dismissive of the document. MP Anna Diamantopoulou called it insifnificant.

    And Vangelis Malesios opined that "unsigned documents and irresponsible political

    positions which are general and make vague appeals to patriotism and popular interests, only sow confusion".

    What is clear is that there are two main views in Pasok. The ruling modernisers, who are breaking with the past and moving full steam ahead with austerity measures; and the traditionalists, who want to hold on to the party's old socialist identity.

    [04] New Democracy

    One of the issues that has opinion in Pasok split is the government's plan to hem in the scope of collective bargaining procedures in debt-ridden public entersises.

    The government attached a rider to a bill, which would let legislators draw up rules concerning pay, staff deployment, shifts, bonuses, overtime, and other workplace related issues, without consulting the unions.

    [05] India

    It's time for the second part of Antonis Fourlis's report from India, where he was with the Greek president recently.

    In tonight's segment, Fourlis looks at the orthodox church's efforts to help the poor and suffering in the world's second most populous country.

    In India, Fourlis spent time with with Father Ignatius, the Greek orthodox priest who is making heroic efforts to help the poor of Calcutta, just as Mother Tereza did.

    Ilias, an orthodox Christian Indian helps out in the church of the Transfiguration, where Father Ignatius is based.

    He and 30 other countrymen who have embraced the

    Cristian creed are a part of the fabric of India's religious tapestry.

    In Calcutta, Fourlis saw the work of Mother Teresa at close hand, visiting one of the places set up by her to receive the seriously ill. Antenna was politely asked not to take any pictures.

    Not far away is the orthodox cathedral, the home of the mission to Calcutta, led by the Greek priest, Father Ignatius.

    Devout young Indians chant the divine liturgy in their language as Fourlis approaches.

    All of them have orthodox names: Kostas, Andreas, Antonis.

    The church was founded in the year 1773, and was built by 3000 Pontian Greeks, who spent 8 months walking there from Philipoupoli.

    In 1991, Father Ignatius began another heroic effort, single-handedly.

    Every day he distributes food to over a thousand families. He also distributes 210 kilos of drugs a week, and travels for hours on end to reach lepers in remote villages, to tend to their wounds and talk to people who view Christianity in a favourable light.

    "We've started three medical clinics", says Father Ignatius, "one in Calcutta, and the others in the provinces. We also have two small schools in the provinces - Christians in the area want us to open more. On our trips to the villages we hand out school supplies and toys as well as food and clothing."

    From time to time, the orthodox mission also has the assistance of two novice monks, Themistocles and Giorgos.

    One of them tells Fourlis that in this muslim cemetery people have disinterred the dead to live in the tombs. The orthodox church provides the kids who live here vitamin-enriched cookies every day.

    The Antenna crew's attention was attracted by a

    blond boy - they'd seen a number of blond children in Calcutta. One monk explains, "The blond hair is a sign that they're not far from dying of vitamin depletion.

    Back at the cathedral, the crew finds metropolitan orthodox bishop of Hong Kong and East Asia Nikitas whose diocese also takes in India.

    "We give the kids milk and cookies every day", he says. It's probably the best meal they get all day".

    Through their philanthropic work, he adds, the mission members succeed in winning over many hearts to Christianity.

    "People see we're not empty talk, but have something real to offer", he reflects.

    President Stephanopoulos stopped at the cathedral and, like Antenna, heard of its work.

    "On behalf of all of us visiting Calcutta", he said, "I want to express the respect I have for you.

    Following Antenna's reports from India, thousands of television viewers phoned the station asking how they can support the orthodox church's mission of charity.

    As the mission embarks on plans to build an orphanage for 200 children, Antenna has opened up an account for people to donate money to in aid of the church's efforts in Calcutta.

    [06] Sports

    Panathinaikos has advanced after beating Serres.

    The scoring is fast and furious, and forty minutes into the match, Serres looks like it may just be able to turn around 4-1 loss to Pao in the first leg of their matchup.

    Serres leads 3-1 at that point, but the miracle is not to be, as Pao comes from behind to win it 6-4.

    In other matches, Xanthi advances to the quarters after its victory. And Aris, Kalamaria, Apollon Larisa, Paok, Iraklis, and Panionios also go through to the next round.

    In pro basketball, Panathinaikos has taken over first place in the first division. Pao takes advantage of Olympiakos's loss to Panionios Wednesday.

    Pao whips Daphne 69-47 Thursday night, and both Pao and Olympiakos have 15 and 3 records, but Pao is in first by virtue of the fact that it won the only match between the two so far this season.

    Aek, Paok, and Panionios are all tied for thrid place after their games Wednesday.

    Aris and Iraklio are tied for sixth.

    In other contests, Apollon and Larisa triumphed on their home courts.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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