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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-17

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Destruction of cultural heritage should stop, say experts
  • [02] Russia reacts to Turkish acts

  • 1250:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Destruction of cultural heritage should stop, say experts

    Nicosia, Jan 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus called on experts at the second meeting on "Byzantine Culture, Cyprus - Europe" to take up measures to stop the looting and desecration of the island's cultural heritage in the Turkish- occupied north.

    Education and Culture Minister, George Hadzinicolaou, opening the one- day meeting here Saturday said a significant part of the cultural heritage, which represents the ancient Byzantine and recent history of the island, is in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    He said the Turkish settlers, with the tolerance of the Denktash regime, "loot and destroy our cultural heritage. Their aim is to alter the island's centuries old tradition, distort the truth and wipe out every Greek element in the occupied land".

    "We call on the civilised humanity to take up measures to stop the desecration and the destruction of our national heritage, which is a significant part of the European and international heritage", he added.

    The meeting, is organised by the Cyprus Byzantine Academy, established in 1995. Experts from six countries, namely Russia, Greece, Italy, Britain, Romania and Cyprus, will focus on cooperation for the promotion of Byzantine art and culture at the turn of the century.

    One of the lectures will deal with the "Illegal smuggling and destruction of Cyprus' cultural heritage" in the areas of the Republic occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    It is estimated that about 500 churches some of which date back to the Byzantine period, have been looted, destroyed or used as public lavatories and stables.

    Priceless artefacts from occupied churches have been traced in countries such as Britain, the US, Holland and Japan.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [02] Russia reacts to Turkish acts

    Nicosia, Jan 17 (CNA) -- Moscow has strongly reacted to an "agreement" signed recently between Turkey and the illegal regime in the Turkish- occupied areas of Cyprus, regarding cooperation of the Turkish Foreign Ministry with the breakaway pseudostate.

    According to the Russian news agency "Novosti", the spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Valeri Nesteruskin said the "agreement" would inevitably make a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem even more difficult.

    "The signing of the 'protocol' for closer cooperation between the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the illegal, secessionist fabrication will undoubtedly make prospects in finding a just and viable Cyprus settlement more difficult, in view of the intense efforts expected in the forthcoming months," Novosti quoted the Russian official as saying.

    This "agreement" has caused "ironic comments and sarcastic discussions in international diplomacy," he added, noting it would be difficult for anybody to see how "diplomats" of an illegal regime could represent Turkish diplomacy's interests.

    Nesteruskin noted "diplomatic patronage" of Turkish Cypriots by Ankara has been practised for years and was not a recent phenomenon.

    However, he stressed that Ankara's attempt was to give special importance to this "agreement" by proceeding to the actual "integration" of the occupied part of Cyprus.

    The Russian official said although the international community has condemned these actions, it should now take up its responsibilities in compliance with international law and the explicit resolutions of the Security Council on Cyprus.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Only Turkey has recognised the puppet regime. The UN has called on all states not to recognise the self-styled entity and "not facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity."

    CNA CG/AP/GP/1998
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