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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-07

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Missing person confirmed dead
  • [02] Occupation regime forces Turkish Cypriots to emigrate
  • [03] House President urges against conversion of monasteries

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Missing person confirmed dead

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- A Greek-Cypriot with American citizenship, declared missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has been confirmed dead.

    According to Greek-language newspaper "Proini", based in the US, the then sixteen-year-old Andreas Kassapis has been identified through DNA tests, the Cyprus state-radio CyBC said last night.

    Kassapis is one of five Greek Cypriots with American citizenship, missing since the Turkish invasion.

    According to "Proini", the US State Department's special co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, informed Kassapis' father Costas, now living in Detroit, of the confirmation of his son's death.

    The boy's funeral will take place in Detroit, when his remains are delivered to his parents, "Proini" said. The President of the International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), Philip Christopher, has expressed his satisfaction from the development, as "over 23 years of suffering by the Costas Kassapis family was finally brought to closure".

    Christopher also expresses the hope "that this case is just the first of many more to come" and points out that he is "encouraged by recent efforts to bring an end to this tragic humanitarian issue".

    He also makes reference to an agreement between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, for the exchange of information, including the location of graves of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons.

    Christopher describes the agreement as "a major step forward".

    CNA GG/MCH/1998

    [02] Occupation regime forces Turkish Cypriots to emigrate

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriots have described the situation in the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic as grim and appealed for an end to the division of Cyprus which if continued, they warned, would lead to their disappearance as a community.

    Critisising the partitionist policy of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, Turkish Cypriot sources, which for obvious reasons wished to remain anonymous, told CNA that both Ankara and Denktash seriously consider the annexation of the Turkish-occupied areas to Turkey if Cyprus-European Union accession talks proceed.

    They expressed their great desire for the island's re-unification and for a solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions.

    The Turkish Cypriot sources stressed that the pillars of Denktash's occupation regime are Turkish settlers, who today outnumber Turkish Cypriots, as well as "great Turkish illegal economic interests".

    They pointed out that Turkish businessmen make money from the casinos established in the occupied areas, which they also described as a "heaven" for money laundering and smuggling.

    "The issue of money laundering is directly related to the undermining of efforts for a Cyprus settlement", the sources said and pointed out that the people involved in such illegal activities hold high posts in the occupation regime.

    Commenting on Denktash's decision to confiscate passports issued by the internationally-recognised Cyprus Republic held by Turkish Cypriots, the same sources told CNA that both his policy and that of Ankara is to force Turkish Cypriots to emigrate.

    "Denktash does not take into consideration Turkish Cypriot interests", they stressed and described the Turkish Cypriot leader as "the civil servant of Ankara".

    Arguing that Ankara's and Denktash's official policy and aim are to cause the Turkish Cypriots' disappearance, the sources said that "possession of Cyprus passports proves that the Turkish Cypriots are still Cypriot citizens".

    This, they added, "presents a danger to Denktash, because it gives the Cyprus government both the right and the responsibility to talk for the Turkish Cypriots".

    "By possessing Cyprus passports, Turkish Cypriots prove that they are resisting and fighting for their right to exist as Cypriots", the sources said.

    "Ankara and Denktash wish for the Turkish Cypriots to leave Cyprus quietly, but by going abroad with Cyprus passports, Turkish Cypriots continue to retain their Cypriot citizenship", they added.

    Describing the present period as "particularly crucial for the survival of Turkish Cypriots", the sources stressed the need for their voice to be heard outside Cyprus.

    "Otherwise", they warned, "this will be our end" and they noted that since 1974 there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of Turkish Cypriots.

    While before 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory, Turkish Cypriots numbered around 140.000 (18 per cent of Cyprus' population), their number today is down to 60.000 with some 80.000 of them forced to emigrate for a better future.

    More than 80.000 Turkish colonist settlers have been transplanted in the occupied areas, in addition to 35.000 Turkish troops, as part of Ankara's designs to change the island's demographic character.

    "Turkish Cypriots are a minority in the north and they are deprived of their fundamental human rights", the said sources said, pointing out that their wish is for "the reunification of Cyprus and peaceful co-existence with their Greek Cypriot compatriots".

    "If you witness the desperate living conditions in the north, you will realise that the continuation of partition will mean the end of Turkish Cypriots", they said.

    "We will be the last of the Turkish Cypriots, just like the last of the Mohicans", they remarked.

    The same Turkish Cypriot sources added that even Turkish Cypriot political parties are held hostage of the occupation system, explaining that for this reason they several times expressed contradictory positions.

    "When in 1981 the parties opposing Denktash managed to score a great victory against him, the Turkish generals came to the north, gathered the opposition and threatened: Do not force us to organise a coup here as well."

    "They also threatened to close down all Turkish Cypriot parties. After 1981, the Turkish Cypriot opposition was broken down."

    The Turkish Cypriot sources also referred to the oppressive measures imposed by Denktash against all those who oppose him, giving as an example a series of "legal suits" against opposition newspaper "Avrupa" (Europe) and restrictions on the printing paper allowed to the newspaper.

    The same sources called upon the Cyprus government to make Turkish Cypriots forced to flee the Turkish-occupied north, welcomed in the government-controlled areas in the south.

    "The Cyprus government could give certain assurances to the Turkish Cypriots forced to flee the north that they could settle safely in the south and therefore stop seeking asylum outside the island."

    Already hundreds of Turkish Cypriots have settled in the free areas of the Republic. Among the motives given for those Turkish Cypriots is the free education in local schools.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998

    [03] House President urges against conversion of monasteries

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- In a letter to Presidents of international parliamentary institutions and national Parliaments, House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, urges them to prevent Turkish plans to convert an Armenian monastery into a hotel.

    In his letter, Kyprianou describes the plans as part of the Turkish side's strategy to destroy every sign of Greek culture in the occupied north of the island.

    Historic sites and monuments of every religion on the whole island are very precious to the people of Cyprus, as they reflect the island's identity and history, Kyprianou says.

    The President of the House notes that the monastery of St. Makar in the occupied north of the island, which under the Turkish plans will me converted into a 50-bed hotel, is one of the most important religious sites to the Armenian people worldwide.

    The Turkish plans must be considered as part of their long-standing policy of ethnic cleansing, aiming at strengthening the partition of the island, which is their main objective, Kyprianou points out.

    CNA GG/MCH/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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