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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 00-01-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] British confidential documents released - Cyprus
  • [02] Cyprus - Year 2000 - Celebrations - Y2K

  • 1200:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] British confidential documents released - Cyprus

    by Kyriakos Tsioupras

    London, Jan 1 (CNA) -- The main aim of the Turkish side in the intercommunal talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot interlocutors, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, which started in June 1968, was to create on the ground, the precondition for a separate sovereignty for the Turkish Cypriot community.

    This is the main conclusion from the confidential papers of the British government for 1969, which were made public today by the Public Record Office.

    Ministry of Defence documents of the same year revealed that military aircraft based at Akrotiri, on Cyprus' southern coast, were carrying nuclear bombs.

    The British High Commission (embassy) in Nicosia and the Bases Administration on this East Mediterranean strategic island, found themselves in the most embarrassing position of not knowing that the Cape Greco communications centre, on the island's southeastern tip, functioning since before Cyprus' independence, was funded by NATO, and was under NATO command.

    The UN-sponsored intercommunal talks aimed to break the deadlock between the two sides in the wake of the Kofinou crisis (1967), proceeded very slowly with long intervals between meetings.

    From the outset it became quite clear that the Turkish side wanted an arrangement by which the Turkish community would have a separate system of administration.

    In December 1968, Clerides tabled the Greek Cypriot proposals which were considered inadequate even by Mr. Pipinellis, Foreign Minister of Greece ruled by a military junta at the time, who pressed Cyprus President, Archbishop Makarios, for a quicker tempo of the talks.

    In April 1969, Clerides came up with new proposals conceding the principle that Turkish villages could be grouped in largely self- administering areas and also open the prospect for appeals to an impartial authority against decisions taken by officials.

    These were decisively supported by Pipinellis but rejected by the Turks. The Americans came up with what they call "compromising ideas" assuring Turkish control of Turkish areas and giving Turkish officials at the government level - not clarifying whether they would be ministers - the major say in matters effecting those areas. These were also rejected by the Turkish side.

    Washington was thinking of those ideas as a contribution to what it thought as a temporary "modus vivendi" solutions. Under the heading of "permanent" solution the Americans included, according to a document of the Washington British Embassy of 28 January 1969, "enosis (union) , compensated enosis (enosis accompanied by the cession of an enclave to Turkey), partition into separate Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot States, and any process of population of the island itself to Turkey or Greece".

    The essence of the Turkish stand was put down by Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Chaglayangil during a NATO foreign Ministers' meeting: "What the Turkish community demands," he said, "is administrative powers to deal solely with matters of interest to the community and which should remain outside the competence of the central government."

    President Makarios warned a number of times that any proposals which could lead to a state within a state situation were unacceptable.

    The British followed a policy of standing back from the talks at least until the end of 1969 when they were thinking of two ideas: 1. At the right moment "to offer the Greek and Turkish Cypriots financial inducement to settle their problem". 2. The Greek, Turkish and Cyprus governments should be induced to agree on the appointment of two constitutional lawyers or political figures who could advise the interlocutors. This idea meterialised later with the appointments of Mr. Degleris and Mr. Aldicasti.

    A document of the British Ministry of Defence dated 18 February 1969 states: "The United Kingdom has suggested to member governments of CENTO that their defence rests ultimately on the global nuclear deterrent of which the United Kingdom's forces in Cyprus are a part".

    But when a group of Turkish nationals applied to the Cyprus government for visas to go to the island on the instruction of the Ismir NATO command to inspect as technicians the communications centre at Cape Greco, the High Commission in Nicosia was taken by surprise especially when they found out that the Bases Administration did not know either about the existence of a NATO communications base on the island.

    When President Makarios rejected the visa applications a document arrived from London to the High Commission explaining the status of the Cape Greco communications centre "part of the functions of which is to transmit information from the air defence radars in Cyprus to the NATO system through Adana in Turkey".

    "We are faced", the London document said, "by the problem of getting the Turks in, if possible without their having to apply for visas from the Republican authorities. We wish to do this in a way which would permit us to tell the Cypriots but which would require them to acquiesce rather than to consent".

    A lot of interest was caused by reports that the then Interior Minister Polycarbos Georgatzis, was connected with the assassination attempt against George Papadopoulos, the Greek junta Prime Minister, because of his close relations with Alexandros Panayoulis. Answering enquiries from London the High Commissioner in Nicosia, Noramn Costar, wrote that "that was possible but not likely" and that Georgatzis it could not get involved in a plot against Greece, without the Archbishop's approval".

    "This said, the fact remains that Georgatzis is completely unprincipled and that there is probably no kind of crime of which he is incapable", the High Commissioner concluded.

    Another document referred to meetings Georgatzis had with Mr. Hajipetros, chief of the Junta KYP (Intelligence Service) while at the same time meeting antijunta people inside and outside Greece.

    According to another British High Commission document the then Greek ambassador in Nicosia said that the Archbishop himself admitted that unwittingly was implicated in the Panagoullis case by ordering the issue of a false passport to him, to do a favour for his friend Vassos Lyssarides.



    [02] Cyprus - Year 2000 - Celebrations - Y2K

    Nicosia, Jan 1 (CNA) -- Cyprus celebrated the coming of the new millennium with fireworks and music, food and dancing throughout the free areas of the Republic and with no problems posed by the Y2K bug.

    The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) and the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) announced that the new millennium rolled across the island "smoothly and without problems".

    The island's national carrier, Cyprus Airways, carried out two successful test flights.

    A CYTA statement said its staff were on standby carrying out tests to secure the normal operation of its network.

    A Police Headquarters' spokesperson said that no problems were reported.

    Cyprus Airways carried out two test flights this morning from Larnaca International Airport.

    An Airbus A-320 aircraft accompanied by members of the Cyprus Airways board including its chairman Haris Loizides and company directors, flew over Beirut and Paphos with journalists covering the flight.

    An Airbus A-310 flew towards Greece but no stops were made. The first commercial flight was expected to take place at noon, local time. The company's fleet is made up of Airbus A-310 and A-320.

    Loizides praised the carrier's employees for working for almost four years to prepare the company for the Y2K.

    "The results certify the high professional standard of Cyprus Airway's staff which has made the company one of the safest airlines in the world", he added.

    The coming of the new millennium was celebrated by all municipalities with fireworks, dancing, singing and plenty of food and drinks.

    Celebrations centred in the capital Nicosia at "Eleftheria (Freedom) Square" but other towns put on a big show for their residents.

    The eastern coastal holiday resort of Agia Napa had the advantage of being close to Cape Greco where the first light of the new millennium in Cyprus broke at 0655 local time (0455 GMT).

    Locals and tourists witnessed the event and were offered hot drinks on the spot.

    The first children of 2000 were twins in the western coastal town of Paphos.

    The babies were born three and four minutes respectively into the new year. The proud parents, Maria and Themis Themistocleous, residents of the Nicosia village of Astromeritis, were holidaying in Paphos when Maria went into labour.

    Another boy was born one hour into the new millennium in the southern coastal town of Larnaca to parents Androula and Costas Theocharous from Pervolia village.

    Cyprus welcomed the new millennium divided. Nicosia continues to be the world's last divided city.

    Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of its occupation troops from this East Mediterranean island.

    CNA EC/GP/2000
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