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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-02

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <>


  • [01] Turkish occupation forces apprehend two Greeks
  • [02] Ride from Berlin to Kyrenia starts - Euro MP praises the bikers by Rebekah Gregoriades
  • [03] Government remains worried over alarming information
  • [04] Pilots insist on 48-hour strike

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Turkish occupation forces apprehend two Greeks

    Nicosia, Aug 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus government has made representations regarding the apprehension of two Greek nationals by Turkish occupation troops while sailing in a speed boat off the north-west coast of Cyprus.

    Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press today that both the government and the Greek Embassy in Nicosia are in contact with the UN regarding the apprehension of Demetris Gotsis, 35 and Thanasis Stalikas, 48.

    According to Police and UN reports, the two Greek nationals, who live in Paris, were apprehended by Turkish occupation troops yesterday afternoon and were transferred by helicopter to the occupied part of Nicosia.

    As UN spokesman Waldemar Rockozewski told CNA, however, ''UNFICYP's mandate does not extend to third nationals other than Greek and Turkish Cypriots.''

    The case of the two Greeks, he explained, ''is outside our mandate'' and added that he did not know ''how the Turkish Cypriots are going to treat the case.''

    Rockozewski noted the different way the occupation regime treated the cases of two Greek Cypriot fishermen, apprehended off the eastern coast of the island, and that of four British tourists, that were disoriented and found themselves in the occupied areas.

    The two Greek Cypriots, apprehended last week, are still illegally held by the occupation regime while the British tourists were set free on the same day.

    Cassoulides noted that as from the assassination of national guardsman, Stelios Panayi, on June 3 1996, the Turkish occupation regime has been showing a more severe face.

    CNA MCH/AP/1996
    1445 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Ride from Berlin to Kyrenia starts - Euro MP praises the bikers

    by Rebekah Gregoriades

    Berlin, Aug 2 (CNA) -- German Euro-MP, Mechtild Rothe, praised the peaceful character of the ride which started today from Berlin and aims to finish at the Turkish occupied northern coastal town of Kyrenia.

    Addressing more than 120 Cypriot and European bikers at Brandenburg Gate, Rothe said the ride is taking place ''in support of human rights in Cyprus, but also conveys the message that the politicians should work harder to end the situation on the island.''

    Rothe, who is co-chairing the European Union - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee and is well known for supporting the Cyprus cause, congratulated the bikers for their unprecedented initiative and wished them a safe journey and best of luck.

    Speaking to CNA, she described as ''unthinkable'' threats unleashed by the Turkish occupation leader Rauf Denktash that he intends to arrest any biker who crosses the so called ''borders'' dividing the free areas from the Turkish occupied areas.

    Rothe told CNA that ''it is unthinkable that Denktash tries to threaten the motorcyclists. We have to wait and see whether Denktash tries to ''arrest'' them and the European politicians'', she said, referring to the Euro Mps who have expressed an interest to take part in the ride.

    The bikers, including members of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation (CMF) who organised the ride, and European motorcyclists, left Berlin earlier today, heading for Prague.

    In a press conference last night the President of CMF, George Hadjicostas stressed the peaceful nature of the ride which as he said aims at enlightening ''the whole world about the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots''.

    The ride, will pass through various European capitals before reaching Cyprus on August 10 when around 7.000 Cypriot motorcyclists will join in and attempt to cross the buffer zone to travel to Kyrenia which has been under Turkish occupation since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island.

    CNA RG/EC/MCH/1996

    [03] Government remains worried over alarming information

    Nicosia, Aug 2 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has information that the Turkish occupation forces will provoke clashes with bikers at the final stage of the Berlin originated ride aiming to finish at the occupied northern coastal town of Kyrenia.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press here today that ''particularly alarming'' information reaches the government pertaining the last leg of the bikers' ride.

    Cassoulides noted that the information concerns both the security of the citizens of the Republic and the effect the demonstration will have on international efforts to increase awareness for the Cyprus problem.

    The Spokesman explained that the Turkish occupation regime will pursue clashes between the bikers and organisations which will appear to represent Turkish Cypriots but in fact will be made up of Turkish soldiers and Anatolia settlers.

    This will be done in an effort to ''show that the coexistence between the two communities on the island is not feasible'' and thus ''the presence of Turkish troops is essential,'' he said.

    Earlier today, German Euro-MP Mechtild Rothe, addressing more than 120 Cypriot and European bikers at Brandenburg Gate who had gathered for the start of the ride, praised the peaceful character of event.

    Cassoulides said although local authorities will do their best so the demonstration will retain a peaceful character, the government remains concerned about the security of both the bikers and the people.

    The ride aims to finish at the Turkish occupied northern coastal town of Kyrenia, after crossing the buffer zone from the free government controlled areas.

    CNA AP/EC/1996

    [04] Pilots insist on 48-hour strike

    Nicosia, Aug 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus Airways pilots were firm in their decision for a 48-hour strike, as of noon tomorrow, in a dispute over the grounding of one of their colleagues.

    Cyprus Airways (CA) spokesman Tasos Angelis told CNA this afternoon that negotiations are continuing to prevent the strike that would affect dozens of flights when the 120 pilots stop work tomorrow, paralysing the national carrier.

    He added that last night's negotiations with the pilots' union PASYPI looked certain they would end with an initial agreement. However, the union's board rejected the initial compromise.

    The strike was announced Thursday night after a meeting between the CA management and PASYPI failed to agree on whether Captain Neophytos Georgiou should be put back on the roster.

    Georgiou was piloting a flight from Brussels on July 2 with 96 passengers on board, when the aircraft developed technical difficulties but landed safely. Georgiou was grounded two weeks ago pending the outcome of the investigation.

    CA management requested an investigation into the incident by the British Civil Aviation Authority, under whose rules the national carrier's pilots are licenced.

    PASYPI replied positively but demanded the company immediately revoked its decision preventing Georgiou from working until the investigation is completed.

    Furthermore, in an announcement this evening, CA strongly replied to the union, noting that the national carrier has for decades maintained a high standard of safety during flights and managed to rise to the top of the list of the most safe airlines worldwide. ''We shall not allow anyone to endanger the security'' of our flights, the statement said.

    The management appealed to the union to bear in mind their responsibility to the company and the island and reason with the CA for a settlement of the dispute.

    CNA AP/EC/1996

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