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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-16 (UPDATE)

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

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Disappointment over Ciller's statement
  • [02] Government calls for self-restraint
  • [03] Government cautious welcome of US stand
  • [04] Intensified efforts for Cyprus dialogue
  • [05] Five bullets hit Greek Cypriot protestor
  • [06] Church appeals for calm
  • [07] Calm in Dherynia after burial

  • 1730:CYPPRESS:07

    [01] Disappointment over Ciller's statement

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has expressed regret and disappointment regarding statements made yesterday by Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller, following the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turks during peaceful anti-occupation rallies.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, said Ciller, in an inflammatory manner, negates other parts of her statements which send a message a peace between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    Ciller said yesterday while visiting the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus that the violation of the Turkish ''borders'', meaning the buffer zone separating the free and occupied areas of the island, will not be tolerated. She also said the Turks will ''break the hands of whoever dares to insult their flag.''

    Greek Cypriot demonstrator Solomos Spyrou Solomos, 26, was shot and killed by Turkish occupation troops Wednesday, while trying to lower the Turkish flag from a sentry position along the buffer zone near the occupied ghost-town of Famagusta.

    Solomou's funeral was taking place this afternoon at Paralimni, in eastern Cyprus.

    Cyprus police and UN forces have stepped up security in the nearby buffer zone, to prevent any entry into the no-man's land.

    Last Sunday, Turkish extremists savagely beaten to death another Greek Cypriot demonstrator, 24-year-old Tasos Isaac.

    Cassoulides added the government's disappointment is greater, if one considers that Ciller is head of the Turkish diplomatic service and has served as Prime Minister of Turkey.

    Greek Government Spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, reacted to Ciller's statements by saying that the Turkish Foreign Minister is ''a messenger of bad tidings'' because with her behaviour, in the past and present, has proven that her country does not wish a rapproachment and friendly relations with Greece.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when the island was invaded and its northern third occupied by Turkey.

    CNA MH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1755:CYPPRESS:08

    [02] Government calls for self-restraint

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- The government has appealed for ''self-restraint'' to help diffuse the situation on the island, following this week's incidents in the UN-controlled buffer zone which resulted in the killing of two Greek Cypriots by Turkish occupation troops.

    The appeal was made by Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, who said ''the government believes moves have to be made to diffuse the situation.''

    ''The government, in consultation with the government of Greece, urges the people of Cyprus to show self-restraint and behave in a calm manner,'' he told his daily press briefing ahead of tomorrow's visit to the island of Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    Asked how the recent unrest in Cyprus would affect efforts to settle the Cyprus question, the Spokesman said ''I hope they signal the start of serious and pain-staking effort by the international community to seek a settlement in Cyprus.''

    The government, he said, hopes that the international community will exert its influence ''in an intense, systematic, persistent and pressing manner to force a change in the attitude of those responsible for the positions expressed by the Turkish side.''

    Asked if there was any sense of optimism that Turkey would change its tune as far as the Cyprus situation is concerned, Cassoulides replied ''I cannot, on the basis of statements made, come to such a conclusion.''

    However, he pointed out that attempts to solve the Cyprus problem must carry on and expressed the view that the overwhelming majority of Greek and Turkish Cypriots want to live in peace.

    The Cyprus problem, he explained, will be settled by the two communities in accordance with UN resolutions and provided Ankara, which holds the key to a solution and influences the Turkish Cypriots, changes its policy on Cyprus.

    Commenting on the brutal and excessive force used by the Turkish occupation troops during the anti-occupation rallies, Cassoulides said ''the government will protest the killings in international fora and will continue to do so whenever the chance arises in order to help the international community realise the need for a speedy settlement in Cyprus.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1800:CYPPRESS:09

    [03] Government cautious welcome of US stand

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has welcomed the US position that Turkish troops have responded in a ''disproportionate'' manner to the threat posed by protestors.

    The Spokesman has also welcomed a statement by the President of the UN Security Council who ran along the same lines.

    In the past week, Turkish extremists and Turkish occupation troops killed two Greek Cypriot demonstrators, who had broken into the UN-controlled buffer zone during anti-occupation protests.

    One of them, 24-year-old Tasos Isaac, was savagely beaten to death but Turkish extremists, including three members of the Turkish Cypriot so-called police force, and a second one, 26-year-old Solomos Spyrou Solomou, was shot dead when attempting to pull down the Turkish flag from its pole.

    ''The US State Department statement goes beyond the normal position of maintaining an equal distance from both sides, a stand we have been accustomed to for years,'' Cassoulides said.

    The government, he added, considers it ''fortunate that at last, thanks to the mass media, they saw for themselves that the policy of maintaining equal distances does not serve any purpose.''

    Cassoulides said such policy probably encourages those who think they have the right to act in an unacceptable and barbaric manner when the buffer zone is violated.

    The US spokesman ''deplored the killing of the young Greek Cypriot'' on Wednesday and said the response from ''Turkish Cypriot security forces was disproportionate to the threat posed by the protestors.''

    He also called on the government of Cyprus ''to keep people out of the buffer zone'' and urged the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces ''to adhere to internationally accepted norms and to avoid any further violence in the buffer zone.''

    ''We are demanding accountability and bringing those responsible for criminal acts to justice,'' the US spokesman added.

    Condemnation for the killing came from other quarters as well, including Russia, France and Israel.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned decisively ''acts of inhuman savagery'' in Cyprus and called for ''the utmost self-restraint and effective measures to bring the situation back to normal.''

    Russia reiterated the need for a just and viable Cyprus settlement as soon as possible.

    Israel ''deplores'' the two killings and calls on both sides to show ''the utmost restraint.''

    It also expresses the hope for ''a just and acceptable solution to the conflict.''

    France described the killings as ''a horrific act'' and expressed solidarity with the people of Cyprus.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1820:CYPPRESS:10

    [04] Intensified efforts for Cyprus dialogue

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today he believes there is an effort to intensify activity to promote dialogue for a Cyprus settlement, after the necessary preparations have been made.

    Cassoulides was asked to comment on a statement made by British special representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, on the BBC World Service, that there should be intensive work to find common ground for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ''If you want the estimation from the talks with the representatives of the permanent members of the Security Council, we are on the same line'', Cassoulides said, adding that ''this means negotiations as soon as possible, after intensive preparations''.

    The Spokesman said after the latest events in Cyprus, he sees ''some effort to intensify this activity''.

    Speaking on the BBC World Service, Sir David said ''a solution to the Cyprus problem will depend on whether the two sides will approach negotiations with a give-and-take spirit or if they will recite a litany of woes of the past twenty-two years''.

    Asked if direct negotiations are the best way forward, Sir David said ''we are all working for the concerted effort'' of all in the international community interested in the problem.

    Sir David said ''we must work in the framework of a bizonal, federal solution'' which was put forward by the Security Council and which was accepted in principle by the two sides.

    Furthermore, Sir David expressed himself in favour of a solution to the Cyprus problem before the accession of the island to the European Union and said he hoped ''the shock of the past few days will bring home to more people that the status quo is a bad outcome, with the risk of wider regional tensions''.

    The British official said ''we already see the difficult relations between Greece and Turkey, which affect the developments in Cyprus and vice versa''.

    ''However'', he stressed, ''if you are asking me whether it is definite that a solution to the Cyprus problem will be found, I cannot say yes''.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA RG/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1930:CYPPRESS:11

    [05] Five bullets hit Greek Cypriot protestor

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- A Greek Cypriot demonstrator, shot dead by Turkish occupation troops on Wednesday, was hit by five bullets in the head, heart, lungs and legs, coroners have said.

    The post mortem on the body of Solomos Spyrou Solomou, 26, was carried out by two coroners, Panikos Stavrianos and Sophoclis Sophocleous, this afternoon in the presence of a UN doctor and lasted about four hours.

    Doctos told the press afterwards, Solomou died instantly.

    The funeral of the murdered Greek Cypriot got underway a few minutes ago and is officiated by the primate of the church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    The Cyprus government is represented by Health Minister Manolis Christophides and the Greek government by the deputy Education Minister Georgios Paschalides.

    Police have taken strict security measures to prevent any recurrence of violent clashes and restrain people from entering the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    All flags in the eastern town of Paralimni, where Solomou is being buried, fly at half mast and the town is clad in black, the colour of mourning in Cyprus.

    Political leaders from Cyprus and Greece are also at the funeral.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2130:CYPPRESS:12

    [06] Church appeals for calm

    Paralimni, Aug 16 (CNA) -- The church, after the state, has appealed to the young people in Cyprus to put an end to their protests against the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus, for the time being.

    The appeal was made by the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos during the funeral service of a Greek Cypriot demonstrator shot dead earlier in the week by Turkish troops in the UN buffer zone.

    Solomos Solomou, 26, was killed when he was hit by five bullets from Turkish occupation forces when he tried to lower the Turkish flag from its pole in the UN-patrolled buffer zone.

    Speaking on behalf of many mothers, the Archbishop addressed young Cypriots and said ''the objective of your protests has been achieved to a great extent, it is considered necessary, for the time being, to avoid any more events in order to allow the political leadership to benefit from the positive climate and avoid any more bloodshed,'' he added.

    He told Cypriot youth that they had succeeded ''in bringing to the limelight the injustice in Cyprus and you have helped the political leadership on the island to project the just demands of our people for the restoration of freedom and human rights.''

    ''Some might say your attempt to pull down the Turkish flag was silly but heroism surpasses the bounds of reason when you are fighting for your country, religion, freedom and national dignity,'' Chrysostomos said.

    Praising Solomou's courage, he described his sacrifice as ''a significant service'' to the struggle of the people of Cyprus for freedom and justice.

    In his speech, Paralimni mayor Nikos Vlittis said Solomou proved by his actions that ''no barbed wire could have stopped him'' and remarked on the ''cowardice of those who fired at him.''

    Wreaths were laid on behalf of President Glafcos Clerides, Greece's President Costis Stephanopoulos and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, due in Cyprus tomorrow.

    Simitis' wreath was laid by Deputy Education Minister George Paschalides, who said in Cyprus ''we demand all the inalienable rights of hellenism.''

    Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the Cypriot and Greek political leadership and the family of another Greek Cypriot, 24-year-old Tasos Isaac, beaten to death by Turkish Cypriot demonstrators, including so-called police officers, during Sunday's demonstrations.

    Greece's ''Political Spring'' party leader Antonis Samaras, who was greeted by the gathered crowds with extended round of applause, said ''Solomos died a free man, and cried out aloud that he wants a free Cyprus without borders and without Turkish occupation''.

    Today's funeral took place in a sombre atmosphere and at a time when emotions ran high following the two murders by the Turkish occupation forces.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2210:CYPPRESS:13

    [07] Calm in Dherynia after burial

    Dherynia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- Calmness and serenity reign around this eastern village, where Turkish troops and extremists killed in cold blood two Greek Cypriot demonstrators in the past week, after the last victim was laid to rest late this evening, in nearby Paralimni town.

    Police have taken very strict security measures to prevent a repetition of last Wednesday's protests in the UN buffer zone which led to the death of 26-year-old Solomos Solomou, shot dead by the Turks while attempting to pull down the Turkish flag.

    Last Sunday, another Greek Cypriot youth, 24-year-old Tasos Isaac, was savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists, while he was peacefully protesting in the UN buffer zone against the Turkish occupation of his homeland.

    Hundreds of police officers were on duty today in Dherynia and police vehicles formed a cordon some one and a half kilometres from the buffer zone, sealing off entry into the zone.

    Police have put barbed wire to control access and police anti-terrorist units are also in the vicinity as an extra deterrent.

    People returned home after attending Solomou's funeral and the atmosphere is calm.

    Recent events in Cyprus, believed to be the most violent since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, have attracted the attention of the world's media, which flocked here today to cover the funeral of the second victim of Turkish barbarity.

    This is the first time demonstrators are killed during protest rallies over the past 22 years during which Greek Cypriots, from all walks of life, have been demanding justice and freedom.

    Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides will brief foreign correspondents tomorrow morning on the latest events here, relayed by CNN, WTN, ITN, and other international and national TV networks.

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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