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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-14

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus marked the 36th anniversary of Turkey`s second offensive against the island in the summer of 1974 resulting in the occupation of the islands northern third.

    It was 14 August 1974 when Ankara`s representatives to the Geneva peace talks refused to give the Greek Cypriot representative time to consider their proposals and effectively presented Glafcos Clerides, former President of the Republic, with an ultimatum.

    Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974, five days after the legal government of the late Archbishop Makarios III was toppled by a military coup engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece.

    Two unproductive conferences in Geneva followed; the first between Britain, Greece and Turkey and the second with the additional attendance of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives.

    Three weeks after a ceasefire was declared on 22 July, and despite the fact that talks were still being held and just as an agreement seemed about to be reached, the Turkish army mounted a second full-scale offensive.

    As a result, Turkey increased its hold to include the booming tourist resort of Famagusta in the east and the rich citrus-growing area of Morphou in the west. All in all almost 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish military occupation.

    Nearly one third of the population, some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, were forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties, thousands were killed during the hostilities, over 1,000 persons were listed as missing while thousands of Greek Cypriots and Maronites remained enclaved.

    The European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey guilty of mass violations of human rights in Cyprus.

    Over the years, a number of unsuccessful peace rounds were launched under the auspices of the United Nations to find a settlement. These efforts were short lived as they stumbled on the Turkish Cypriot sides insistence to gain recognition for the puppet regime it set up in November 1983. Only Turkey has recognized the so-called regime which was branded by the Security Council ``legally invalid``.

    Ankara has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for respect of the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began in September 2008 UN-led direct talks to achieve a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem. Talks continue now with Dervis Eroglu, who succeeded Talat in April this year.


    Cyprus Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis has said that the GDP growth rate is satisfactory in relation to previous months, according to preliminary data published by the Statistical Service of the Republic.

    Speaking during a press conference, Stavrakis said that the GDP growth rate is very satisfactory`` and ``confirms government forecasts that the Cypriot economy is beginning to slowly bounce back.

    The GDP growth rate increased by 0,4% compared to the last trimester and 0.1% compared to the second trimester of 2009.

    Growth was spurred mainly by the services industry, primarily the financial services sector, although tourism and commerce have also had satisfactory progress.

    With regard to the construction industry, he said that its growth rate is still negative although it has definitely improved compared to previous months.

    Referring to public finances, Stavrakis said that fiscal adjustment is the only way ahead and an important prerequisite to boosting economic activity.


    Relatives of victims of the worst air disaster in Cyprus and Greece mourned their loved ones, on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

    A memorial service was held at the chapel of Panagia Eleftherotria and Agia Paraskevi at Mosfiloti village on Saturday, which is dedicated to the memory of the 121 persons who lost their lives on 14 August 2005, when an Helios Airways Boeing 737 aircraft, on its way to Prague via Athens, crashed into Grammatikos mountain side, north of the Greek capital, Athens. Most of the dead were Cypriot holidaymakers.

    Another service was held at Grammatikos at the site of the crash, in the presence of relatives of the victims.

    The relatives repeated their demand that those responsible for the tragedy must be brought to justice and said that all measures necessary must be taken to avert a similar disaster.

    On August 14, 2005, an ``Helios`` Boeing flying to Prague via Athens crashed into the mountain side of Grammatiko, north of the Greek capital. All passengers and crew on board, mostly Cypriots, perished.

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