GCC Press Review 14 Jan 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Ordering one probe after another for Stylianos’ death

In the grinder of procedures and a justification which will come late. Today the deputy chief will brief the police chief on how many police officers are involved and the extend of each of their responsibilities. The investigating official appointed by (Labour Minister) Zeta (Emilianides) on the disciplinary offences of the social welfare services officials was given a deadline until the end of the month.

  • FMs (of Cyprus & Greece): We talk among us
  • Museum without any cloak – (Transport Minister) Karousos disagrees with the Archbishop’s intentions. Public interest is above his holiness’ plans.
  • Libya: They hit a snag in Moscow – Athens-Nicosia on the margins.

Phileleftheros

Diplomatic counterattack

Nicosia and Athens coordinate to thwart Turkish plans. Turkey is trying to maintain the faits accomplis.

  • The Archbishop raised controversy: War over plans to convert the (Hadjigeorgakis) mansion and two churches into museums

Haravgi

They are finishing off the institution of the Attorney-general!

If the appointment of Mr Rikkos Erotokritou in the Attorney-general’s office, as best of the best, sustained a blow to the institution, the choice of Mr Ionas Nicolaou will finish it off, AKEL points out. The party disagrees with President Nicos Anastasiades’ intention of appointing him as Attorney-general.

  • After society’s reaction (on the fate of the Hadjigeorgakis mansion), the state too took a stand
  • The film ‘Flowers and bullets’ is moving and shocking, (taken) from reality

Cyprus Mail

Record fines for data violations

Circumstances highlight need for renewal of UNFICYP mandate says president.

  • Archbishop under pressure over museum plans

Alithia

Archbishop’s wrath over the attacks against the Church

After reactions concerning the Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios mansion. He said he is saddened, disappointed and tired and stressed: Between 30 and 40 hotels were built in Paphos and no one reacted for the destruction of antiquities. As soon as the Church said it would build in the same area attacks and accusations started that antiquities would be ruined.

  • Coordination of Greece’s and Cyprus’ FMs on developments
  • Arrest-escape: Stelios Gregorakis passed away (1974 fighter)
  • Horror show in Moscow over Libya: The truce agreement was not signed. Haftar asked deadline until today morning.

Main News

Cyprus-Greece FMs sign MoU for further cooperation

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, EU Matters, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The Cypriot and Greek foreign ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for policy consultations and technical cooperation following talks between the two countries’ foreign ministers in Athens, the dailies report.

According to the papers, the Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Monday held talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias on Turkey’s recent actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and in particular the maritime accord with Tripoli.

They also signed an MoU between their respective ministries for policy consultations and technical cooperation.

Speaking to the press following the talks with Dendias, Christodoulides said they discussed the latest developments in the region as well as coordinating actions between the two countries in an increasingly fluid environment “where certain states believe they can violate fundamental tenets of international law or the sovereign rights of other states.”

On the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides said Nicosia is ready to resume talks as soon as possible. He expressed the wish that Ankara would respond, adding that a settlement on Cyprus will have a catalysing effect both on Greek-Turkish relations as well as on the region more broadly.

Asked whether Nicosia is satisfied from the EU’s stance so far vis a vis Turkey’s actions in the Mediterranean including on the issue of the targeted measures agreed against companies and individuals involved in Turkey’s drillings off Cyprus, he said it was especially important that the EU send the right and necessary messages to Turkey.

He also said the Republic of Cyprus is not against Ankara’s European prospect but that this would solely depend on Turkey.

Dendias said he and Christodoulides discussed Turkey’s illegal and unlawful actions which are not restricted to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The talks also focused on the situation in Libya – following the ceasefire there – and Iraq.

Dendias underlined that the initiatives undertaken by Athens and Nicosia, as well as their partnerships with other regional counties, are not directed against any one nation referring to “alleged conspiracies being concocted to isolate Turkey in the sea” which, he said, are not convincing.

He reiterated that the two memoranda of understanding recently struck between Turkey and Libya – one delimiting their maritime jurisdictions, the other on security cooperation – are null and void.

“Our engagement [with Nicosia] is precisely aimed at generating a recognition that those two agreements are invalid.”

Christodoulides’ official visit to Athens included meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whom he saw later in the day.

In the meantime, political parties suggest closer and more systematic cooperation with Greece.

Phileleftheros reports that DIKO spokesman Pavlos Mylonas brought back the party’s suggestion for upgrading relations with Greece through the institutionalisation of a Supreme Council of Strategic Cooperation because the coordination of Athens and Nicosia should not be restricted to the exchange of visits and meetings between the foreign ministers.  

Setting up a cooperation council is necessity, especially due to Turkey’s aggression in the region, he said.

The Citizens’ Alliance called for a summit of the two countries’ political leaders to jointly shape a common strategy on the national issues, with the help of experts.

The Solidarity Movement said Greece was unable to guard its sovereign rights in Kastelorizo island. Commenting on statements by the country’s deputy FM Miltiades Varvitsiotis that Greece would not declare its EEZ to the east in the near future, the party said that this was due to that Greece is not in a position to defend her sovereign rights in the Kasterorizo EEZ. It is clear that declaring an EEZ always presupposes a state’s defence abilities within it, the party said, according to Phileleftheros.

KEY ACTORS
Christodoulides (Cyprus)
>>
Nicosia is ready to resume the Cyprob talks as soon as possible, since a solution will have a catalysing effect both on Greek-Turkish relations as well as on the region more broadly.
>> Believes the EU ought to send the right and necessary messages to Turkey as regards her activities in the East Med.
>> The RoC does not object to Ankara’s European prospect but the result is solely up to Turkey.

Dendias (Greece)
>>
The initiatives by Athens & Nicosia, as well as their partnerships with other regional counties, are not directed against any one nation, including Turkey that claims efforts are made to isolate her in the region.
>> Athens & Nicosia work together to generate a recognition that the two MoUs Turkey signed with Libya are null and void.

Mylonas (DIKO)
>>
DIKO would like to see more structured cooperation between Greece & Cyprus than just exchange of visits and meetings between the FMs & suggests the institutionalisation of a Supreme Council of Strategic Cooperation which is a necessity, especially due to Turkey’s aggression.

Citizens’ Alliance
>>
Wants the political leaders of Greece & Cyprus to meet to shape a common strategy on all national issues.

Solidarity Movement
>>
The fact that Greece does not plan on declaring its EEZ to the east as yet is proof that she is not in a position to defend her sovereign rights in Kasterorizo.


Man who hid for 11 months in a cave to avoid arrest by Turkish soldiers in 1974 dies

Alithia
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that Stelios Gregorakis, the man who was rescued by Glafcos Clerides after hiding for 11 months in a cave in Koma tou Yialou after escaping from the Turkish soldiers in 1974, died last Sunday at the age of 75.

Gragorakis from Crete had served in ELDYK between 1964 and 1965 and remained in Cyprus after marrying a woman from Ayia Triada. When the Turkish invasion started in 1974, he joined the National Guard as a volunteer.

After the war, he was deemed as a missing person but information emerged in August 1975 he was in fact hiding in a cave in Koma tou Yialou. The information came from the two nieces of a GC enclaved farmer in the area, who were bringing Gregorakis food.

Gregorakis had been arrested on August 20, 1974 along with other 17 soldiers in Ayios Therissos in Karpasia. He was tortured by the Turkish soldiers who thought he was of higher rank than his colleagues and escaped after hearing there would be executions.

He hid in the cave with the help of a GC farmer and remained there for 11 months.

When Glafcos Clerides learned about this, he contacted Rauf Denktash asking for his help to rescue Gregorakis.  On August 7, 1975 Clerides, Denktash and the head of the Red Cross in Cyprus drove in the same car to the area where the man was located and brought him back to Nicosia.

At the time his wife and two-year-old daughter were enclaved in Ayia Triada, and he was able to reunite with them a day after his rescue. The family later moved to Limassol. His funeral will take place on Wednesday in Limassol.


Premiere of ‘Flowers & Bullets’ film about the 1974 war

Haravgi
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The first screening of the film ‘Flowers and bullets’ by AKEL MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek and director Panikos Chrysanthou took place on Monday in Nicosia, the daily reports.

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said at the premiere that the film is about the story of Giorgos Liasis and the Souppouris family and the story of Palekythro village “where one of the most heinous crimes of 1974 took place, ” the paper reported.

Kyprianou said it is a shocking and moving film, adding that when an AKEL delegation went together with the United Cyprus Party to visit in September 2015 the burial places of the victims of the villages of Maratha, Sandalaris and Aloa, a small numbers of locals yelled at them they did not want peace but “found against them GCs and TCs to remind them that nothing can stop peace in Cyprus.”

The AKEL leader said that the film also starts with that same tension and conflict.

he added that despite the conspiracies, nationalism, blood and tears the island experienced “there is today a homeland we want; GS, TCs, Maronites, Latins and Armenians. One homeland, one people.”

He also said that GCs and TCs will be able to count on the future only when it will be ensured it will be a common one, as part of a solution that would end the occupation and settlement and reunite the island in a bizonal bicommunal federation, the paper reported.


Outrage over archbishop’s decision to turn the Kornesios mansion into byzantine museum

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The papers report that Archbishop Chrystsostomos came under fire on Monday following his announcement that he would turn the Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios mansion into a byzantine musuem.

According to the papers, he also said that he had also expressed the intention of turning two churches in the old part of Nicosia into museums.

Tourist guides and political parties voiced their opposition to the archbishop’s expressed intentions.

The Cyprus tourist guides association called on the archbishop to rethink this move arguing that the decision was made without taking into account important criteria such as that the ethnological museum (Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios mansion) is the only museum on the island that reflects the 300 years of Ottoman rule in Cyprus. They also said its conversion into a byzantine museum is unnecessary, as there is already a very important museum close by.

They also pointed out that such actions are akin to a practice in the occupied areas where many Greek Orthodox churches have been converted into museums or other public buildings.

The transport ministry said on Monday it has not been officially informed of this decision, but despite that, it would discuss the issue with the archbishop.

It said that the Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios mansion must remain and operate as an ethnological museum, “thus contributing to the conservation of historic memory for such an important period of the history of Cyprus.”

It added that the mansion is seen by Cypriots as an integral part of the town’s history, while preserving it is a matter of public interest.

Politis reports that the archbishop said that he would listen to what those objecting this move had to say but at the end of the day, the final decision would be his.

He also said that he was offended by the attacks, arguing that the Church has its own advisers and archaeologists it consults on the matter.

Alithia, citing the archbishop’s statements to Omega TV, reports that the mansion was property of the archbishopric as it was given to it by Kornesios’ heirs, but was leasing it to the antiquities department. The lease expired some two years ago and now the Church decided to take over and make changes, he said.


Man arrested at crossing with over €30,000 in his posession

Alithia
CBMs, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that a 44-year-old man was arrested on Sunday afternoon at the Pyrgos-Limnitis crossing after a large amount of cash was found on him for which he was not able to provide sufficient information.

According to the paper the man was returning from the occupied areas on Sunday afternoon when his car was stopped at the crossing.

During a search in his car, €15,700 in cash was found as well as €11,000 in cheques while another €4,000 in cash was found on him. The man, who did not provide sufficient information on where the money came form, was arrested for the illegal possession of property, the paper reports.