Solidarity with Cyprus Protest.

[01] Government admits missile deal

[02] US warns Turkey against attacking Cyprus

[03] Russian ambassador calls reaction to S-300 ''hypocritical''

[04] Belgium cancels Turkish weapons deal

[05] Britain admits selling arms to Turkey but not to pseudostate

[06] British MPs join Greek Cypriots outside Turkish Embassy

[07] Turkish warships sail to Famagusta

[08] Family of murdered Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to court

[09] Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to Court

[01] Government admits missile deal

Nicosia, Jan 6 1997 (CNA) -- The government has confirmed the signing of an arms deal for the purchase of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides told a private television network the deal ''is a reality, the process has been concluded and the relevant agreement signed.''

The Minister, however, pointed out the goods will be delivered at a later date, but avoided to be more specific.

''The agreement in question, as well as other agreements we may conclude, concern the delivery of military hardware not now, but sometime in the future,'' the Minister told ANTENA TV.

The multi-million dollar arms deal, said to have been signed on Saturday, has caused the US, European countries and Turkey to express grave concern over the military build-up in Cyprus.

''Our ambassador to the US was summoned to the State Department where the American administration expressed its deep concern about our moves,'' Michaelides said.

The US representations, he explained, relate to American concerns that ''these moves may cause difficulties in future steps (towards a settlement) and create tension.''

The Minister stressed that as long as part of Cyprus is occupied by Turkish troops, estimated by the UN at 35,000, tension on the island will persist.

This deal, he explained, conveys the message that efforts towards a settlement must be intensified and speeded up.

''The missiles will boost our defence capability and are not in any way an act of aggression,'' he added, noting that President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus is still on the cards.

Michaelides wondered why no representations were made over the continuing illegal presence of some 35 thousand Turkish troops in Cyprus, when the UN chief himself has confirmed this massive military presence, and the repeated violations of the Republic's air space by Turkish military aircraft.


[02] US warns Turkey against attacking Cyprus

Washington, 10/01/1997 (ANA - T. Ellis)

Washington yesterday sternly warned Ankara against using force on Cyprus, after reports surfaced that Turkey was seriously considering a military strike.

"This is no time for the Turkish government to be making wild and dramatic statements which will not be supported by any sensible member of the international community. It would be completely out of bounds for Turkey to take this action," US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters.

The semi-official Turkish news agency Anadolu reported yesterday that Ankara was seriously pondering a military strike if Cyprus went ahead with plans to deploy advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles. Mr. Burns was commenting on published remarks on Wednesday by Turkish Defense Minister Turhan Tayan that Turkey "would use all possible means to halt the missile deployment."

"We hope very much that this report... is incorrect. We hope it does not reflect in any way, shape or form the views of the Turkish government," Mr. Burns told reporters.

"There can be no question that Turkey must respect the rules of the road here, which are no country, and specifically in this case Turkey, should threaten the use of military force against Cyprus; no country, specifically here Turkey, should undertake military force against Cyprus," he added.

Washington has also condemned Cyprus' purchase of the Russian missiles, although Mr. Burns said the air defense system will not be deployed for at least 16 months.


[03] Russian ambassador calls reaction to S-300 ''hypocritical''

Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Muratov described today the reaction of certain countries to the decision of the Cyprus Republic to purchase Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles as ''incomprehensible'' and ''hypocritical''.

Speaking after a meeting here with socialist EDEK party leader Vassos Lyssarides, Muratov said the acquisition by Cyprus of the S-300s does not change things, either in Cyprus or in the area since the anti-aircraft missiles in question are purely defensive weapons.

Muratov noted that ''if those countries which react (to the purchase) are consistent, then they should impose an arms embargo not only on Cyprus but also on Turkey, Greece and on the whole of the region.''

The Russian diplomat did not name those countries. But he was apparently referring to the United States, Britain and other western countries which came publicly against the decision of the Cyprus Republic to acquire the Russian surface-to-air missiles.

However, Muratov reaffirmed that his country will cooperate with the US and other UN Security Council permanent members towards a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

He announced that Russian Foreign Ministry officials will visit Cyprus within the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides welcomed the Russian keen interest in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

The Cypriot official was commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov's written reply to President Glafcos Clerides' message.

The reply was conveyed to President Clerides yesterday by the island's opposition leftwing AKEL party General Secretary Demetris Christofias.

EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides stressed the need for strengthening further relations between Cyprus and Russia in all fields.


[04] Belgium cancels Turkish weapons deal

Brussels, 16/01/1997 (ANA - G. Daratos)

The Belgian government announced yesterday that it was canceling a deal to supply Turkey with US-made surface-to-air Hawk missiles, saying it wanted to avoid throwing further "oil on the fire" of Greek-Turkish relations.

Athens has criticized the sale - handled through French electronics giant Thomson - by both the Belgian and Dutch governments to supply the missiles to Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch Organization (HRW) has accused Ankara of acquiring excessive quantities of modern weapons systems that could be used in an opaque way for suppression of the Kurdish rebellion in its southeastern provinces and engage in systematic violation of the human rights of inhabitants in the region.

The non-governmental organization said Turkey was negotiating with the United States and Europe on the purchase of four CH-47 Chinook personnel carrier helicopters, worth US$135 million, 30 AS-532 Cougar combat helicopters, worth $400 million, 50 S-70 B lack Hawk personnel carrier helicopters, worth $1.1 billion, 54 modernized F-4 "Phantom" fighters armed with 30 Popeye missiles, worth $600 million, as well as a program for material and technical support for its fleet of F-16 fighters, worth $125 million.


[05] Britain admits selling arms to Turkey but not to pseudostate

London, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Britain's Foreign Office has admitted today that Britain continues to sell arms to Turkey as a NATO ally but not to the Greek or Turkish Cypriot sides in Cyprus, an official spokesman said.

CNA asked the Foreign Office official to comment on a Sunday report in ''The Observer'' that British arms sold to Turkey end up in the Turkish- occupied part of Cyprus.

Asked whether Britain continues to sell arms to Turkey, the spokesman said ''yes, we do sell arms to Turkey. It is a NATO ally,'' he pointed out.

However, he clarified ''we do not sell arms to either side of Cyprus'' but ''we are not aware of any of these arms be sold to Turkey finding their way to Cyprus and we do not have reason to believe that they do,'' he added.

Asked if he rules out the possibility of British arms ending up in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, the Foreign Office spokesman repeated ''my answer to that is the same as I have said before.''

Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

Britain has retained two military bases in Cyprus under the 1960 treaty of establishment of the Cyprus Republic.


[06] British MPs join Greek Cypriots outside Turkish Embassy

London, Jan 23 (CNA) -- British Members of Parliament added their voice to that of Greek Cypriots protesting non-stop since last summer outside the Turkish Embassy in London against the violent murders of four of their compatriots by Turkish occupation troops.

The British MPs, including both Conservative and Labour members of the House of Commons as well as members of the House of Lords, took the place of the Greek Cypriot protestors in a symbolic gesture of support to their just cause.

Early this morning, Roger Gale and John Marshall of the Conservative Party, Perry Grant of the Labour Party and Lord Ted Graham of the House of Lords stood in front of the Turkish Embassy protesting against Turkish brutality that caused the lives of three civilians and an unarmed soldier last summer.

Later on, they were replaced by Labour Party MPs Tom Cox, Eddie O'Hara and Jeremy Corby.

Meanwhile 120 British MPs have so far signed an Early Day Motion, tabled in the House of Commons on January 13, 1997, which expresses support to the continuous peaceful vigil, outside the Turkish Embassy.

''This vigil'', the Motion notes, ''is a clear expression of the anger of the Greek Cypriot community at the invasion and continuous occupation of their country and the ongoing denial of human rights and is an example to all people on how to protest with dignity and honour against the murder in cold blood of its citizens in their own country.''


[07] Turkish warships sail to Famagusta

Nicosia, Jan 25 (CNA) -- Three warships sailed today from Turkey to the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta on the eastern coast of this Mediterranean island.

According to the Turkish Cypriot press, Turkish defence Minister, Turhan Tayan claimed this is a ''peaceful visit'', while Turkish Cypriot daily ''Kibris'' says the visit is an answer to Greek Cypriot armaments.

The Turkish warships will remain in the occupied Famagusta port until Wednesday, January 29.

Turkish high ranking officials, including President Suleyman Demirel and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller have recently expressed threats against Cyprus after the government concluded an agreement for the purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missiles S-300.

Turkey invaded the island in 1974 and still occupies 37 per cent of its territory.


[08] Family of murdered Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to court

Nicosia, Feb 1 (CNA) -- The family of a young Greek Cypriot brutally murdered by extremist Turks during a demonstration, last year, yesterday brought the case against Turkey before the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe.

Lawyer Andreas Papacharalambous, representing the family of 24 year-old Tassos Isaac, told CNA today that their aim is ''to prove that Turkey is responsible for the unjustified killing of Tasos Isaac.''

Isaac was savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists, including members of the ''Grey Wolves'', a Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation, on August 11 1996, during a demonstration against the continuing Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus.

Papacharalambous said that if Turkey is found guilty, the family will then seek compensation.

Isaac's death was recorded on camera by TV crews covering the demonstration as well as press photographers and was noted in UN reports on the demonstration.

The Cypriot lawyer said he will also bring the case of retired Greek Cypriot fireman Petros Kakoullis, murdered in cold blood by Turkish soldiers, last September, while gathering snails, before the Commission.

Turkey is also likely to be in the dock to face charges about the killing of another Greek Cypriot, Solomos Solomou, shot dead by the Turks during a demonstration after Isaac's funeral, on August 14.


[09] Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to Court

Nicosia, Feb 13 (CNA) -- A Greek Cypriot woman, Georgia Andreou, from Pyla village, filed a petition against Turkey, on Wednesday, before the European Commission of Human Rights.

Andreou was seriously injured when Turkish troops fired indiscriminately against Greek Cypriot demonstrators, during an anti-occupation rally in August last year.

''The procedure before the Commission is confidential and therefore I cannot make any comment on the contents of the suit," Andreou's lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades, told CNA today.

It is expected that Turkey will raise objections, relating to its reservations about the right of individuals to file petitions claiming to be the victim of a violation in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkey and the compulsory recognition (ipso facto) of the jurisdiction of the European Court.

The petition is expected to refer to an earlier case by another Greek Cypriot, Titina Loizidou, who was vindicated by the European Court of Human Rights. The Court ruled in December last year, after nearly seven years of judicial procedures, that Turkey is responsible for continuing violation of Loizidou's human right to "peaceful enjoyment of his possession."

The December ruling has been described as a landmark decision in that Turkey was, for the first time, held accountable in an international court of law for human rights violations in Cyprus' occupied areas.


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