Cyprus > A divided land July 20, 2006Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
Meletis Apostolides had made his way quietly down the gravel path, pausing occasionally to stare at the lemon and olive groves behind. “She told me she was the owner of the villa,” he remembers. “And I said, ‘Yes, but I am the owner of the land.”
He, like many other Greek Cypriots, claims that the land he owned has been stolen from him – and that the thousands of Britons, lured by the low prices and Mediterranean sunshine, are contributing to the illegal occupation of his land. But, finally, after years of legal wrangling which has stirred so many of the tensions that still divide Cyprus 32 years after the invasion, the case is to be settled. Land dispute casts new shadow over north Cyprus
Thirty two years after the Turkish army, responding to a Greek-engineered coup, invaded Cyprus and forced 167,000 Greek Cypriots to flee to the south, the inhabitants of the unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus still live in a legal and political vacuum. In 2004, when Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, announced a referendum on a settlement, the north voted overwhelmingly in favour, while the south voted against. Days later, the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU, while its unrecognised neighbour was left to languish in its shadow.
Greek Cypriots are sensitive to accusations that they are indifferent to the situation in the north. “It is not that we are the rich, arrogant, superior ones who don’t want a solution,” explains Constantia Zachariadou, a journalist in Nicosia. “We are just scared. We worked so hard to gain these standards, this economic strength, and we are scared it will be taken away from us.”
There are also, of course, harrowing memories. “I was brought up not to call them my enemies but our friends, our brothers,” Constantia says of the Turkish Cypriots. “But my uncle died in 1974. He was called Constantinos. I cannot let this go. It is part of my history.”
Editor’s Note > “the Orams, defended by Cherie Booth QC” just for those who do not know who Mrs Booth is, let it be known that is Mrs Blair, the British Prime Minister’s wife who represents the Orams, under her maiden surname. Her fee, according to sources, is an astronomical amount, to be paid by Turkish businessmen! Does that make sound?
GREEK CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS TONY BLAIR’S WIFE’S INVOLVEMENT IN PROPERTY CASE
The Greek Cypriot government has reacted angrily to reports that Cherie Booth, a leading barrister and wife of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is defending a British couple in a politically sensitive case involving property rights in the Turkish-occupied part of the divided island. According to reports in the British media, Ms. Booth’s chambers, Matrix, last month confirmed that she would be heading the defence of David and Linda Orams, who were accused in a Cypriot court in April of illegally occupying an originally Greek Cypriot property in the north of the island. The couple were ordered to demolish their home and return the property to Meletis Apostolides, the Greek Cypriot who owned the property prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974.
As the Greek Cypriot ruling cannot be enforced in northern Cyprus, lawyers lodged the judgment with the British High Court. This means that the decision can be applied against the Orams’s assets in Britain. It is believed that Ms. Booth, who specializes in European human rights law, took up the Orams’s appeal after being approached by their London-based Turkish-Cypriot lawyers. While Downing Street has insisted that Ms. Booth is acting strictly in a professional capacity as a leading QC, the Greek Cypriot government has found it hard to separate her involvement in this most politically sensitive of cases from her status as the wife of the British Prime Minister, and Nicosia has suggested that the Turkish North wishes to make political capital from the affair. “For our part, we wonder why the services of Mrs Blair were requested in this particular case,” Greek Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides stated. “It is clear that the Turkish lawyers who give instructions to Mrs. Blair want to exploit her capacity as wife of the British Prime Minister, presumably believing that in this way they can influence the British justice as well,” he added.
Mr. Chrysostomides also pointed out that the UK government has advised British citizens against purchasing property in Northern Cyprus because title cannot be guaranteed and the breakaway region is recognized only by Turkey. It is known that many hundreds or even thousands of British buyers have been taking advantage of lower property prices in the north, despite worries over title and possible compensation claims.
On this day > 20 July 1974 July 20, 2006Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
1974: Turkey invades Cyprus
Thousands of Turkish troops have invaded northern Cyprus after last-minute talks in the Greek capital, Athens, failed to reach a solution.
Tension has been running high in the Mediterranean island since a military coup five days ago in which President Archbishop Makarios, a Greek Cypriot, was deposed.
The coup led to fears among the Turkish Cypriot community that the Greek-backed military rulers would ignore their rights and press for unification for Cyprus with Greece or enosis.
A Turkish armada of 33 ships, including troop transporters and at least 30 tanks and small landing craft, has landed on the northern coast.
Airlifted to safety
The bulk of the Greek fleet put to sea last night from the island of Salamis.
There are reports of clashes between Greek and Turkish warships near Paphos, a port in south-western Cyprus.
Greek Cypriot forces on the island have been defending the northern coast, around Kyrenia.
The capital, Nicosia, has seen most of the fighting. Turkish paratroops and tanks have been battling for control of the airport – but they have met fierce resistance from the Greek forces.
Shops and offices in the Greek sector of the capital have been deserted since midday yesterday as rumour of the impending invasion spread.
A second conference in August broke down when Turkish forces advanced to take control of nearly 40% of the island.
About 160,000 Greek Cypriots fled south or were expelled – about 50,000 Turkish Cypriots moved north a year later.
Talks to settle the crisis diplomatically failed. In February 1975, the Turks announced the establishment of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash becoming president. Eight years later they declared themselves an independent state which is recognised only by Turkey.
Talks have continued since to try to reconcile the two sides. In 2004 a referendum was held on a UN plan to reunite the island – it gained support from the Turkish side, but was overhwelmingly rejected by the Greeks.
CYPRUS: A DIVIDED ISLAND FOR 32 YEARS | FOR HOW LONG WILL IT BE?
The Cyprus Problem July 20, 2006Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
Today, it is a black day for Cyprus. It brings back memories of lost people, properties and lands, it brings back memories about the horror of war and how it is to be invaded and occupied in your own country. 20th July 1974 marked the military turkish invation in the Republic of Cyprus.
And ironically, history repeats itself with the flaming Lebanon, a country so close to Cyprus in both strict georgaphical terms and to what’s happened and what’s happening now.
What is the substance of the Cyprus problem? It is an undeniable fact that we are talking about a problem of lasting foreign interventions, the climax being the Turkish invasion and occupation of almost 40% of Cypriot territory for over thirty years now. At the same time, there is the problem of the normalisation of the relations between the two communities.
Mr A. Kyprianou (member of the political bureau of the central committtee of the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus-AKEL) in his speech The Cyprus Problem in Brussels on the 13th July 2006 at the European Policy Centre, clearly defines the existence of the political problem and makes a brief historical reference to the related facts.
Although we do not share his party’s opinion and statements, we have fount his speech quite interesting from the historical point of view. Here are some excerpts from his speech. The rest you can read by using the above link. (more…)
Summer wines July 20, 2006Posted by grhomeboy in Wine And Spirits.
If you need a wine to go with your summer evening, try these.
July, and the humidex is showing 75 and the temperature is above 30 in the shade. The temptation to grab a cold one can be unbearable. A cold beer perhaps? This is a possibility but on this page no, not quite.
Beer has a place under the summer sun. A ubiquitous lager, or a cerveza es buena poolside, but rather trite don’t you think? The fact of the matter is that wine and summer food (and weather) are best mates. The trick is to find the ideal wines to pair with your backyard meals. Think crisp, light, fruity, clean and effervescent. Here are some of my recommendations this summer.
Keep it pink
Rose wines have a reputation for being effeminate. This is peculiar because of late, the rather masculine nation of Greece has been a leader in quality rose production. Try, for example, the 2005 Domaine Biblia Chora Rose, Mount Pangeo, Kokkinohori, Kavala, Greece. Alcohol Volume 13%. A bottle you can buy several of to enjoy for the entire summer.
On the barren slopes of Mount Pangeon, at Kokkinohori near Kavala, the enologists Vasilis Tsaktsarlis and Vangelis Gerovasiliou have joined forces and combined their experience in wine production to set up model vineyards covering 150 hectares. The Syrah rose has an appealing strawberry hue. The nose, however, is full of all manner of wild berries – and deceivingly ripe. On the palate the berry flavour is light, but pervasive. While it has medium body, its acidity is quite high and complex, going from just tart to citrusy, even puckering at the finish. Ultimately, this is a unique and austere young vine rose – a bold balance with sophisticated aromas. Delicious wine with burgers done over charcoal.
Or you could try the 2005 Domaine Spiropoulos Meliasto, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece, Alcohol volume 11.5%. The Spiropoulos family, closely associated with winemaking since 1860, has also pioneered organic viticulture since 1993. The Moschofilero in this wine is also a product of organic cultivation. Appealing pink rose petal colour, intensity and character on the nose interplay between the lifted rose and the ripe strawberry aromas. There is roundness and persistency in this wine. Ideal with rabbit cooked with onion and white meats, spinach and cheese pies and pastas with tomato sauce.
The final rose comes from Cote du Rhone: the 2004 Cote du Rhone, E. Guigal, Chateau d’Ampuis, France. Alcohol Volume 13%. This Rhone valley rose is pale orange in colour, dry, fresh and nicely scented. A classical style rose wine, from a single vineyard just outside the famous village of Cairanne. The floral and ripe strawberry fruit pleases the palate. This wine is fabulous with light salads, grilled meats and BBQ.
The great white hope
Enough with rose wines for now. On to another ideal choice for warm summer night. With almost endless amount of choice in this category, it can be tough to nail down the right bottle for a dinner party or for a picnic. This year I will go for the Italian Pinot Grigio. 2004 Danzante Pinot Grigio delle Venezie. Alcohol Volume 12.5%. Pinot Grigio is considered a natural mutation of the noble Pinot Noir grape, with berries often tinged cinnamon brown or even grayish purple. The Danzante is the third project from the Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi collaboration. Dry white with golden reflections. The bouquet is intense with enticing fragrances of fresh citrus fruit and lemon blossom leading to vibrant flavours of melon and peach. On the palate, it’s silky with a well-balanced body enhanced with hints of pineapple, grapefruit and spices that carry through to a crisp, dry finish. Enjoy it with a wide variety of seafood or white meat dishes as well as creamy cheeses.
It’s looking Zinfandel and Gamay
While salads, seafood and fish make for great summer foods, we all know that red meat on the grill is king. Hoist a glass of Californian Zinfandel or a slightly chilled Beaujolais Gamay with a juicy burger or steak and I guarantee a tasty result. More about these grapes in the not too distant future.