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Media Watch 2003

23 September 2003
Source: Politis
Comment: The following article appeared in Politis of Nicosia on 23 September 2003.
Why Greek Cypriots do not visit the occupied areas

Survey conducted by Acnielsen/Amer for Politis

They consider the demand for the demonstration of passports offensive and also, they believe that it constitutes recognition of the pseudostate

Following the partial lifting of the restrictive measures for visiting the occupied areas lat April, 44% of the Greek Cypriots have visited the northern occupied part of their country in contrast to 56% that haven’t.
As it is stated in the third and last part of the survey conducted for Politis by ACNIELSEN/AMER “the chapter visits to the occupied areas” showed a downward trend: The majority of those who have visited the northern part did not wish to repeat it (63%), while out of those who stated that they did not go, only few expressed the will to do so in the future.

Apart from the data that concern the movement to the occupied territory, two other questions regarding the archbishop elections and the government’s decision to grant new licenses to TV stations present great interest.

The movement
44% of the Greek Cypriots visited the occupied territory for sentimental reasons. Half of them so as to see their home or their parents’ home, while a large group in order to get to know the occupied areas (24%) or to visit churches and monasteries (14%).
Out of those who went to the occupied territory, the majority (63%) that corresponds with 24% of the total population will not repeat it, while only 37% (that corresponds with 13% of the total population) will continue visiting the northern part of the island. Out of those who have not paid a visit to the occupied (56%), only a small percentage is contemplating of doing so at some point, while 86% state that they will never go to the occupied territory. The reasons are perhaps obvious; they consider the demonstration of passports offensive and also, they believe that such an action constitutes recognition of the pseudostate. In conclusion, more than 80% of the Greek Cypriots do not intend under the current circumstances to visit the occupied territory, according to the findings of the survey.

The Turkish Cypriots
The above figures combined with the majority of the Turkish Cypriots that visit continuously the free areas correspond with the data provided by the Authorities regarding the movement at the barricades. Based on the data, the Turkish Cypriots that visit the southern part of Cyprus are more than the Greek Cypriots that visit the occupied areas. In addition, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots spend on average more or less the same money (8-9 pounds) during their visits (the Turkish Cypriots because they can afford more, while the Greek Cypriots because they do not want to).

The public opinion does not seem to agree with the decision taken by DISY to send a delegation to Karpasia that would show their passports. 62% of those asked disagree with the party’s decision, while 29% agrees and 9% does not know or answer.

Archbishop elections
If elections for a new archbishop were to be realised next Sunday, it is evident that Bishop of Kykkos Nikiforos would precede, since he occupies the first place with 38%, that is double the percentage that corresponds to the second place that is occupied by the Bishop of Limassol, Athanassios (20%). Bishop of Paphos Chrysostomos is at the third place with 9% and then, the Bishop of Morphou and the Bishop of Kition complete the picture with smaller percentages. In comparison to the last survey of Politis, the Bishop of Kykkos remains at the same place, while a slight upward trend is evident in the percentages of the Bishop of Limassol and the Bishop of Paphos.

The decision by the Government to grant new licenses to Pancyprian and local TV stations satisfied the public opinion. In particular, 70% of the people asked want that more licenses be granted, a position probably deriving from the bad quality of the existing TV stations.

The identity of the survey
The survey was realised by ACNIELSEN/AMER for Politis. It was realised through the phone and it was conducted on 17-19 September with a sample of 528 people – men and women – in a Pancyprian representative sample with the method of random sampling."