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Media Watch 2003

04 May 2003
Source: Sunday Mail
Author: Stefanos Evripidou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Sunday Mail of Nicosia on 4 May 2003
UN 'to ask Turkish Cypriots to ease the rules'

THE UNITED Nations will hold talks with the Turkish Cypriot regime tomorrow in an effort to change the current rules on the conditions of stay for Greek Cypriots entering the occupied north.

The Foreign Ministry has asked the UN to take action to ensure that Greek Cypriots crossing over to the north have their human rights respected.

The request came after last week's reports that Turkish Cypriots entered the house of Greek Cypriot enclaved people in Ayia Triada village and forced their children and grandchildren who were visiting them to leave. The regime reportedly ordered the children and grandchildren to spend the night at a local hotel in Ayios Therissos.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the ministry released a statement, on the instruction of President Tassos Papadopoulos, protesting strongly to UNFICYP and denouncing the behaviour of the occupation regime towards a number of Greek Cypriots as inhuman and humiliating.

The ministry has asked "the UN to take all necessary action so that the Turkish sidemeets its obligations that emanate from the 1975 Third Vienna Agreement and the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions regarding the enclaved people", it said.

The ministry said the government is closely monitoring the behaviour of the occupation 'authorities' towards Greek Cypriots who visit their villages and ancestral homes in the occupied areas.

"It notes with regret and grave concern that in its effort to gain political advantages, the occupation regime does not hesitate to adopt behaviour that violates the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Greek Cypriots and insults human dignity," it added.

The ministry noted that "the government is determined to exhaust all available means under the circumstances to secure the protection of the rights of Cypriot citizens who enter the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus".

At least 188,000 Greek Cypriots have crossed to the occupied north since April 23 when the regime there decided to ease restrictions on free movement, which it had imposed in 1974. According to police estimates, at least 50,000 Turkish Cypriots have visited the free areas in the last ten days.

Last week the occupation regime changed the terms of stay for Greek Cypriots, allowing them to spend up to three nights there as long as they could provide a hotel receipt upon their return.

According to diplomatic sources, the UN will be meeting with representatives of theTurkish Cypriot regime tomorrow morning to see if it is possible to remove the hotel receipt requirement for those wishing to stay overnight in the occupied north."