Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cyprus’ Shock Doctrine


Cyprus’ Shock Doctrine

Interesting findings are unveiled by exploring the recent crisis in Cyprus through the notion of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. It should not be mistaken for a theoretical preposition but rather a narrative tying torture to economic theory. The contrive outlines how economic prescriptions are implemented undemocratically upon exhausted economies with predatory behaviour. Whereby, global (IMF) and European “part- time lenders” of last resort (ECB), relish on the prospects of exploiting resource rich disaster-shocked nations. Under extreme stress, intimidation and th reats the Cypriot people have experienced techniques that draw surprising resemblance to the Kubark counterintelligence interrogation manual. The modus operandi of such methods make use of “shock and awe” approaches to economic warfare. First applied to mentally ill patients in covert CIA and US army funded experiments, sensory deprivation was then passed on to torture manuals. Used in a different context by the “new Chicago boys and girls” in Cyprus the similarities between the original shock therapy and economic shock doctrine are startlingly identic. Following the paradigms of 1973 Pinochet’s Chile, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 1997 Asian Financial crisis and 2007 Iraqi Civil war, Cyprus now becomes a new experiment in the list. The application of these ideas in the contemporary economic history of Cyprus renders it another tragic persona in the global theatres of economic subjugation. It has become the latest victim of neo-liberal political economics of the eurocrats. The scheme of undermining the foundations of the Cypriot economy, serving the appetites of unelected career politicians, with dubious interests has been in place for the past year. The Cypriot economic construction has been torpedoed in a systematic manner creating multiple shocks to the establishment. All these were nothing more than a manmade crisis to justify predetermined prescriptions in an effort to avoid “disasters” or “upheavals”.

Multiple shock stages


Kneeling the banks

Cyprus got knee-capped twice in 2011 under a private sector involvement (PSI) plan where the largest banks in Cyprus have been effectively bankrupt ever since. This was widely received by analysts as a eurocratic euphemism for kneeling the Cypriot banking sector and promoting a Greek debt default that would only hit private sector creditors, but not the ECB or other public sector creditors; a position strongly supported by Mr. Schäuble at the time. One would not be surprised to find out that the eurocratcs went for an exclusion of public and private sector involvement in bond restructuring for Cyprus considering the 5.4 billion exposure of German banks. Coupled with money laundering accusations and dirty blackmailing to abandon an attractive investment environment through higher corporate tax levels (a matter of national sovereignty falling outside EU’s exclusive competencies) destroyed the trust to the Cypriot banking sector.[1] This has successfully deflected in early 2013 foreign capital to other offshore destinations. What is more, the unwillingness of the ESM to directly recapitalise Cypriot banks (regarded as the most orthodox way to resolve the banking issue) raises questions on what were the true intentions of the troika.


Stress Positioning

Insisting on huge confiscations from wealthy savers and common depositors the Eurogroup representatives and ECB, have triggered a mass capital flight [2]and shaken the Cypriot banks. This has been the toughest line over more than three years of the eurozone crisis as Angela Merkel was keen to avoid footing too much of the bailout bill just before running for a third term. The European Commission alongside its gang of undemocratically appointed technocrats prescribed a medicine that would kill rather than cure the patient. Olli[3] Rehn overpowered by the Germans and their allies, the Finns, Dutch and Slovaks took on board this idea. This procrustean method has emphatically fractured the vital organs of the Cypriot financial system; trust and security[4]. It resulted in an unstructured deflation of the Cypriot banking system by exerting extensive stress to bring the system to its limits precluding at the same time any possible revival. The ECB’s role to this was also striking. It threatened to bring down the Cypriot banking system if a deal was not reached by doing “whatever it takes”[5] to this end, while preserving the eurozone’s integrity (a pledge that accounts for much of the subsequent support of the euro by the ECB). Furthermore the ECB knuckled under the pressure of German interests taking a much harder stance compared to the cases of Ireland and Greece. Where before deliberate “constructive ambiguity” was preferred it became clear that Cyprus was put under more stress left instead with the option of “destructive assurance” of a no-deal. Although an EU member, its calamitous situation and stressful position left Cyprus with no negotiating power by eliminating the Russian factor. This left Cyprus with no meaningful voice with EU finance ministers.


Suffocation stage

The position of the ECB through the mouth of Jörg Asmussen, member of the ECB executive board and Schäuble's former deputy at the German finance ministry acted as the executioner that put the rope around the neck. The pressure to Cypriot banks reached a turning point when he warned that the ECB will withdraw emergency liquidity support within days to Cypriot banks if no deal was struck. This translated to asphyxiation of the economy triggering the collapse of the Cypriot system with unforeseeable impacts. It turned into a high-stakes game to see who blinks first. The Cypriot government blinked. The economic devastation makes Cyprus lose a card game with marked cards. What is at stake here is in fact more than just the economy.







Thursday, March 28, 2013

Proud Cypriot youth against the economic dictatorship of the New World Order

The proud Cypriot youth resist against the economic dictatorship of global and domestic bankers. New World Order purpose is the enslavement of all nations by implementing an economic genocide. Their cruel plan will not stay unpunished! Cypriots sparked the flame of resistance and they invite the rest of Europeans in awakening in order to fight for their rights. 

Wake Up Cyprus! Wake Up Greece! Wake up Italy! Wake up Spain! Wake up Portugal! Wake Up Europe!

Η περήφανη Κυπριακή νεολαία αντιστέκεται ενάντια στην οικονομική δικτατορία των παγκόσμιων αλλά και εγχώριων τραπεζιτών. Οι σχεδιασμοί της Νέας Τάξης Πραγμάτων που επιχειρούν να επιβάλουν στο νησί με σκοπό την οικονομική γενοκτονία του έθνους δεν θα περάσει ατιμώρητη! Οι Κύπριοι άναψαν την φλόγα της αντίστασης καλώντας τους υπόλοιπους Ευρωπαίους σε αφύπνιση για διεκδίκηση των δικαιωμάτων τους. 

Ξύπνα Κύπρος! Ξύπνα Ελλάδα! Ξύπνα Ιταλία! Ξύπνα Ισπανία! Ξυπνα Πορτογαλλία !Ξύπνα Ευρώπη

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hate to say, but we told you so!

Jeroen Dijsselbloem Says Cyprus Is A 'Template' For EU Bailouts, Sends Markets Tumbling 
Germans doubt Merkel's vow on saving deposits - poll 
Italy, Spain ETFs Tank On Cyprus Bailout

We hate to say, but we told you so.

What is happening in Cyprus and Greece is the blueprint of a a pan-European disaster. More centralized banking and financial systems is not a solution. More EU is not a solution, more Europe is the solution.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fellow Europeans: Do not vilify Cyprus!

Fellow Europeans in the North-West of our continent need to fully comprehend that the vicious economic attacks against Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Hellas and now Cyprus have nothing to do with raw economic reality. Cyprus had financial problems, but nothing even close to what the international media present. Talking about Cyprus, which I feel more confident to talk about, we have just discovered vast reserves of natural gas, we have a thriving tourism, pharmaceutical, agricultural and construction industry and we have been an important knot for international trade and investment. A few billion euros of damage by some irresponsible PRIVATE banks based in Cyprus is NOT a "systemic danger" for Europe. This is political war disguised as "economic crisis" and this war is not a classic nation-state attack against another nation-state: These are international financial centers that have as an objective to eradicate the very idea of nation-state, welfare, industry and good, honest commerce. 

Take heed of what is happening in Cyprus. The outrageous demand for a haircut on people's deposits (which is utterly illegal and unconstitutional) is nothing more than a social experiment. It definitely sets a nightmarish precedent for all of us. If it "works", sooner that you might think such manufactured "crises" might hit you at home, yes, in North, central and Western Europe. The EU, in tandem with these financial centers, has created a transnational elite (with politicians from all EU member-states) in Brussels and elsewhere that already behaves with the arrogant attitude of every unelected bureaucracy. So support our NO and don't believe what they say about "lazy Mediterraneans" and "backward Southerners" just because we live under the sun. Tomorrow they will find something to say about you. This is the time for the people of this ancient continent to be in solidarity. If you love your country, then love my country as well, so I can love your country back!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

From the Greek-Cypriots with love

Because the international media only report a fraction of the story, it has to be fully understood that it was NOT the governments of Cyprus (neither the current Neo-Liberal nor the previous Marxist) who rejected the EU-IMF plan. 

The plan was rejected by the MPs (even those of the coalition government) after the Greek-Cypriot people FORCED them to do so. 

This is a development of Pan-European importance.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Files reveal brutal treatment meted out by British forces in 1950s Cyprus

Note: We disagree with the term "terrorist" used by the newspaper. EOKA was a national-liberation movement with the purpose of establishing self-determination for the Cypriots. EOKA has not been involved in atrocities against non-military personnel, even the families of soldiers and officers. 
Files reveal brutal treatment meted out by British forces in 1950s 
Documents released by the National Archives describe incidents of abuse by British forces against opponents of colonial rule
Fresh evidence of brutal treatment meted out by British forces to opponents of colonial rule in the 1950s has been revealed in secret files showing how they attacked and killed with impunity in Cyprus, where their victims included a blind man and a 17-year-old youth.

The incidents are among many disclosed in hitherto highly classified documents released at the National Archives in the wake of a court case relating to the other contemporary anti-colonial struggle – the violent repression of Mau Mau rebels in Kenya.

They describe how in July 1958, on a dark night but "with a bright moon", a patrol of soldiers from the Royal Ulster Rifles came across a group of Greek Cypriots, who started throwing stones. Two of them grabbed one of the soldier's guns and "hand-to-hand fighting took place", according to a report on the incident.
"A shot was fired … the fallen man was shot through the head." The Cypriots backed away but apparently ignored orders to stop. "This had no effect. One man, who was urging the others to attack the patrol and was obviously the ringleader, was selected and four shots were fired at him." The man was blind.
At the subsequent inquest, the coroner, James Trainor, said the corporal who killed "these two unfortunate people … had no other choice". He had showed "courage and very commendable restraint … At the least, he would have lost his company's arms and there was a grave possibility that they might have been all killed had he acted otherwise," the coroner stated.

He added: "There seems to be no doubt that one of the deceased was blind, but the fact that he got where he did get [moving across rugged countryside and over a ridge] suggests a fanaticism which would fully explain the description given to me of his standing in front of the crowd and waving it forward."

Andreas Louca, a 17-year-old Greek Cypriot, was fatally wounded when a soldier fractured his skull in clashes following the death of the wife of a British sergeant. Catherine Cutliffe was shot in the back in a Famagusta street in October 1958.

A young British army officer recorded seeing 150 soldiers indiscriminately "kicking Cypriots as they lay on the ground and beating them in the head, face, and body with rifle butts".

The officer described how he "forcibly restrained several such groups of soldiers who had completely lost their heads. Many of them were screaming abuse and the whole area resembled a hysterical mob … Several [Cypriots] appeared to be unconscious and bleeding profusely."

One report describes how a group of military police were seen "wantonly damaging windows and furniture" of the local "Communist Club". Even allowing for propaganda and exaggeration British troops behaved "brutally", a confidential official report noted. Trainor, who was also a judge, this time described the degree of force used by British soldiers as "entirely unjustified".

These incidents stand out from voluminous reports suggesting that most of the complaints made against British troops were indeed exaggerated and used as propaganda. However, the files show that the colonial authorities were seriously concerned about the number of genuine incidents of abuse by British forces.
London tried to brush them aside expressing the hope in a 1957 white paper on reports of brutality by British forces that it could "rely on the worldwide knowledge of their traditions of humanity and decency to convince the public of the free world of the falsity of allegations".

The documents released on Friday show how the colonial authorities covered up incidents by blocking visits to detention camps by MPs and journalists.

"I think that the best thing will be to refuse all permission for as long as we can," noted Hugh Foot, the governor of Cyprus (and father of the radical journalist and campaigner Paul Foot) in 1958.

The files show how the colonial administration in Cyprus played down the significance of a visit to the camps by the International Committee of the Red Cross and blocked independent inquiries.

A note from the governor's office in 1957 shows how British officials chose to regard the conflict in Cyprus. A senior official described it as "a hard and bitter struggle between the forces of law and order and an utterly ruthless terrorist movement and a political movement run by a church that is prepared to use any means to secure its political ends".

The terrorist movement was EOKA, led by Georgios Grivas whose aim was Enosis (Union with Greece. The church was the Cypriot Orthodox led by Archbishop Makarios. The files include a note by Foot about how Barbara Castle, a leading radical MP and future Labour cabinet minister, told him that Makarios had said at a meeting in Athens that he had decided to renounce Enosis but press for an independent Cyprus. The archbishop did so soon after in a move that finally led to the island's independence in 1960.

Many of the files, including those believed to refer to Cypriots who were informers for the colonial forces, have been withheld. Colonial files released at the National Archives also include papers relating to Basutoland (now Lesotho), the Cameroons, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Fiji, the Gambia, Gilbert and Ellice Islands (Kiribati and Tuvalu) and Gold Coast (Ghana). Many files were destroyed by British officials shortly before these countries gained independence.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Apology demanded from the `Daily Mail`

Greek-Cypriot journalist Fanoulla Argyrou demands an apology from the ´Daily Mail´ for an article on Cyprus. 

Dear Editor,

“Northern Cyprus” is non existent and under Turkish invasion and occupation since 1974
I refer to your item “It's poison, help me! Holiday mother's final words after drinking from a water bottle filled with cleaning fluid” of July 17/18,  2012.  At a time when a Public Inquiry is still ongoing, so much is being focused for the need of proper and accurate reporting,  I find your misrepresentation of facts in this report suspicious the least.  This is grossly offending to the Republic of Cyprus. The so called “Northern Cyprus” is an illegal area under Turkish invasion and continued occupation since July and August 1974.  The hotels and the ancient ruins you mention are stolen land of the Republic of Cyprus and properties belonging to their Greek Cypriot owners who were uprooted and forced to abandon them by the use of armed force by the advancing Turkish invading army in 1974.

Your reference “A mother died on a five-star holiday to Cyprus after she drank from…” is misleading and despicable.  You give the false impression that the death and negligence occurred in the Republic of Cyprus promoting bad reputation to the otherwise excellent conditions existing in the free part of the Republic of Cyprus,  whilst you consciously conceal from the reader the information that the occupied area of Famagusta (part of the 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus)  is under Turkish occupation since 1974. g

I expect you to publish a proper apology and correction to this end.

Yours sincerely,

Fanoulla Argyrou, 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cancel the "Sailing with Paul" tour of the Biblical Archaeology Society

We are writing concerning the trip that you organize to Turkey and then Cyprus (June 1-15, 2012), entitled “Sailing with Paul in the Mediterranean”.
 It appears from the documentation that we have seen that you may not be aware of certain facts that are important to bring to your attention. The reference to “Northern Cyprus” constitutes, in fact, the area of Cyprus under Turkish military occupation since 1974. It is recalled that the secessionist entity in the occupied areas of Cyprus was condemned by the United Nations Security Council, in its resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), as “legally invalid” and is not recognized by any international organization or country, other than Turkey which is the occupying power.

Furthermore, we wish to respectfully bring to your attention that the airport through which you intend to arrive in Cyprus has been declared by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as an illegal point of entry into and exit from the Republic. The legal points of entry into the Republic of Cyprus to which visitors should use are Larnaka and Paphos airports and the ports of Larnaka and Lemesos.

Moreover, this illegal airport is not recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its illegal operation causes serious risks to flight safety in the region.

It is also important to stress that this illegal airport is located on property belonging to a significant number of Greek Cypriot refugees who were forcibly expelled from the property by the invasion forces in 1974.
These refugees remain the legal owners of their properties, as it has been confirmed by numerous relevant Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and have not consented to the construction of the illegal airport.

Furthermore, the organization of such a trip by an archaeological society is particularly offensive to the local and international community of archaeologists working in Cyprus, due to the destructive consequences that the Turkish occupation has caused to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the island.
In the occupied area, archaeological sites and monuments, including churches, have suffered severe destruction and violation, museums have been looted and destroyed, and antiquities continue to be illegally exported.
We wish to express our opposition and disappointment with the planned trip to the occupied areas. We sincerely hope that with the explanations outlined in this letter you will reconsider your planned visit to the occupied areas and arrival into Cyprus through the illegal ports of entry.
We also hope that you will show greater sensitivity toward issues that have such legal and ethical ramifications.

If your decision is still to proceed with your visit, we would ask that you enter the island through the international and recognized airports of the Republic of Cyprus.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

The Biblical Archeology Society (BAS) supports a travel program that will enter the Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry located in the illegally Turkish-occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The specific travel program in question is “Sailing with Paul in the Mediterranean” which takes place June 1-15, 2012.  The tour will travel from Antalya Airport in Turkey to the Turkish-occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus, continue its route to the areas under the control of the Government of Cyprus, and return back to the occupied territory before departing for Turkey.
The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaca and Paphos and the ports of Larnaca, Limassol, Latsi and Paphos, which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
To date, BAS continues to support the travel program “Sailing with Paul in the Mediterranean” and its current travel itinerary which has the tour entering the Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry.
We urge you to contact Mr. Hershel Shanks, founder, Biblical Archeology Society, to convey the severe effects that this kind of illegal activity can bring to the overriding goal of reunification and respect of international law.

Place a concise and courteous phone call to BAS Founder Hershel Shanks at 202-364-3300 utilizing the talking points listed below.
Mr. Hershel Shanks
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street NW
Washington, DC 20016
FAX: 202-364-2636
  • Cyprus has been illegally divided and occupied since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island in violation of international law, including the U.N. Charter.
  • The invasion and continuing occupation of 37% of the northern part of Cyprus’ sovereign territory by a force of 43,000 Turkish troops has resulted in:
    • the mass violation of the human rights of the Cypriot people;
    • the forcible expulsion of approximately 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes; massive colonization through the illegal implantation of more than 300,000 Turkish mainland settlers in the occupied areas of Cyprus;
    • trespassing and illegal exploitation of property belonging to Greek Cypriot refugees;
    • cultural destruction and religious desecration;
    • suffering of a great number of families whose relatives remain missing since 1974 and whose fate is still unknown; and
    • forcible ethnic segregation and division of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
  • No country other than Turkey recognizes the so-called illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
  • A trip conducted in this illegal manner undermines the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and disrespects international law and relevant UN Resolutions instead of highlighting the archaeological significance of the region.
  • The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaca and Paphos and the ports of Larnaca, Limassol, Latsi and Paphos, which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) designated Turkey a “country of particular concern” in its 2012 annual report due in part to the restriction of religious freedom and religious and cultural destruction that has occurred in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.
  • An estimated 500 churches and religious sites belonging to Christian and Jewish communities have been desecrated, pillaged, looted and destroyed in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.
For further information or questions, please contact AHI, (202) 785-8430, or email

source: American Hellenic Institute (11/05/2012) «Contact the Biblical Archeology Society to convey severe effects of travel program’s entry into Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry in Turkish-occupied area»

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bankers are the dictators of the West

Robert Fisk
source: London Independent (10 December 2011)

Writing from the very region that produces more clichés per square foot than any other "story" – the Middle East – I should perhaps pause before I say I have never read so much garbage, so much utter drivel, as I have about the world financial crisis.

But I will not hold my fire. It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard "experts" who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

Let's kick off with the "Arab Spring" – in itself a grotesque verbal distortion of the great Arab/Muslim awakening which is shaking the Middle East – and the trashy parallels with the social protests in Western capitals. We've been deluged with reports of how the poor or the disadvantaged in the West have "taken a leaf" out of the "Arab spring" book, how demonstrators in America, Canada, Britain, Spain and Greece have been "inspired" by the huge demonstrations that brought down the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and – up to a point – Libya. But this is nonsense.

The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.

I didn't need Charles Ferguson's Inside Job on BBC2 this week – though it helped – to teach me that the ratings agencies and the US banks are interchangeable, that their personnel move seamlessly between agency, bank and US government. The ratings lads (almost always lads, of course) who AAA-rated sub-prime loans and derivatives in America are now – via their poisonous influence on the markets – clawing down the people of Europe by threatening to lower or withdraw the very same ratings from European nations which they lavished upon criminals before the financial crash in the US. I believe that understatement tends to win arguments. But, forgive me, who are these creatures whose ratings agencies now put more fear into the French than Rommel did in 1940?

Why don't my journalist mates in Wall Street tell me? How come the BBC and CNN and – oh, dear, even al-Jazeera – treat these criminal communities as unquestionable institutions of power? Why no investigations – Inside Job started along the path – into these scandalous double-dealers? It reminds me so much of the equally craven way that so many American reporters cover the Middle East, eerily avoiding any direct criticism of Israel, abetted by an army of pro-Likud lobbyists to explain to viewers why American "peacemaking" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be trusted, why the good guys are "moderates", the bad guys "terrorists".

The Arabs have at least begun to shrug off this nonsense. But when the Wall Street protesters do the same, they become "anarchists", the social "terrorists" of American streets who dare to demand that the Bernankes and Geithners should face the same kind of trial as Hosni Mubarak. We in the West – our governments – have created our dictators. But, unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them.

The Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, solemnly informed his people this week that they were not responsible for the crisis in which they found themselves. They already knew that, of course. What he did not tell them was who was to blame. Isn't it time he and his fellow EU prime ministers did tell us? And our reporters, too?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Multi-dimensional crisis in Cyprus: Christofias's government bears total responsibility for the tragedy

by Nikolas Stylianou
Research Associate & Security Analyst
Research Institute for European and American Studies,

On the July 11th a tragic incident took place at the Navy Base of Mari (Limassol). 98 containers of gunpowder, explosives, rockets and guns exploded resulting to the death of 13 people from the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus Fire Service.

The current article aims to highlight the background of the catastrophe and underline the personal responsibilities of the President of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias, the Minister of Defense, Costas Papacostas as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcos Kyprianou.

Background of the Tragedy  
The Cypriot-flagged ship “Monchegorsk”, started its journey from Iran with Syria as its final destination. USS San Antonio boarded the ship which was ordered to port in Cyprus where Cypriot authorities, in collaboration with UN experts found 1,980 boxes of powder for 130mm guns and 1,320 cases of powder and powder pellets for 125mm guns, according to a Cypriot government report. Additionally, anti-tank rockets used at the Russian-made Cornet anti-tank complexes used by Hezbollah, were found on the afore-mentioned cargo. Under the Resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) of the Security Council of the United Nations, arms exports from Iran are strictly prohibited. The 98 containers were stored at the National Guard’s Navy Base at Mari (Limassol) and remained there for 30 months despite the warnings from the United Nations Sanctions Committees which had been warning the Cypriot government that the exposure of the containers to extreme weather conditions over extended period of time might have been extremely dangerous. Unfortunately the government paid no attention to the warnings.

To continue with, it needs to be mentioned that the 98 containers were stored right next to the Vasilikos Power Station, the largest in Cyprus. Consequently, the explosion resulted to the wrecking of the Power Station and thus causing major blackouts all over the island.

Chronicle of a Death foretold
This section of my analysis will address the main key-points that led us to the July 11th catastrophe:

- The United Nations Sanctions Committee, as well as Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, would repeatedly ask the government of Cyprus to deliver the containers to a country, member-state of the United Nations, which held the expertise and experience to destroy and/or neutralize the content – The government of Cyprus remained indifferent to the suggestions of the United Nations and the afore-mentioned countries.

- The government of Cyprus would fear severe diplomatic retaliation from Syria and Iran as a response to the retention of the containers and thus did absolutely nothing towards the destruction/neutralization of the containing material.

- The leadership of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Cyprus would express its deep concerns over the Navy Base security due to the possible instability of the containing military material that would be exposed to extreme weather conditions over an extended period of time. President Christofias’ decision was to keep hold of the material due to “political reasons”. Despite the deep concerns on behalf of the Ministry of Defense as well as the leadership of the National Guard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou himself as well as the executive branch of the Republic would agree entirely over the storage of the military material at the Navy Base at Mari.

Questions that demand answers
A number of questions arise in regards to the way that the government of Cyprus handled the situation over the past 30 months:

- Why didn’t the government pay attention to the recommendations of the state’s Auditor General / Chief of the National Guard / Commander of the Navy concerning the extrication of the containing material as well as its conveyance to a country which had previous expertise in conventional arms destruction/neutralization?

- Why wouldn’t the government (especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of Defense) insist on the immediate transportation of the hazardous material to a third country?

- Why didn’t the government accept the U.S demand which provided for the transportation and controlled destruction of the hazardous material to Malta or to another base which comes under the United States European Command (EUCOM)?

- Why didn’t the government ask for the assistance of the EU competent services concerning the handling of the situation especially when the government was in knowledge that it had neither the expertise nor the experience to handle the situation?

- Why doesn’t the President of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias assume full responsibility for the tragic incident and the death of 13 people since he was in full knowledge (through his Diplomatic Office and specifically the Ambassador Leonidas Pantelides?

- Why would the resigned Minister of Defense, Costas Papacostas claim that the military material would be safe to store “even in a residential area” and plus, next to the largest Power Supply Station of the Republic?

The government must resign and declare early elections. The handling of the situation by the government of Mr. Demetris Christofias was leniently deplorable. The government has exhibited criminal negligence which led to the death of 13 people, dozens of injured, the wrecking of the largest Power Station on the island as well as the extended psychological damage suffered by the Cyprus people.

- The drastic cuts in defense budget especially over the last three years have led to the wrecking of the military security infrastructure, as well as the maintenance of the existing military hardware and material.

- Tens of thousands of Cypriot people went out on the streets protesting against the government asking for its resignation. It is worth noting that despite the fact that one week has passed since the explosion and yet, the government has not apologized to the families of the victims.

Larnaca: Important finds at Late Bronze Age site

Whatever they say, whatever they do, no matter how much they alter history to fit their political prejudices, the land of Cyprus keeps giving out evidence of the centuries-old Greekness of this island.

A LARGE building dating as far back as 1200 BC and a female goddess figurine were only some of the fascinating finds following five-week long excavations at the Late Bronze harbour city of Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca.

Inside the 30 by 20m building were both living and working spaces containing spindle whorls and loom weights, which indicate the production of textiles, as well as a plethora of high-quality pottery imported mainly from the Mycenaean world. Jugs, bowls and jars were among the pottery uncovered.

“It’s evidence of the tight contact with the Greek mainland,” said Professor Peter M. Fischer of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who headed the excavations, referring to the contents of the building.
The excavations took place from April to May.

The Mycenaean civilisation dates from 1600 to 1100 B.C, during the late Bronze Age in Greece and the Greek archipelago.

“The pottery is Mycenaean therefore imported,” Fischer confirmed stressing that its importance lies in the fact that it is not locally made but was very popular in Cyprus at the time.

According to Fischer some of the findings were imported from Egypt. This was made clear in some of the findings as they were seen to have Egyptian traits.

Questions have been raised as to the origins of some other important findings such as a figurine of a female goddess. “I guess it was produced in Cyprus, we’re not sure though due to its Egyptian traits,” said Fischer adding that it was used as a pendant.

Another significant find was a haematite cylinder seal which Fischer is convinced is Cypriot as another one was found at Kition. “These are used as a kind of stamp and can be put in dye to make a print and it is also a kind of identity card for a person,” said Fischer.

The assemblage also includes locally produced hand-made White Slip bowls and jugs which were exported to Egypt and Greece among other nearby areas, which Fischer explained they were so skilled at hand-making looked wheel made. White Slip is a type of pottery decorated with bright colours and patterns.

The Late Bronze Age harbour city is one of the biggest in Cyprus at 25 hectares, according to Fischer, dating between the 12th and 13th centuries BC.  There were also three occupational layers, meaning that the city was destroyed twice, however the foundations of the city go even further back.

Fischer said that he would like to come back as he would be interested in digging further down to see when the city was founded.

Meanwhile, archaeological excavations at the Bronze Age site of Politiko-Troullia uncovered a 40cm stone plank figure, which is female. Its highly abstract form is typical of Cypriot plank figurines, which are normally ceramic and much smaller. The deposits reach up to 4m below the modern surface, making this one of the most deeply stratified sites on the island.

source: 'Cyprus Mail' 05 August 2011, Natalie Hami

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Turkish soldiers opened fire against Greek-Cypriot fishermen in Famagusta area

Yesterday afternoon two Greek Cypriot fishermen sailed their boat near Kappari area in the free areas of Famagusta (South-East of: Cyprus) when Turkish soldiers from the occupied area fired at them six shots forcing them to leave.

This was not the first time an incident like this happened, where the Turkish troops fire against innocent fishermen trying to make their living. Also few months ago a Turkish vessel unsuccessfully attempted to sink a fishing boat.

Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and until today the Turkish army illegally occupies the northern part of Cyprus, implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

After Kenya's Mau-Mau, Greek Cypriot EOKA fighters to sue Brits over torture

VETERAN EOKA members are planning lawsuits against British authorities after the UK High Court revealed secret foreign office files detailing the systematic torture of Kenyans in the 1950s.

The court released the files after four elderly Kenyans sued the British government for their brutal suppression of Mau-Mau rebels, and after a Times investigation the EOKA Veteran’s Association is following suit.
The association claims 14 Cypriots died and hundreds more could have been tortured during interrogations by the British during the 1955-1959 armed struggle against colonial rule. Two of those who died during interrogation were 17.

It is understood that the British government has up to 9,000 documents from 37 colonial administrations, including Cyprus, and the veterans association’s lawyer is now in communication with a London law office.
Former EOKA leader and association head Thassos Sophocleus, 78, told the Times: “We will pursue cases for all those who were tortured. It could be hundreds.”

Sophocleus said: “The truth is we have a similar case to the Kenyans. We are not doing this for the money. It is for the satisfaction of presenting to the international community what the British did to us...instead of giving us our freedom, they tortured and killed us.”

The Times said the existence of Foreign Office files detailing Britain’s brutal response to anti-colonial struggles emerged this month, and that British and Cypriot accounts from the same time document numerous cases of torture on the island.

For example, the Times said, a post-mortem examination on one of the 14 who died in custody, Andreas Panayiotou, 26, found that he had been beaten to death. British police, however, claimed that he had died trying to escape custody: a common cover-up, EOKA veterans say.

Sophocleus, who led a contingent of guerrillas in the Pentadactylos mountains at the age of 24, told the Times that he was tortured for 16 days after his arrest in 1956.

He alleges that his back was flayed with a rope embedded with iron shards and that he was kicked in the head, body and testicles.

Sophocleus was sentenced to life imprisonment for possessing firearms but was released when Cyprus won independence in 1960.

Source: Cyprus Mail, 14 April 2011, Patrick Dewhurst

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Hiding behind legal contortions, the government is refusing to apologise or pay compensation for appalling abuses done in the name of and with the knowledge of the British state, with the intent of preserving a system of racist privilege for white settlers in the east African colony.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission says about 160,000 black people were held in dire conditions in camps run by the British colonial authorities and tens of thousands were tortured to get them to renounce their oath to the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule in the 1950s.

The Foreign Office doesn't deny there was torture and killings in the camps. How could it? Many of the abuses are documented in files discovered in its own archives. They including a telegram from the British governor of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring, documenting torture allegations against colonial district officers including "the burning alive of detainees".

Instead the Foreign Office is deploying an array of legal barriers to argue that it is not required to pay compensation. Among the arguments is that Britain's responsibility for its colonial crimes ceased to exist when Kenya became independent in 1963 – a legal convenience that apparently does not apply in Libya where Britain has willed it that responsibility for Gaddafi's crimes has been transferred to the people as a whole and their representatives in the struggle for freedom.

The Foreign Office also argues that these crimes are historic. But they are not history to those who live with the consequences, including the four claimants at the high court such as Ndiku Mutua and Paulo Nzili, who say they were castrated in a British camp. Or to Jane Muthoni Mara who I spoke to in Nairobi several years ago and who described to me how as a 15-year-old she was arrested as a Mau Mau spy and, among other things, tortured under the supervision of a British army officer by being raped with a bottle filled with hot water.

Other prisoners told of being beaten, starved, anally raped and flogged. The official documents found at the Foreign Office acknowledge that prisoners were used as forced labour. Some detainees were tortured so badly they died.

More than 1,000 Kenyan men met their death at the end of a hangman's noose, many after confessions they said were tortured from them.

All of this led a Kenyan colonial judge, Arthur Cram, who was appointed to examine the role of British officials in torture and killings, to draw comparisons with infamous Nazi camps.

"They [British colonial officials] not only knew of the shocking floggings that went on in this Kenya Nordhausen, or Mathausen [sic], but must be taken to be the men who were said to have carried them out. From the brutalising of flogging it is only a step to taking life without qualm," he said in his judgment.

Germany is still apologising and paying compensation for the crimes of the Nazi state in Nordhausen and Mauthausen. It has not tried to say that responsibility dissolved with the collapse of the Third Reich.

Full article: Guardian 08/04/2011 "Torture and killing in Kenya – Britain's double standards", Chris McGreal

Friday, March 4, 2011

Greek-Cypriot refugees reach out to their Turkish-Cypriot compatriots: Together, we can end Turkish occupation!

Turkish-Cypriots holding the flags of the Republic of Cyprus, a clear act of defiance of Turkish, military occupation. The message is clear: Turkey has to get out, the Turkish-Cypriots want to live in peace with their Greek-Cypriot compatriots. 


"ADOULOTI KERINIA", 7 Agiou Ioannou, Strovolos, P.O. Box 23940, 1687, Nicosia - Cyprus
Tel 22-668464, fax 22-668882
In view of the Turkish Cypriot demonstration today against Turkey in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriot compatriots,

We have been following with interest your reaction against the Turkish hegemony which is strangling the Turkish Cypriot identity and oppressing the Turkish Cypriot community.

We agree with the conclusion arrived at, by the Turkish Cypriot Secretary of the Teachers Union of Elementary Schools, particularly to his reference that the strangling of the Turkish Cypriot identity and the oppression of the Turkish Cypriot community goes back to the 1960s, during which period, Turkey forced the Turkish Cypriots to stop their co-habitation with the Greek Cypriots and began to cultivate the division and the separation on the basis of race and religion.

It was contemptible for our silent majorities of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to allow at the time foreign interests and foreign interventions to lead us to the situation we face today. At this moment the obstacle to the restoration of constitutional order in Cyprus, as you have realised and denounce with your mobilisations, is Turkey, which occupies part of the Republic of Cyprus. We call upon you to respond to a joint, general mobilisation for the termination of the Turkish occupation and its consequences. It is only with a common struggle of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots against the Turkish occupation with the following objectives, that your mobilisations will have some value and prospect:

· To get rid of the Turkish continued occupation with the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces.

· To get rid of the Turks and other settlers with their return back to Turkey.

· To liberate our common homeland. The solution of Bizonal Bicommunal Federation does not provide for the liberation of our land. It rewards the occupation, rewards TMT and its activities that had as their common aim our geographical separation.

· For all of us, you and we, to return to our homes and properties and with all of our Human Rights fully restored without limitations and restrictions.

· Once this is achieved,  all of us, together, being wiser of past events, to shape the Constitutional structure of our European country, on the basis of democratic principles and values, respecting each other and taking into consideration both our race and national origin as well as our religion.

It is only under these conditions that we will safeguard our identity.

With the solution of Bizonal Bicommunal Federation both our identities will have an expiry date.


We do not want to believe that you will insist or that you will allow, for the creation of a Turkish state built on our properties and to expect at the same time  that peace and normal life can be build on such an embezzlement.

Refugee Association Adouloti Kyrenia.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Boy George remembers Cyprus, Archbishop Dimitrios forgets

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." –Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, former inmate at Auschwitz, author of “Night”.

Gilt-edged occasion: Boy George and composer John Themis with the token of gratitude given them by the Church of Cyprus after the return of the icon, held by an unnamed official with Bishop Porfyrios [photo by 'Daily Mail' 21/01/2011]

For Immediate Release: January 23, 2011

When talking about the Turkish invasion and ongoing occupation of Cyprus and its denial, I am reminded of what   Elie Wiesel once said "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."  In the upcoming days Archbishop Dimitrios as spiritual leader of some 3 million Greek Americans will be attending the annual Holocaust Remembrance Days at the UN in New York and at the marbled halls of the Consulate General of Greece in New York, to make his annual remarks about the human struggle to remember a religious minority that was tormented in a death camp in Poland called Auschwitz and to mark its liberation close to seventy years ago. Meanwhile, another religious minority, not seventy years ago, but today, the Greek Cypriots of occupied Cyprus this past Christmas had Christmas liturgy denied to them, when the brutal tormentors who have raped, massacred and diminished a population in a slow motion Holocaust in Karpasia shut down their few remaining churches on Christmas day. These people have seen their cemeteries desecrated, their churches turned into houses of prostitution and their religious and cultural artifacts stolen by the tormentors and sold on the black markets to the highest bidders.

This week a glimmer of hope was raised for our people when world reknown celebrity Boy  George returned a stolen icon and made press around the world by  breaking the silence and condemning the Turkish occupation of Cyprus . This week Archbishop Dimitrios has a choice: to continue to remain silent about those who awarded the Turkish Minister and racist Bagis, and thus try to remain a silent neutral, or to be a good man and to help the tormented. We must continue this week to send protest letters to Archbishop Dimitrios to remind him to find it in his heart to remember Cyprus, for the sake of our people Archbishop Dimitrios "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

This week is filled with irony whilst Boy George is returning the stolen icon and the Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus is honored by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russians Kyrillos for his efforts with the Prize of the International Foundation for the unity of Orthodox Christian Nations, the Patriarchate and his Archons headed by Archbishop Demetrios honored racist Bagis who does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and whose country is responsible for the desecration of our occupied churches and violations of religious freedom of our enclaved Greek Cypriots.

Below follows  A Big Thank You to Boy George from distinguished Greek-Cypriot journalist and researcher Fanoulla Argyrou and related news links of interest. Please forward to all you media contacts.

--Nikolaos Taneris, Press officer, Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA)

A big thank you to Boy George

The news that popular singer Boy George has returned a looted icon he had in his possession after buying it in good faith from a shop in King’s Road in London almost 26 years ago, after being informed by the Church of Cyprus of its real origin and fate, is highly appreciated by the Greek nation. George’s decision to return the looted precious icon to the Church of Cyprus has once again brought to the front line news the barbaric Turkish crimes committed since and after the two bloody Turkish invasions of Cyprus in 1974.

A bulk of barbaric crimes, murders, rapes,  bombardment and executions in cold blood also included  the destruction and looting of hundreds of Christian churches and religious places in occupied Cyprus where in the process thousands of priceless icons and other religious artefacts have been systematically looted. And smuggled out of the island ruthlessly sold in the black market. They even tried to sell some of these in reputable Auction Houses.

Readers are referred to “The Guardian” report “The rape of northern Cyprus ”, of 6th May 1976 which published horrific details of the desecration, looting and vandalism of our occupied churches in the occupied by Turkey part of Cyprus . The article referred to an ITV (Independent Television) documentary of those days. It said “As UNESCO suppressed an expert report on Turkish treatment of the churches of northern Cyprus , a TV team slipped away from surveillance and brought back grim evidence of looting and desecration for ITV’s This Week Tonight, Thames TV correspondent John Fielding reports…”

Readers are also referred to Michalle A Vu’s report published in “The Christian Post”, 28 April 2008 titled “The last church standing in occupied Cyprus ”. The following are extracts:  “… According to the Republic of Cyprus , in the span of three decades under Turkish control, more than 530 churches and monasteries have been pillaged, vandalized, or destroyed in the occupied areas. “ I cannot say that the destruction of churches is encouraged openly by the Turkish government. All I can say is that it is taking place in the area that is under direct control of the Turkish military, and I leave you to make your own conclusions from that “. (Statement by Andreas Kakouris ex Cyprus Ambassador to the United States to CHRISTIAN POST. See “Bloody Truth” pages 360-365 and downloading of the whole book  is absolutely free).

According to statistics of the Republic of Cyprus : “… About 133 churches, chapels and monasteries have been converted to military storage facilities, stables and night-clubs, a further number of 78 churches have been converted to mosques, Agia Anastasia church, in occupied Lapithos, was converted into a casino hotel, while Sourp Magar Armenian monastery, founded in the medieval period, was converted into a Cafeteria…” (Christian Post).

“This is not a Muslim-Christian issue… I don’t think the Cyprus problem has ever been a religious issue between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots… If the Turkish government hadn’t given the ‘green light’ on the destruction of churches and artefacts, they have not given the ‘red light’ either…So it is, either directly taking place or with their blind eye or whatever you want to call it. But they are responsible for what is taking place there”. (Andreas Kakouris to Christian Post. See “Bloody Truth” pages 360 – 365).

Looting and Smuggling

“Michael Van Rijn, the self-confessed art smuggler who worked undercover for Scotland Yard, has never been shy about his dubious activities in the art world. His claims about the millions he made through his links with the Yard are typical of his passion for causing embarrassment… Michael Van Rijn plans to use his website to reveal years of undercover operations for Scotland Yard and others. He wants his disclosures to embarrass the British Museum , Sotheyby’s, Christies and other leading art dealers as well as the security services.… A dentist’s son from Amsterdam , who owns several houses around the world,  admits smuggling icons out of Russia , Cyprus , Greece and elsewhere. “ I have made millions…”, wrote “The Times” of London on 29 January 1990.

Michael van Rijn, a self confessed art smuggler indeed… has also been a very close associate of A. Dikmen, the Turkish smuggler, who stole the famous Kanakaria frescoes from occupied Lithrangomi in Cyprus . In his autobiography Michael van Rijn describes vividly how large amounts of antiquities from occupied Cyprus were loaded on vehicles of the Finnish UN contingent in Cyprus and transferred  to the free part of the Republic of Cyprus from where they were, in the process smuggled out of the island (After a long and hard legal battle led by the Church of Cyprus (court case took place in America) the latter won the return of the Kanakaria frescoes to Cyprus…”. (All these have been covered in detail in my book (but unfortunately exhausted only to be found in libraries) “Conspiracy or Blunder?” issued in Nicosia 2000 published by Refugee Association “Adouloti Kyrenia”).

“ … Haven’t you heard that the 2000 year old Christchurch in Cyprus , St. Barnabas Church, has been robbed? Haven’t you heard that 35 icons were stolen, 11 of them were found in Kythrea, that 11 were retrieved in Ankara airport while being smuggled out and that the rest are lost? Haven’t you heard what’s happening in Varosia ( Famagusta )? Haven’t you heard that figurines belonging to the Catholic period and kept in the Archaelogical Museum have been stolen and smuggled to London ?

What about the icons in the other churches: the mosaics, the private collections the illegal digs? Haven’t you heard of these? Why have they stopped the digs started before 1974 at the city of Gastria , which belongs to the geometric age? Do you know what has happened since then? The “government” (refers to the occupied regime) has issued permits  to certain businessmen from Turkey to set up a gypsum factory there. The tombs were destroyed and plundered”. (‘Perishing Cyprus in the Turkish Cypriot Review’ by Mehmet Yasin. ‘ Olay’ April 1982 – from Public and Information Office publication “They make a desert and they call it peace”). (Quoted in my book “Conspiracy or Blunder?” pages 93 – 96).

A big thank you to Boy George who through his commendable decision to return the stolen icon to the Church of Cyprus (obviously not able to return it to the actual Church of origin due to the continued Turkish invasion and occupation of that part of our homeland) has offered immense service to our cause in promoting to the eyes of the world the ongoing Turkish religious crimes committed in Cyprus since 1974…

God Bless you George.

Fanoulla Argyrou


Related News Links of interest:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Protest award to racist Turk Minister Egemen Bagis

For Immediate Release: January 5, 2011
by Cyprus Action Network of America:

CURRENT STATUS:  The current, Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey , the racist Mr. Egemen Bagis was awarded by the  “Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate” this Greek-American group representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate awarded the Turkish official “commending him for his efforts on behalf of religious minorities in Turkey .”

The award was bestowed on the representative of criminal Turkey in Brussels on November 16-17, 2010 days before the EU assessment on Turkey’s human rights record and was attended by Archbishop Dimitrios of America and Greek-Cypriot immigrant Panicos “Peter” Papanicolaou the “Supreme President” of the Cyprus Federation of America. Mr. Papanicolaou walked out of the room in protest during the honoring.
The Greek-American organized conference in Brussels the capital of the EU was titled, ironically “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: TURKEY ’S BRIDGE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: INTERNATIONAL ARCHON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONFERENCE”

For Greeks to bestow an award commending Mr. Egemen Bagis for “religious freedom” is to make a mockery of all that religious freedom and human rights stand for, it's akin to Jews awarding a Nazi Minister “commending him for his efforts on behalf of religious minorities in Hitler’s Germany .” 

Mr. Egeman Bagis, 39, is one of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's closest advisors. Since 2009, he has served as Turkey 's Minister for European Union Affairs and is the country's chief negotiator in EU accession talks.  Bagis refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus . In a very recent statement ( 6.1.2011) provocatively said the government of Cyprus “does not constitute a state” and that Turkey says to the world that the Greek Cypriots “ cannot constitute a state, not even a race”!. Bagis  repeatedly and in detail publicly denied Turkey ’s responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, in a recent interview to Spiegel in Germany he made reference to the possibility of throwing Americans off of Incirlik airbase in Turkey in retaliation for any possible recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US Congress. When the parliament of Sweden in March 2010 recognized that  Armenians, Assyrians,Syrians, Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks - had suffered genocide, Bagis with bravado expressed “disappointment” and threatened Sweden with economic and diplomatic retaliation for basically recognizing also the truth of the genocide of Pontic Greeks by criminal Turkey. Bagis was quoted in the Turkish Press in calling for efforts in Sweden against the recognition of the resolution that recognized the genocide of Pontic Greeks, the Turkish Cumhuriyet cited Bagis, the Turkish diplomat reminded what happened in Swedish parliament: “Shame on us what happened in Swedish Parliament. Our brothers for whom Turks cast ballots passed the resolution which smeared us. It’s unacceptable.”  

During Christmas liturgy in occupied Cyprus Turkish occupation forces desecrated  Greek Cypriot churches by attacking Priests during Christmas liturgy and forcing Greek-Cypriot worshipers out of their churches ultimately padlocking shut the church on Christmas Day. These barbaric crimes against religious freedom by Turkey in occupied Cyprus have been answered by official letters of protest  and condemnation by the Cyprus Government, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs,the Archbishop of Cyprus, by European politicians and numerous other organisations worldwide but also by none other than the “Archons” the same group that awarded the Turk Bagis in a press release on their site titled “Order of St. Andrew Condemns Religious Freedom Violations in the northern Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus” (1-4-2011)

Protests to Turkey’s crimes against religious freedom on Christmas Day in occupied Cyprus also came from The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in its report titled “Cyprus: USCIRF Faults Turkish Cypriot Authorities for Closing Church on Christmas” (1-3-2011)

In the wake of these Turkish Crimes against Religious Freedom , Mr. Bagis in recent days has made racist statements to the Turkish Press, openly denying the existence of the Greek-Cypriot nation, as well as calling for the EU to “punish” Greek-Cypriots following the next round of negotiations if the “spoiled Greek-Cypriots “ again say no to Turkish demands. These remarks together with his history of Genocide denial  shows that Mr. Bagis is an anti-Greek-Cypriot racist emboldened by Turkey’s cycle of impunity for its past crimes of Genocide and its ongoing HOLOCAUST of the Greek-Cypriots that began on July 20, 1974.

The story of how the Archons bestowed an award for religious freedom to the racist Turkish Minister Bagis would have basically gone by unnoticed, except by the Turkish  press, had it not been for a report in the Greek language daily Ethnikos Kirix, A FULL MONTH AFTER THE AWARD, the story came out on Ethnikos Kirix on December 23rd, two  days before Christmas Day, and was followed up with stories in the Greek-Cypriot dailies Simierini and Phileleftheros. Widely quoted in this late story is the protest of Mr. Philip Christopher President of PSEKA and Panicos “Peter” Papanicolaou the Supreme President of Cyprus Federation of America.  Had it not been for the Ethnikos Kirix and the follow up press in Cyprus , this story would have remained in the ghetto of Astoria and the four walls of Cyprus , reported during Christmas week when most news items are quickly not spotlighted. This week  distinguished Greek-Cypriot author and researcher Fanoulla Argyrou discussed this story on major Greek-Cypriot media, and wrote about it in London community newspapers TA NEA and Eleftheria, the story was also posted on the popular human rights website Agora-dialogue.

We still do not know why it took the officials over a month to report this case through Ethnikos Kirix and why a strong and public protest was not delivered there and then in Brussels together with the walk out of the room. But we agree with Philip Christopher’s demand as quoted in Ethnikos Kirix:

The President of the International Coordinating Committee for Justice for Cyprus Mr. Philip Christopher in a statement to the “National Herald” (23 December 2010) said: “We ask of Archbishop Dimitrios and the board of the Archons of the EP to tell us who and with what criteria come up with Awarding  Minister of Turkey , Egmen Bagis”. Mr. Christopher also expressed his strong disapproval to this decision. 

Thus far there is no explanation for who made the decision, but sources have informed us that a “a wealthy powerful man who can move waves in America ” made the decision…..

Call, write, email the Archbishop Dimitrios of America and the Archons the following statement “We ask of Archbishop Dimitrios and the board of theArchons of the EP to tell us who and with what criteria come up with Awarding  Minister of Turkey , Egemen Bagis”.
Please take the time to personalize your letter, and as always please be polite and courteous.

8 East 79th Street, New York , NY 10075-0106• Telephone: (212) 570-3500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (212) 570-3500      end_of_the_skype_highlighting             (212) 570-3500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (212) 570-3500      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       • Fax: (212) 570-3569

The Order of Saint Andrew
Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

8 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
Phone: 212 570 3550 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              212 570 3550      end_of_the_skype_highlighting          Fax: 212 774 0214