Posts by tag: Turkey

Archives January 24, 2012 posted by

Former ministers charged over deadly blast

 

TWO former ministers have been charged in connection with a deadly blast last year that killed 13 people, reports said.

Former foreign minister Markos Kyprianou and his defence counterpart Costas Papacostas are among several charged for the July 11 blast at the Evangelos Florakis naval base at Mari.

It was not immediately known what charges the two men would face.

Chief of police Michalis Papageorgiou confirmed that some people had been charged but did not give any details.

The blast was caused by munitions stored in 98 containers, which had been left exposed to the elements for more than two years.

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Archives January 24, 2012 posted by

Erdogan attacks France on genocide law

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attacked the French parliament on Tuesday for passing a “discriminatory and racist” bill which makes it illegal to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide.

However, Erdogan said there was still hope that NATO ally France “would correct its mistake” and that any retaliatory measures would be held back, depending on French actions.

The French Senate approved the draft law on Monday, which the lower house also backed in December, prompting a furious response from Ankara.

“We will not allow anyone to gain political benefit at the expense of Turkey; the bill which was passed in France is clearly discriminatory, racist,” Erdogan said.

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Archives January 23, 2012 posted by

Iran's rial drops 10 pct as EU bans oil imports

Iran’s rial currency plunged 10 per cent to a new record low on Monday as the EU imposed a ban on Iranian oil imports, posing a major headache for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has said sanctions will not hurt the economy.

European Union governments agreed to an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude oil and petroleum products, EU officials said, in a move aimed at ramping up pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear activities.

The ban, which comes on top of new U.S. sanctions aimed at hampering Iran’s oil exports around the world, sent Iranians rushing to convert their savings into hard currency as efforts to curb black market trading failed.

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Archives January 22, 2012 posted by

Politicians created the ATC monster

THE ANARCHO-UNIONISTS are not in the least to blame for wreaking havoc at the airports last Wednesday, causing big losses and inconveniencing the some 5,000 passengers. Ultimately, the bitter blow dealt to the economy, in these very difficult times, by the criminal behaviour of the spoilt air traffic controllers is not their fault.

It is true that this group, enjoying the most scandalous pay conditions in Cyprus, has been displaying a horrific callousness, but the responsibility for this is not theirs. Their audacity may have gone beyond all bounds and their ruthless selfishness may shock, but they are not really to blame. They have simply done what they have been allowed to get away with. The real culprits are our demagogue politicians.

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Archives January 21, 2012 posted by

Hospital waiting lists at breaking point

EVEN giving birth has become something which people need to queue for at state hospitals with an average 30 per cent patient increase across the board in the number of patients since the onslaught of the financial crisis.

 “As a result of the financial crisis, public hospitals have seen a 30 per cent increase in patients,” DISY deputy Stella Kyriakidou said during a meeting of the House Health Committee.

“There are clinics, such as the maternity ward, where the increase is up to 70 per cent. To a question if even giving birth in hospital is being delayed, even [the health ministry’s] permanent secretary answered affirmatively. Just imagine then in what condition state hospitals are,” Kyriakidou said.

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Archives January 20, 2012 posted by

Omirou brokers truce in House dispute with commerce minister

HOUSE President Yiannakis Omirou appears to have brokered a truce in the dispute between the Commerce Minister and MPs from the House Commerce Committee.

An entente seemed to have been reached yesterday after a meeting called by Omirou and attended by Commerce Minister Praxoulla Antoniadou and the chairman of the House Commerce Committee.

“The matter is considered to be closed,” Omirou told newsmen after the meet.

He declined to comment on whether the Commerce Minister had withdrawn her demand for a public apology from deputies – a condition Antoniadou had set for appearing before the Commerce Committee again.

For her part, Antoniadou declined any comment, except to say that Omirou’s remarks covered her as well.

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Archives January 20, 2012 posted by

Le Pen snaps at Sarkozy's heels in economic storm

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is staging a comeback in opinion polls less than 100 days before the presidential election, riding a wave of economic discontent that has endangered President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election chances.

As rising unemployment and the loss of France’s triple-A credit rating tarnish Sarkozy’s presidential record, pollsters say that Le Pen’s brand of anti-European rhetoric is gaining ground with a broad swathe of unhappy voters.

On Thursday, a daily survey of voting intentions by pollster Ifop gave her 21 per cent support in the first round of a two-stage election scheduled for April and May, just two percentage points behind the conservative head of state.

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Archives January 18, 2012 posted by

Hiring freeze difficult for busy police

 

THE GOVERNMENT hiring freeze makes the work of the police even harder, especially in light of Cyprus assuming the EU presidency in the second half of the year, the island’s top policeman said.

Michalis Papageorgiou said the force’s job this year will be very difficult since beyond normal duties it would have to step up security due to the presidency, which starts in July and the campaign ahead of the February 2013 presidential elections.

The chief said the hiring freeze has left vacant 152 positions, which would have helped the police better respond to its duties.

While demand for policing increased, the force’s personnel and equipment decreased, Papageorgiou said, adding that he has requested for the police to be exempted from the freeze.

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Archives January 17, 2012 posted by

Denktash funeral today

FORMER Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be buried today at ‘Cumhuriyet {Republic] Park’ in the north of Nicosia, Turkish press reported yesterday. 

Kibris newspaper said the decision had been made by Denktash’s family on Sunday. The grave of the former Turkish Cypriot leader who died on Friday aged 88, will be located opposite Burhan Nalbantoglu hospital 150 metres south of a monument commemorating the terrorist TMT group of which Denktash was a foundering member.

The ‘minister of public works and transport’, Ersan Saner said that a monument to Denktash would also be built, and that work would begin after the funeral.

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Archives January 17, 2012 posted by

Rescuers use explosives to blast through to cabins on stricken Italian liner

Italian coastguards pleaded angrily with the captain of a stricken super-liner to return to his ship, according to recordings released on Tuesday, as divers found five more bodies in the half-submerged wreck of the Costa Concordia.

Taking the known death toll to 11, that left 24 people, including a number of German tourists, unaccounted for four days after the giant cruiser carrying 4,200 passengers and crew was ripped open by rocks off a Tuscan island.

Captain Francesco Schettino is in jail, blamed by his employer for risking thousands of lives and half a billion dollars of ship in a reckless display of bravado.

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