Dom Research Center   News Clippings: Cyprus

A gypsy life for me
in The Cyprus Weekly, April 27 - May 3, 2001

by Charlie Charalambous

I may be incognito for a while because I'm seriously toying with the idea of becoming a wandering gypsy visiting the island's best detention centres where you are allowed to shower and leave but can't get out.
Apparently, the travelling gypsies want a quality control expert to go around checking the standard of prison food and the range of in-cell entertainment facilities. Some 500 of them want to book a three-week stay at the delightful Central Prison as long as the governor agrees to install a creche and a kiddies theme park. If they like it, another 1,500 travellers will join them for free movement and drinks at Markides' house.
Didn't the government have a hard time denying they don't like dirty gyppos wandering about the streets of Paphos as if they owned the place.
First they said, "come on down", then they retorted, "stick them in detention" and after a second U-turn declared, "buy our Cypriot brothers Armani suits."
And why does the Attorney General take objection to housing this unfortunate gaggle of "who knows what they are" somewhere safe and rainproof like prison?
Of course, our friends from the north were allowed free association once banged up inside. And they were allowed to come and go as they please - once deported back to a leaky tent on top of Aladag mountain (get a map).
Why have the authorities come over all sensitive when the Occupied Gypsy Troupe is only here for the beer? They don't like staying in the bum pit of Paphos. The bedouins want the propaganda cash benefits and three square kosher meals a day. Well, maybe add a couple of Galatasaray replica kits for the kids and the odd moustache trimmer for the ladies.
Darth Vader Christodoulou at the Interior Ministry should have a word in the ear of Mr Markides - who is usually a sensible bloke - about the threat of undesirables on our doorstep. It's all right during the off-season but I'm sure the Krauts from Munich have seen enough Turks in their own back yard. What Darth Vader should demand is a whole network of detention centres where people are forcibly invited to spend a fun-packed incarceration. The only difference being that your departure date is kept a secret and the sheets aren't changed as often as other hotel establishments.
Anyway, Darth Christodoulou may have lost the battle but he still has a brace of Turkish housewives locked up legally for crossing over to the promised land with their Turkish Cypriot - let's take the gypsies word for it - husbands. Yep. The Cyprus Republic will clothe, feed and accommodate our Cypriot brothers without soap (you wants puns I've got plenty of them, it's anagrams I can't stand) but they will not abide them sleeping with settlers. What are gypsy women suppose to do?
So, let's pause for a minute. We can't stop marauding groups of job-shy bandits strolling around the place without ID cards or stolen BMWs. But it's okay to break up families, leave small children without their mother and tell hubby his wife will be deported to a Turkish massage parlour somewhere in Ankara. Of course, legal discrimination must not be confused with protecting the human rights of the decidedly dodgy.
While on the subject of campaigning for individual freedom where is Amnesty International when you need them? Hasn't somebody told them that a Greek Cypriot diabetic was kidnapped, beaten, had drugs stuffed down his trousers and held hostage while a kangaroo court prolongs his suffering. What are the geezers running the enlightenment campaign doing? Now, if Tsiakourmas was a one-legged Bulgarian gypsy it would be a different story.
Just wait until our spanking new general health scheme gets under way. You won't be able to move in the out patients department for the crowd of gypsies protesting they be given a hospital bed and a nurse to puff their pillow. I'm all for free health care but let's not take the piss. I wouldn't worry just yet. For such a scheme to work would take a great leap of faith, on behalf of the greedy bastards with vested interests, you've got more chance of Denkers becoming a Gypsy King.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of each individual author. The views and opinions do not represent those held by the Dom Research Center.

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