Dom Research Center   News Clippings: Cyprus

More Gipsies arrive from north
in The Cyprus Weekly, March 30-April 5, 2001

by Demetra Molyva

A third wave of Turkish Cypriot Gipsies arrived from the occupied areas yesterday [March 29, 2001], asking for permission to stay in Paphos after running away from the Denktash regime.

The group of 15 Gipsies, aged 3-36, were spotted around 3 am at Akaki village. After a meeting with the Paphos authorities, they were found accommodation in Paphos by noon. Paphos Welfare Office director Zoe Adamidou said that the 15 Gipsies would be given financial help to cover their initial basic needs in the government-controlled areas.

In the last fortnight a total of 49 Gipsies, believed to have been driven away by what Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou referred to as tragic economic and social conditions, arrived from the occupied areas. Last week, two Gipsy groups of 12 and 27 respectively, arrived in Paphos from the occupied areas and all 39 were given a home in villages mainly with a Turkish Cypriot background like Ayios Yiannis, Axilou, Stavropolou and in the Turkish Cypriot neighbourhood of Mouttalos and Emba village, where some Gipsies from the occupied areas have long been settled.

The first wave of Gipsies from the occupied areas included 15 Cypriot nationals, who arrived through the Dhekelia British Bases and who were given somewhere to stay in Limassol until permanent homes are found for them. Christodoulou said the Gipsies from the occupied areas were Cypriot citizens and should be treated likewise and that Cyprus must abide by its commitment to international treaties. The Gipsies, Christodoulou said, will receive a welfare benefit and found work. If they refuse the work they will lose the benefit.

He did not exclude the possibility that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was encouraging the Gipsies to come over to the government-controlled areas.

"We have constitutional and international treaty obligations and one has to weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision in the face of a risk to be accused of being a state that does not keep to its international treaty obligations and is discriminating," said Christodoulou.

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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