MEPs table question over cultural destruction in occupied Cyprus
By Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Jan 26 (CNA) -- Euro MPs have asked the European Commission to stop destruction of the cultural heritage in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus by Turkey.
In a question tabled, MEPs Ioannis Kasoulides, Charles Tannock and Thereza Villiers stress that Turkey continues since 1974 the illegal occupation of the island violating a number of UN Security Council resolutions and inevitably there is a gradual deterioration of the character of the occupied areas in the north.
More specifically they note that since the invasion archaeological sites, religious treasures, Churches and many private collections situated in the occupied area, were left at the mercy of the invaders and have been subjected to the most violent and systematic destruction.
Stressing that it is urgent to take action and stop this destruction, the MEPs note that even though the European Parliament has condemned the Turkish policy, the destruction continues until today despite the fact that since May 2004, Cyprus is a member of the EU.
The MEPs ask the Commission to inform them what actions can be taken in the direction of Ankara to stop the destruction, taking into consideration that Turkey will soon begin accession talks with the EU.
Concluding they ask the Commission which if any funds are allocated for the reconstruction of destructed Greek and Christian monuments in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.
In a question to Commissioner Bennita Ferrero Waldner, Ioannis Kasoulides asks on the measures the Commission is planning to take regards the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.