• Short Summary

    Cyprus was quiet on Friday (23 August) as President Glafkos Clerides left Cyprus for Athens to have talks with Greek Government leaders on the future.

  • Description

    Cyprus was quiet on Friday (23 August) as President Glafkos Clerides left Cyprus for Athens to have talks with Greek Government leaders on the future.

    But the streets of Nicosia were deserted and many shops were still closed. The roads form Nicosia to Kyrenia and Famagusta were barricaded and the busiest road of all was the route south to the port of Limassol where families were boarding ship to leave the unhappy island for good. It is the only road open form the capital to the cast.

    Although there is now a reasonable change of the ceasefire being observed there is a stricter than ever dividing line between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    The hustle and bustle of everyday life has not returned. Fresh milk is unobtainable in Nicosia and fresh vegetables are at a premium since the peasants are no longer bringing their produce to market. Hotels in what were once tourist centres are empty.

    The future for Cyprus looks bleak. One in three Cypriots are now refugees. Turkish forces remain in occupation of 40 per cent of the island, but two thirds of the agricultural and economic life are in Turkish hands.

    The damage inflicted on the island runs into hundreds of millions of pounds sterling. And worse almost than the concrete damage to the economy is the fear for the future. Fear that the Turks might try to take over the Entire island, that no political settlement may be possible, that Cyprus may not know true peace for a long time.

    Mr. Clerides has warned that he will not return to Geneva for talks while the Turks "persist in their attitude of negotiation by ultimatum."
    With the political future uncertain cars still remain outside houses laden with blankets, cooking utensils and suitcases ready for an immediate move.

    SYNOPSIS: The skies above the Cyprus capital Nicosia are quiet now, and there is an uneasy peace on the island.

    But Nicosia itself is still almost deserted Few of those who fled form the Turkish bombers have returned, and most shops are still closed. But as the precarious ceasefire holds, life is slowly returning to normal.

    Kyrenia was once a few miles drive away up this road. Now it is the heart of Turkish occupied territory and few Greek Cypriots would want to return.

    The road to Famagusta ends just an abruptly The town is the eastern pin of the "Attila Line" dividing Cyprus.

    Only the road south to Limassol is open - the last route form the capital to the coast.

    The road remained open despite the threat of closure form Turkish troops five miles form the highway
    In Limassol itself, close to the safety of the British Sovereign bases of Akrotiri and Episkopi, life appears normal. Limassol was not bombed. But there are at least fifty thousand refugees in the area.

    This is the destination of many hundreds of refugees. Panic stricken families have been coming here to sail form Cyprus for ever. For the future of the island is bleak. Even if somehow a political settlement can be negotiated damage to the economy already amounts to hundreds of million of pounds.

    The Turks occupy forty per cent of the land Accounting for two thirds of the country's agriculture and economic life. And one in every three Cypriots is now a refugee. But the most damaging of all is the uncertainty and fear.

    Fear that the Turks will advance again, that the politicians will fail, that pace will be long delayed. Those that are not leaving keep their cars full of blankets, cooking utensils and suitcases, ready for and immediate move.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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