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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 March 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2016 21 NEWS MP defends Cyprus visit Natalie Suleyman under fire from PASEKA MICHAEL SWEET A private visit by Victorian Labor MP Natalie Suleyman to Cyprus has been criticised following her appearance at the parliament of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Ms Suleyman met with the Speaker of the TRNC parliament, Sibel Siber, during her two-week trip earlier this year - an action that prompted PASEKA (the PanAustralian Justice For Cyprus Coordinating Committee) president Constantinos Procopiou to write to the Victorian government asking for clarification on its position in regard to the divided island. Mr Procopiou said Ms Su- leyman's visit to the parliament was "unfortunate" at a time "when pressure [was] needed to encourage Turkey to "abandon its expansive inspirations and allow the people of Cyprus to reach a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue”. In a statement provided to the media, Mr Procopiou also questioned whether the trip was funded by the Victorian government and if Ms Suleyman had entered Cyprus illegally. Ms Suleyman, who travels to Cyprus regularly to stay in touch with extended family, defended her actions this week, describing Mr Procopiou's comments as "disappointing". "I privately funded the trip, I entered Cyprus through Larnaca, and it's these sort of petty allegations that hold back the efforts of many people on both sides who want to see a resolution," she told Neos Kosmos. "My visit to the parliament was not an official visit. I sat in the public gallery and I did meet the Speaker along with other parliamentarians. I also said I looked forward to coming back and continuing to build relationships." Former parliamentarian Theo Theophanous - the first person of Greek Cypriot heritage to be elected to the Victorian parliament, said the attack on Ms Suleyman was totally unwarranted. "Natalie Suleyman is the first-ever Turkish Cypriot MP in Victoria. She supports a fair resolution for Cyprus and we need people like her who want to build bridges," said Mr Theophanous. "The rash, unsubstantiated allegations from PASEKA only serve to illustrate how out of touch they are with the many, many people who are promoting dialogue and a solution to the Cyprus problem." Ioannides charms crowd at Sydney’s Greek Festival On Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February, the 34th Greek Festival of Sydney transformed Darling Harbour into a bustling site with its annual Greek Fest. Over two days, visitors were treated to entertainment on two stages, including Greek dancing performances, live musicians and the Mr Spana Kopita Eating Competition. Singer and performer Alkinoos Ioannides closed the festival on Sunday evening with an outdoor concert at Tumbalong Park. Ioannides combines electric music with chamber orchestras and rock bands with choirs, all deriving from his Greek and Middle Eastern influences. His performance enchanted the thousands of people in attendance, who sang along loudly throughout his set, creating a truly magical atmosphere. His performance was a major highlight of the festival, drawing a massive crowd into the park, with mesmerised faces as far as the eye could see. The Weekend Today Show team visited the festival on Saturday for a live cross on their program which highlighted everything on offer for the weekend. A glimpse of the festival was broadcast across televisions all around Australia. The festival showcased the very best of Greek culture available in Australia, with food stalls selling souvlakia, loukoumades, frappés, spanakopites and other Greek treats. The two stages in Darling Harbour provided entertainment for all, with traditional and modern Greek dancing as well as performances by local Greek Australian bands and an international music act from Ipiros. The festival was embraced and attended by an incredibly multicultural crowd who nc- were exposed to a wonderfully Hellenic atmosphere. Now in its 34th year, the past weekend has proved once again that Greek culture is integral to the fabric of the city and is appreciated by all its inhabitants. The turn of a century for Vasiliki The Mihos family celebrates its grand matriarch’s 100th milestone ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS It's not every day that you receive a personalised message from the Queen in the mail, but for Vasiliki Mihos, that became a reality this week with the celebration of her 100th birthday. Natalie Suleyman MP with former Victorian parliamentarian Theo Theophanous in Cyprus last year. The adored mother, grandmother and great-grandmother celebrated the exciting milestone on Wednesday 2 March surrounded by those dearest to her. One of her 10 grandchildren, George Mihos, described the day as very emotional, both for Vasiliki and the family. "We are all so proud of our beautiful and kind-hearted grand matriarch of the Mihos family," George told Neos Kosmos. "She was very reflective, telling us stories of her youth and days in Greece." Natalie Suleyman MP with Sibel Siber, Speaker of the TRNC parliament. Born in the village of Vlaseika in the municipality of Messina, Greece in 1916, it was in 1974, aged 58, that she decided to migrate to love, kindness, wisdom and strength," George said. It is only in the last four years that she has come to face health issues, undergoing three hip surgeries due to falls and fractures. But according to George, even that hasn't been enough to lower her spirits. "Each time our grandmother has approached her rehabilitation with gusto and commitment to get better, and she gets home quickly to tend to her favourite past time - her treasured veggie patch," he says, adding that it is his grandmother who taught him the true meaning of patience and perseverance. Celebrations on Wednesday Vasiliki Mihos on her 100th birthday, surrounded by beautiful flowers from friends and family, along with her congratulatory message from the Queen. Australia. That year proved to be a difficult one for Vasiliki, coinciding with the death of her husband of 38 years. Despite her tragic loss, however, it was with great strength and determination that she bid farewell to her beloved hometown and ventured Down Under to live with her son Theodore and his wife Efstathia in Melbourne's suburb of Templestowe. Passionate about her family and always willing to lend a hand, Vasiliki eventually moved to her current residence, where she lived with her eldest son Kosta, daughter-in-law Merssina and granchildren Vicki and George, upon whom she has left a marked impression. "Our grandmother is truly an amazing and inspirational woman who has graced her family and everyone she meets with unconditional were kept to a minimum, however, with the morning spent in hospital visiting her son Theodore, who was admitted to hospital on Monday. So what exactly does the centenarian attribute her long life to exactly? "Daily early morning brisk walks, a delicious Mediterranean diet and doting on all her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren," says George. Oh, that "and good genes", he said, adding that his greatgrandfather, Vasiliki's father, also lived to celebrate his 100th year.
27 February 2016
12 March 2016