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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 January 2018
22 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 JANUARY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek soldiers’ remains returned from Cyprus The five men died on board the patrol boat Phaethon when it was bombed by Turkey in August 1964 A special ceremony was held in Nicosia on Tuesday for the return of the remains of five Greek nationals who died aboard the Phaethon at Tyllirias in August 1964 when it was bombed by Turkey. Present to collect the remains was Greece’s Alternate Minister of Defence, Dimitris Vitsas. The men were honoured in a speech by Cyprus’ Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Photis Photiou who noted their bravery and said they had “offered their lives at the altar of Cypriot freedom”. The five men were identified as Lieutenant Panagiotis Chrysoulis from Athens, Plutarch Spyridon Agathos from Corfu, Plutarch Nicholas Panagos from Arcadia, Antipaspostor Panagiotis Theodoratos from Kefallinia, and Piertis Nikolaos Kappadoukas from Skopelos. Meanwhile, Cyprus is also due to hand over the remains of another two Greeks, one of whom also died at Tyllirias in 1964, Reservist Vasilios Koukousoulis, and Colonel Athanasios Fotopoulos who was killed in the battle for the airport in Nicosia in July 1974. “Fifty-four years after the Turkish attacks on Tyllirias and 44 years since Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus … we do this as the Cypriot state with a great apology for the delay due to mistakes or omissions of the past, as well as to reasons that were judged necessary in our course over time,” Mr Photiou said, and went on to thank those involved in the exhumation and identification processes of the remains of the Phaethon crew. Mr Vitsas also gave a speech to thank the Cypriot government for the return of the remains, and to honour the soldiers who served “a higher purpose without a second thought”. A second ceremony took place for the transportation of the remains from the old Larnaca airport on a Greek Air Force C-27. Present were National Guards, Greek officers, clergy, officials and relatives of the deceased soldiers. Greek parliament makes Sharia law optional for country’s Muslim minority Following a challenge to Greece by the European Court of Human Rights, the century-old legacy has been altered in a historic move extending equal legal rights to all Greeks regardless of religious customs Legislation was changed on Tuesday in the Greek parliament, in what Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has dubbed a “historic step”, giving the country’s Muslim minority equal legal rights with the option to opt for a Greek court to resolve family disputes rather than turning to Islamic jurists. In the aftermath of the Ottoman empire’s collapse, the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne were drafted to include that Islamic customs and religious law apply to the thousands of Muslims who became Greek citizens. Currently the country is home to around 110,000 Muslims who mainly reside in Thrace. As a result, for family legal matters such as inheritance, divorce and child custody, Greek Muslims have generally sought out muftis to resolve the matter. However a complaint brought ruling this year. The issue is complicated, PHOTO: YAHOO NEWS VIA AP PHOTO/GIANNIS PAPANIKOS against Greece regarding Sharia law by a 67-year-old widow has revealed that the religious legal system often discriminates against women. Hatijah Molla Salli who lives in Komotini has found herself locked in an inheritance dispute with her late husband’s sisters. When she first appealed to the Greek court system she won the case, but then in 2013 the Greek supreme court ruled in accordance to century-old agreement that only a mufti has the power to resolve such matters with regards to members of the Muslim community. With the matter still pending five years on, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is expected to cast its given Ankara sees Greece’s Muslim community as Turkish, which often times complains on their behalf to Athens. However a number of law makers believe the decision is long overdue, a sentiment shared by Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Constantine Gavroglou. “This is not just a technical adjustment, it’s a very important day for parliament,” he said. “Because of the broad support that is key when addressing issues of democracy and people’s rights.” The law passed easily and was backed by the Greek parliament’s largest political parties. While extreme-right party, Golden Dawn rejected the bill under the premise that it wasn’t clear in outlining the powers that the Islamic courts would retain. The new FYROM name should not include the term ‘Macedonia’, stresses Mikis Theodorakis The famous composer warns the Greek government not to betray the 1992 decision PHOTO: CYPRUS MAIL ONLINE Dead cattle washed ashore Cyclades islands in Greece Locals on central Aegean islands have been finding dead bovine washed ashore at beaches from Tinos to Sifnos. The incidents have worried both the authorities and the residents on the island as there is no information explaining how the animals ended up in the sea. According to local media reports and Cyclades24.gr police and coastguards are investigating which ships have sailed through the area and if their cargo was live stock in order to find out the cause of death and reason the animals were thrown in the sea. The first morbid find was reportedly a bull washed ashore in Galissia beach on Syros last Wednesday. Two dead animals followed at Megali Kolybithra on Tinos with the more recent reports being from Marmari beach on the island of Syros and Vathi beach off Sifnos. Local municipal authorities are assigned with removing the dead cattle; however, the incidents have raised some health concerns. Mikis Theodorakis, the iconic composer, has voiced his concerns and fears in a long blogpost regarding the ongoing ‘Macedonia’ name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Theodorakis asks the current Greek government not to betray Greece’s original and national line set during the 1992 leaders’ summit by the then Greek President Konstantinos Karamanlis. The 92-year-old legend reminds that Greece’s stance has always been against a title for FYROM that would include or even derive from the name ‘Macedonia’, adding that the fact FYROM has been using the term ‘Macedonia’ has turned into propaganda to convince the rest of the world that Skopjans are descendants of Alexander the Great. “Any retreat from this line will have disastrous effects for the future of our country since after the eight years of plunder of the Greek people that led us to the current dramatic situa- tion, all that remains is to preserve our national integrity,” he writes in Greek on his personal website. “The government of Skopje is blatantly threatening the sovereignty of our country. By using the name ‘Macedonia’ as the vehicle, distorting the historical events to a ridiculous degree, it seeks to extend its borders at our expense to create the so-called ‘Macedonia of the Aegean’. “Them leading us into bankruptcy and tearing our social fabric apart is one matter. But reaching a point where the sovereignty of our country is threatened, this is not only a huge issue but physical annihilation. Because our country will not be able to bear losing even a single square meter of Greek land. Hyperbole? Just think, who could really have fathomed of the once formidable Yugoslavia being split up? When you are afraid to say that you love your homeland and when – even worse you sell it out – is acting servile,” he concludes. Looted ancient Greek antiquities seized from collector’s NYC home Greek authorities will be seeking to repatriate the valuable art works A number of antiquities, which prosecutors believe to have been looted from Greece and Italy have been seized from the office and Manhattan home of billionaire Michael H. Steinhardt, which was raided on Friday afternoon. A hedge-fund manager and philanthropist, Mr Steinhardt has close ties with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where one of the galleries is in fact named after him, and has been an avid collector of ancient Greek art for some three decades. At least nine pieces from his private collection were seized, as part of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s efforts to repatriate looted antiquities to their countries of origin. According to a press statement issued by Greece’s Ministry of Culture, authorities have full intention of seeking to repatriate the items back to Greece, and that they are awaiting a formal briefing from their US counterparts to commence the necessary procedures. Among the items, reports have revealed the discovery of an ancient Greek oil vessel depicting a funeral scene, which dates back to the 5th century B.C. and has an estimated worth of at least US $380,000 (AUD $484,633). To ensure the items are returned to Greece, authorities will be submitting comprehensive evidence to prove their origins.
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