November 30, 2007

It Ain't Eurovision, Dude

"This Sunday, people in Cyprus will be praying for rain..." Listen to the BBC Radio 4 piece and Photis Photiou doing a Eurovision intro here once you scroll to 53:37 of the hour-long radio show.

Our thanks to Stravaraland's minister of culture and agnostic affairs, who alerted us to the broadcast.

November 27, 2007

Da Flags on Da Mountain II

Last October, we mentioned how pathetically stupid Da Flag on Da Mountain looks like to any neutral observer. This year, in the anniversary of "TRNC Independence", we are told that flags of the size of 11 football pitches were placed on Pentadaktylos. So big were the flags that apparently they could be seen (with the help of non-linear vision) from Turkey. Now, my T/C friends, we had our share of "Makarios ZH" mountaintops until we grew up. It took us a few painful decades. The question is, when will you grow up?

November 21, 2007

Blame it on the North

Yet another example of alarmist journalism on behalf of the state broadcaster that raises the following questions. If, as the report states, the CyCentral Intelligence Agency has evidence of livestock being smuggled from the north, why have they not detained anyone for questioning?
If, as the report states, FMD may have been transmitted to the south by these animals, then why has there been no testing for the disease in the north?
What, if anything, are these journalists in the public employ doing to secure evidence to back up these unsubstantiated reports?
Maybe it's a matter of the intelligence agency always being right.
Of course one could be fickle and wonder how a confidential report was leaked to a broadcaster.

CyBC Petition [addendum]

The CyBC-related petition as mentioned by Apodimos Kypreos in the previous post) was sparked off by that proverbial straw that broke a camel's back - in this case a story that was presented by the state broadcaster over 3 weeks after over a dozen bloggers in Cyprus voiced their solidarity in support of Neşe Yaşın, the Turkish Cypriot poet and author, who has recently been harassed by extremists within the Turkish Cypriot community.

The evening news presented the story in its usual alarmist tone under the headline "Neşe Yaşın reveals to the CyBC how her life is threatened by the Talat regime. They call her a traitor and a whore". The anchor, Emilia Kenevezou also made a blanket claim that 'Talat regime' also exercises 'cultural terrorism'. At the same time, however, it becomes apparent that those who harass are supporters of Rauf Denktash and an assortment of nationalists and the media who support them.

The online petition, besides mentioning the state broadcaster's unacceptable twisting of facts towards the end also states as follows:
"We, the undersigned, strongly protest against the unbridled disinformation and propaganda as served up by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), while they claim to be "reliable and objective" in their presentation of the news. We hereby charge CyBC with willfully skewing reality when it comes to news concerning the Turkish Cypriot community, thus creating an atmosphere of mistrust within the Greek Cypriot community.

We feel that the state broadcaster merely bolsters opinions held by extremists who claim that we have nothing in common with the turkish cypriot community and that no good can come of any contact with the 'other' side. CyBC, along with other media which blindly support the establishment, maintain and reinforce a negative climate between the two communities on the island.

It is obvious that this unrelenting propaganda aims to maintain an atmosphere of animosity and rivalry, thus widen the rift between the two communities in order to convince people that they cannot live with each other..."

Petition, petition, petition

But this time not the UK PM's office, but your very own Agency for Objective News, The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

Sign the petition

Click here for more details

November 18, 2007

The Cyprus Delight

The following letter to the editor appeared today in the Cyprus Mail.

Cyprus delight: how pathetic
I was bemused by your article on the naming of lokoumi. It’s not very often I do, but on this point I have to take the side of the Turks over this issue. I think the Greek Cypriots are being childish and pathetic over the whole thing. Why can't we just call it Turkish Delight like the rest of the world does? Or at least Turkish Delight made in Yeroskipou.

Every time I visit Cyprus, I feel embarrassed at the childish way we call it Cyprus Delights. Do you really think the tourists are so stupid that they will not know it’s just out of pathetic grudges that we have changed the name? And the ones that don't know anything about the political situation in Cyprus simply won't buy it because they will not know that it is Turkish Delights. We would probably sell more if it was called by its proper name. The same product is also manufactured here in Britain but the manufacturers do not call it British Delights. Nobody here has ever heard of lokoumi or Cyprus Delights.

I'm sure if it was say the Italians, Armenians, French or some other friend of ours who invented the product we would not have a problem using their national name, provided they allowed it.
It’s just because its got the word Turkish in it, that’s why we call it differently from what the rest of the world. How pathetic.

Strange attitude for a people who are supposed to be wanting to get back to living with the Turkish Cypriots.

Jimmy Demetriou
Workington, Cumbria, UK

Of course, the answer could be that the attitude is just about right if you really do not want to get back to living with the other community. Especially if you live in Pafos, and you are one of the Last of the Mohicans.

November 16, 2007

The Strategy of Conflict

We are told that last week a 64-year old Greek Cypriot died in a T/C jail. The official diagnosis talked about a combination of pneumonia and cancer, that were exacerbated in prison. I am not a doctor but, like me, you probably don’t believe a single bit of this excuse. If 15 G/C policemen can beat two G/C students during Christmas in the middle of the road (OK, it was midnight) without any fear, I can only imagine what the T/C police can do to a G/C “dealing in antiquities” in a T/C prison. Police brutality is rife on both sides of the divide, but if I had to choose a prison, I would pick one depending on my ethnic roots. I also think this would be the choice of most Cypriots on the island.

How has this point been reached? If one could somehow measure trust, do we have any doubt that trust between the two communities has been going down over time? Is it not the case that a minimum amount of trust is necessary to live in peace? Note, I am not talking about building a “bizonal, bicommunal federation,” or a “confederation”. I am talking about being able to live in good, orderly, neighborly and civilized fashion, without fear of being gunned down on the pretext of some ethnic-struggle ideal, by someone who might otherwise have been unfit to be free in society, (a "hero" for some, if you prefer).

Is either government (administration?) on each side of the divide doing anything to stop the accelerating animosity between the two communities? Does either government care about this increased animosity? Will future generations live to regret the distrust being resown on both sides of the divide? If Tassos were on talking terms with Mehmet Ali Talat, could not Tassos have secured the release (or have prevented the death) of the said G/C? What have the administrations on both sides of the divide done to reduce the deep prejudices of their peoples? Had it not been for the Fulbright program, would there have been any contact between the G/C and T/C between 1974 and 2004? Why do the governments on both sides intentionally strive to eliminate all contact between ordinary T/C and G/C? Has the Denktas mentality finally resurfaced gloriously victorious? Who gains from maintaining and encouraging conflict? Who gains from following a strategy of conflict? And what will, in 200 years, be the end result from following a strategy of conflict?

November 14, 2007

Κατά Βαρβάρων

Since we are giving feedback today, to Kostas Konstantinou of Politis, following the responses he generated in the TeePee website, we say


Και εγένετω θαύμα...

Από το σημερινό Φιλελεύθερο...

Το θαύμα είναι που υπάρχουν μερικές συντάκτριες στην εν λόγω εφημερίδα που ίσως μας αναγκάσουν να αναθεωρήσουμε τη γνώμη μας ότι ο Φιλελεύθερος συνεχίζει να παραμένει η Εφημερίδα της κάθε Κυβέρνησης.

Ελπίζω η καλή δουλειά να συνεχιστεί...

Παρεπιπτόντως, γιατί αρέσουν στους Κύπριους τόσο τα θαύματα; Γιατί έχουν τόση μεγάλη ευκολία πίστης σε αυτά; Και είναι συνδεδεμένη αυτή η ευκολοπιστία με την ευκολία με την οποία πιστεύουμε σε θεωρίες συνομωσίας;

November 13, 2007

Fishy Photi

The man who brought us killer tomatoes, dangerous onions, pseudo-Bulgarian lamb, rogue potatoes and who, at one stage, hinted at Foot and Mouth Disease having originated in the pseudoNorth is out to defend the fishermen of Stravaraland who have their knickers in a twist over the fact that the new Green Line regulations now allow for fish to cross the demarcation line.

The local fishermen and their preposterous claims have the full backing of the minister who never did a thing about desalination. The fishermen were going on about the 'low quality' of fish and even suggested that some of them came from Turkey.

Turkey, as you may well know, has a completely different sea than ours. We are surrounded by the Greek Cypriot Mediterranean, while the pseudonortheners and the Turks fish from the occupied, pseudo-northern Mediterranean.

Millions of tourists are duped every year into eating fish in Turkey which in many cases leads to instant death due to the extremely low quality of their highly toxic fish. This of course is covered up on an ongoing basis by the evil angloamericans.

But the fishermen have come up with a cunning plan. The fish ought to come with certificates that will indicate the name of the fisherman and the area in which the fish were caught. Yes, exactly the same information that is available to all consumers at all fish markets in Stravaraland where every bozo who sells fish insists it is fresh and hails from Latchi. Some of them even suggested that the fish be stamped like, say, sides of beef. What a brilliant idea! How do you stamp marides, re koumpare?

Surely, though, when Photis suggests that fish coming from the geographical north ought to be identified as 'imported' he is implicitly recognising the TRNC!


Mega acquired exclusive video images of a 12 year old schoolgirl being pushed around and roughed up by older bullygirls in what appears to be a school yard. The clip in question was uploaded to YouTube by cncminustv. As the blog quite rightly points out, the TV station has hit a new low. This time all they've done to the images of these underage girls is to invert the colours, the sound has in no way been altered. Invert them again and all those appearing in it become recognisable.

Mega, of course, is the same TV station that, in a fit of sensitivity, blurred the images of culled sheep in Dromolaxia as the carcasses were being dumped into a truck.

November 12, 2007


E La Nave Va

November 10, 2007

TeePee discovers the Net

It is indeed amazing.

Since April 2004 we have not seen any attempt by the incumbent to use the internet to explain why the G/C voted NO. We have not seen any one-page advertisments in the FT, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time or Newsweek to explain why the G/C could not trust Turkey to stand by its side of the bargain.

Not only that, when the foreign press was in Stravaraland, the President himself wondered aloud, in front of the foreign press, whether a "cold reception in Dublin meant that the waiter will not serve him"!?

Now, a few months before the Presidential Elections, the net has been discovered! To publicise our Third World mentality. Yes. Tassos Papadopoulos has his own webpage now. Moreover, throught this website, you can sign up to go to Stravaraland and vote for free (because us apodimoi are not allowed to vote at our local embassy or consulate). I guess if you have the money it makes more sense to invest it on Cyprus Airways, and get the credit for saving the national airline as well.

November 09, 2007

Upside Da Head

It's truly shocking that TeePee's new website features this capture from a video of Da Man slapping a poor child. Shameful, indeed, but the best bits are the rip-roaring, hysterical adulations poured upon the leader in the "comments" of the blog section.

What is interesting, though are the Facebook links. With over 18,600 people in the Cyprus network on the social networking site, it does seem like a smart move.

Of course there's a YouTube link as well, which is bound keep people entertained especially in view of the fact that one can't find any South Park clips any more. Now there's an idea for a debate - Cartman moderating the presidential candidates debating at CyBC. Kareklas can play the role of Kenny.

OK, now go off and have some fun. Don't forget to follow the link above and check out all those erudite comments.

Thank AKEL and Jimmy for interesting elections

I want to argue that we owe to AKEL and Jimmy the most interesting elections in Cyprus politics. AKEL decided in 1988 to support George Vassileiou and against all odds (there must have been an ambient atmosphere back then from the DIKO establishment), managed to get George elected. George was like a sea of fresh air since, unlike every other politician at the time, he had not been directly involved in politics since 1960. In fact, he was not part of the first generation EOKA fighters, and he did not even try to associate himself with them! He appointed young upstarts with promising credentials (George Lillikas), started a university against all advice to the contrary, put in an application to an organisation known as the European Community, and even claimed that he wanted to solve Da Stravaraland problem YESTERDAY. Big words. Which he lived to pay in 1993 when the establishment hit back with Glafkos. Back then, in 1993, even Tassos would support Glafkos over the upstart Vassileiou, right?

Moreover, AKEL (under Jimmy by now) stood to its guns, both in 1993 and 1998, and again we had the most close elections since 1988. AKEL lost but still, democracy became more entrenched as the final result was never disputed and it was not so clear who the winner would be (unlike pre-1988 elections). Well, to some extent. The point is that the 95% days of Makarios, or the withdraw-your-candidacy-because-Achilleas-is-abducted or even the support-me-or-foreign-agents-will-Captain-Nemo-us days of Spiros, were gone for ever.

And we come to this election campaign. Which might actually prove quite interesting. Contrary to the attempts of the new establishment (Lillikas etc) to bring back the 2004 atmosphere without any ideas or proposals about what the future holds or should hold, people are beginning to question the value a 1960s EOKA man can offer to the country post 2008. People wonder. Is there really a vision for the future beyond the goal of securing another election victory? One reads even in the state-newspaper, Big Phil, articles questioning the idea that discussing the dead-and-buried Annan Plan is productive in any real sense. One begins to ask whether the emperor has any clothes. And for that questioning to have been made possible, you have no-one else to thank but Jimmy. Yes, whether you like it or not, whether you like his post 2004 behavior, you have to thank Jimmy for taking a stand when he could do something about it, namely NOW. Given the political system and the political situation, he waited to strike at the right moment, still with substantial risk, to give us the best show in terms of elections since independence. For that alone, you have to be grateful to him.

The Omikron Poll

Omikron magazine is running a TV poll. There are a number of categories which we conveniently skipped, in order to proceed to the only question of any interest which is the "sexiest female TV presenter". Our choice is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, none other than Stavriani Constantinou. You can vote for her by going straight to question 21 and ticking the fourth box.

Our thanks to the OffSite daily e-mail newspaper for bringing this Stavriani related item to our attention.

November 08, 2007


November 07, 2007

Foot and Mouth Forces Airline to Change Logo

Courtesy of Makis Makis


courtesy of Makis Makis


courtesy of Makis Makis

Children to the Slaughter

I object to people telling me that I should stop watching CyBC. To its theoretical credit, the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is the only station to carry a current affairs programme during the day. It varies in quality and hysterics. I like the smiling man who asks good questions and am usually amused by the other guy who asks interminable questions and is always interrupting or interjecting (yes, he did refer to the sheep farmers as being uneducated on Wednesday).

[courtesy of yiorkosLillikas - Stravaraland's official YouTube uploader]

But the highlight of "Apo Mera se Mera" is the delectable Stavriani Constantinou, who was recently voted Best Female News Presenter in a TV Mania poll. More importantly than that, though, Stavriani was also voted the most beautiful woman in Stravaraland in our own babe poll with 170 votes cast so far.

However, as one of the presidential candidates rightly pointed out, the programme features a slew of politicians during the recent foot and mouth fiasco, and not enough epidemiologists. It would have been much more useful for the editors to find someone who could give people a rundown of what the disease entails, instead of having Photis going on and on about how impressed the EU seems to be by our brilliant handling of the situation. Strangely enough, however the minister of killer tomatoes played down the ubiquitous Turkish Cypriot factor. Maybe Marcos in Brussels asked him to tone it down a bit.

The other thing journalists seem to avoid is asking questions. This, of course, would take too much valuabe time better spent on getting hysterical and pathetic. Instead of asking what the hell cars are being sprayed with when going back and forth between contaminated zones and the rest of planet Stravaraland, they'd rather encourage the suffering farmers to tell the how they viewed the livestock as being their children and grandchildren. Maybe occasionally sending one's offspring to an abattoir is considered as perfectly acceptble in certain cultures, so I won't argue this point.

One CyBC reporteroid even went as far as to tell us that this catastrophe was tantamount to farmers being made refugees a second time over and carried on bleating "...having saved their flocks in 1974 they find themselves facing yet another disaster in 2007".

The fact that a lot of the stricken farmers happen to be refugees ought not to be used to conjure up ludicrous images of people fleeing with a sheep strapped to their backs. Let's get real and ask real questions here, shall we.

November 06, 2007

Ask Not...

...what your country can do for you.

But what You can do for your Country...

Petition, petition, petition...

"I spoke to Marcos and....."

November 05, 2007


Bravo Photi!

Stravaraland's minister of agriculture, natural resources and the environment has yet to resign, despite leading the ministry from one gaffe to the next. His numbers never add up, his excuses are lame and racist, and the island is already facing and acute water shortage.

Over the last few years, Photis has tried to blame everything on the Turkish Cypriots. So far we've had to endure a number of preposterous allegations which included a tomato scare (remember what an alarmist fuss was made over the possibility of National Guardsmen consuming tomatoes from the north?) followed by a rogue potato flood, which turned out to be potatoes going from south to north. Then we had onions invading the republic.

But the minister's proudest moment came when he started championing Cyprus lamb and went as far as to imply that if we were to consume bulgarian lamb masquerading as Greek (both members of the EU and foot and mouth free) we would end up in purgatory, die or both.

Then came the foot and mouth "scare". One accusation that was flung about was that this came...from the north. This allegation was later played down.

But the math is incredible. A 10 km exclusion zone around the infected farm may, according to the minister who is unable to do anything about either desalination or forest fires, will affect up to 150,000 head of livestock which may have to be culled.

Who comes up with these numbers? What is being done about the primitive state of these farms? What happened to Marcos Kyprianou's efforts to save the island's goats and sheep? How much will this cost? What are the real number of infected animals? How can we skim off the the compensation that has already been promised?

How come this minister hasn't resigned yet?

November 02, 2007

Papahelas investigates a legend