in Cyprus Today – 12/3/2011

It’s up and away for new airline – North Cyprus Airlines “could be flying within days” despite no tickets being sold and the website still not yet activated. The reason for this is that NCA could be sharing Turkish Airlines flights. NCA asks that people “help us with our new airline. Editor: well they certainly aren’t helping themselves or when KHTY/CTA went bust, they certainly didn’t help stranded passengers. Mind you there is evidence that NCA has already been flying, see their website at www.northcyprusairlines.com

Illegal workers to be deported – there are calls for a new census to persuade illegal immigrants to fill in census forms which could be used as evidence to deport them. Editor: perhaps they could just go into to any restaurant and say “hands up if you are an illegal immigrant”?

Rare shark found on beach – a dead Sandbar Shark was found. Apparently “the seas off Turkey and Tunisia’s Gulf of Gabes are important nursery grounds for the Sandbar but there is now little evidence of the species in the Mediterranean.” Editor: quiz, which seas are off “Tunisia’s Gulf of Gabes”?

Survey reveals drivers aged 11 – according to a survey, Turkish Cypriots start to learn to drive at the age of 11 and “74.63%” (Editor: exactly?) learned from family friends or family members and don’t know “what traffic signs mean.” Editor: this is a very unexpected finding, I never knew that TCs learned to drive.

Youngsters see snow for the first time – 7cm of snow on Five-Fingered Mountains. Cold snap expected to end tomorrow and temperatures expected to return to month averages of 20oC plus.

‘Toughest report yet’ set to hit Turkey’s EU bid – the EU expects Turkey to give up some of its Cyprus Talks negotiating tools before talks are over, e.g. opening ports to GCs, giving back Maraş and withdrawing troops. Editor: I don’t know why they didn’t also demand all GC land to be returned and all non-Cypriots to be deported. That would totally resolve the need for any talks at all as the 800,000 GCs could then swamp the remaining 100,000 TCs who would leave because they would then have only ruins to live in.

High oil costs force up ticket prices – surcharges to already purchased airline ticket prices are being planned by Pegasus and Onur Air because of oil price increases. Turkish Airlines is not adding a surcharge to their tickets. Editor: nor are airlines in the south or North Cyprus Airlines.

Onur Air set to make Ercan return – twice daily to Istanbul and twice weekly to Trabzon. Prices start at 69TL, including taxes. Editor: but not including fuel surcharges, see above.

Driver in court over ambulance death – an ambulance driver who struck and killed an elderly man on a scooter on Tuesday 8th March appeared in court on 11th March and was remanded in custody for a further two days. Editor: I’ve been told not to comment about an ex-pat in a similar situation.

Government puts ban on court strikes – a 60 day ban was imposed because strikes would “impede justice”. Editor: so it was the strikes, I hadn’t realised that.

Union leader charged over 2009 – the General Secretary of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union has re-appeared in court the answer 2009 obstructions charges despite having already been fined for the matter. He had claimed that ministers are part of a “puppet regime” doing what Turkey tells them.

Bringing Lapta to life – with a planned coastal footpath, eco-parks, a shopping centre and a cable car link to the mountains. Editor: with all this snow recently the cable car will prove essential for skiers.

Letter: “Right intentions but wrong actions” by Mike Maternaghan – an excellent letter pointing out problems with the government’s policy of restricting employment to locals. He points out that since the early 1980s no native English-speaker has been employed in state schools to teach English. This means that a progressively poor standard has been taught. He also cites the case of a mainland Turkish former head of Oncology being driven from his post by dubious practices intended to get him to leave. Mike also questions the classification of cleaning and gardening as an unskilled job and points to the number of unqualified Turkish Cypriot builders being allowed to work.

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