Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.07.11) reports that the worsening economic outlook in the Republic of Cyprus has reduced the hopes for Turkish Cypriot workers who used to cross the crossing points daily.

Reportedly, the debt crisis that has been ravaging Greece is also having an impact on the economy of “Greek Cyprus”, as it described the Republic of Cyprus, which many Turkish Cypriots have typically relied on for jobs. These days, though, the number of Turkish Cypriots crossing the Green Line daily for work has reportedly plummeted due to the worsening economic outlook in the government-controlled southern part of the island, writes the paper.

“The number of Turkish workers passing through the Lokmaci [Ledra] gate in Nicosia has decreased sharply from 8,000 per day to 2,000,” Cafer Gurcafer, the chairman of the so-called Civil Engineering Contractors Association, told the Hurriyet Daily News over the phone.

According to Gurcafer, due to the crisis in Greece, many firms in the government-controlled area of Cyprus have had to fire Turkish Cypriot workers, who had sought higher wages and started to hire Polish and Sri Lankan immigrants. “Most Turks crossing the border were employed in construction, which has been heavily hit by the Greek crisis,” he said, adding that the real-estate market on both sides of the divided island was suffering.

According to Gurcafer, another reason for the decline in crossings is the rising nationalism in the government-controlled are of the island.

[08] A forum on religion is organized in the occupied area of Cyprus

Under the above title, Turkish daily Havadis (27.07.11) reports that a “Youth Dialogue Forum” is taking place in the occupied area of Cyprus in the framework of dialogue across religions, an EU supported program. The forum is organized by the Swedish Embassy with the support of the Church of Cyprus and the “Religious Affairs directorate” of the breakaway regime. Twenty young people from Cyprus (10 Turkish Cypriots and 10 Greek Cypriots), 10 Israelis and 10 Palestinians participate in the forum.

Yesterday, the group leaders met with Talip Atalay, the director of the “Religious Affairs directorate.” Atalay noted that such an activity was realized for the first time in the occupied area of Cyprus and thanked the Swedish Embassy. He said that among these three religions there are basic common principles and that we must ask ourselves why religious representatives who accept these principles act differently. He added that the people of religion should be conciliatory and learn not to be pleased with other people’s grief.

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