Turkey says second ship set to drill off Cyprus

European Council chief Donald Tusk said EU stand behind Cyprus over disputed drilling. (Reuters)
Updated 07 July 2019
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Turkey says second ship set to drill off Cyprus

  • Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup

ANKARA: A second Turkish drillship will begin drilling for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean within a week, Turkey’s energy minister said, in a move which that could strain ties with Cyprus over jurisdiction rights for exploration.
Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.
Turkey already has a ship off Cyprus and Cyprus issued arrest warrants for its crew in June.
The second drilling ship, Yavuz, is currently at the port of Mersin doing final tests and taking on supplies, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted as saying by Turkish state news agency Anadolu.
Ankara, which does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, claims that certain areas in Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone, known as an EEZ, fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or of Turkish Cypriots, who have their own breakaway state in the north of the island which is recognized only by Turkey.

HIGHLIGHT

Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

“God willing, within a week Yavuz will begin drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Carpasia (peninsula), in the area where we have got a license from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” said Donmez.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Several peacemaking efforts have failed and the discovery of offshore resources has complicated the negotiations.


Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

Egyptian Christians stand outside St. Markos Church in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt, in this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

  • Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students

CAIRO: The Egyptian Orthodox Church has issued a statement condemning the theft of the body of the Patriarch Gerges, son of priest Ibrahim Al-Basit, from his family’s burial place in the Minya governorate.
Last Saturday, the cemetery was opened and Al-Basit’s body was stolen. The crime of stealing the bodies of the dead has recently spread across Egypt, especially while the sanctity of the body remains preserved. It is also common for the remains to be collected two years after the burial.
Last October, a gang was arrested after stealing bodies from their graves. An investigation has revealed that the main defendant sold the bodies to medical students for practical learning.
Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students.
The investigation found that the defendant had put a price on various limbs. The leg and the arm were priced at 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($180), the skull cost 5,000 pounds and the whole body was worth 20,000 pounds.
Ashraf Farahat, a legal expert and lawyer, said that Egyptian law demands up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 100-500 pounds for criminals who violate the sanctity of graves.
Yasser Sayed Ahmed, a legal expert and lawyer, said he knew of many cases where cemetery guards and assistants help people access graves for superstitious reasons in exchange for large sums of money.
The majority of these cases are happening with the help of the guards of the tombs. They exhume graves at night to extract the bodies and separate the organs to sell bones and skulls. They often sell them to drug dealers by grinding and mixing some materials for sale at high prices.