Tony Woods


New Castle cutout knight fools Daily Mail into print photos of a ‘ghost of St Hilarion Castle’

Under the headline ‘Ghostly figure appears in THREE holiday snaps taken by couple at Cyprus castle where traitors were thrown to death’, an article appeared in the Daily Mail online on 7 November 2014 written by India Sturgis that can be read at here. The day after his sister Janis’ wedding in October, 62-year-old Michael Holmes and his wife Wendy, 51, from Buckingham chose to visit St Hilarion Castle perched on the side of the Kyrenia Range overlooking Kyrenia and the Mediterranean Sea. During their long hike up the steepRead More

Pork derivatives get everywhere

I find it interesting that the ammunition for the new Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle was the final spark for the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The rifles had a tighter fit than the earlier muskets and used paper cartridges that came pre-greased but, to load the rifle, the sepoys had to bite the cartridge open to release the powder. The grease used on these cartridges included tallow derived from beef that was offensive to Hindus, or lard derived from pork that was offensive to Muslims. One of the East India Company’sRead More

As Cypriots view the world

Two months into the St Andreas restoration project

Another view of the restoration work at St Andreas Monastery

This will be the first-ever collaboration between the communities on both sides of the UN-arbitrated Green Line as the Greek Orthodox Church is located in the northern, Turkish Cypriot part of the island. It has taking years for the two communities to agree to this restoration project that will require equal involvement and is seen by some as a test project that hopefully will be extended to other monuments. The creation, in 2008, of the Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage, co-chaired by a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot, hasRead More

Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on the joint efforts by Egypt, Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus and Greece to improve relations


Last Saturday a summit of cooperation was held in Cairo between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece that is hoped to improve Egypt’s relations with the European Union (EU), most of whose members disapproved of the removal of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military last year. Both Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and [Greek] Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades assured Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that their countries would work as ‘Egypt’s ambassadors’ to the EU in order to improve the country’s ties with the union. Arguing that Egypt’s relations withRead More

The Cyprus Carousel – or – Have we been here before?

Opinion by Tony Woods Part way through 2005 – almost ten years ago – I joined the then young and fresh tabloid the Cyprus Observer, a newspaper started, owned and initially edited by idealist Hasan Erçakica the spokesperson for CTP President Mehmet Ali Talat. Each week he presented his readers with his opinions and reflections on the ‘Cyprus Problem’, using information gained both from his privileged position and from his insight into Cypriot politics. In 2006 all his articles that had appeared from Issue 1 of 22-28 July 2005 toRead More

Could the design of a storm within the Green Line ever work?

The first prize in the UIA-HYP Cup 2014 International Student Competition in Architectural Design was recently won by Stefanos Theodorou, a Cypriot fifth year student of architecture at Finland’s Aalto University, working with Biel Susanna Viladot from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Knowing that there is a shortage of water on Cyprus and a separation between the island’s two communities, Stefanos believes that they have made a statement through architecture with their project entitled The Unexpected STORM in Nicosia, Cyprus. Theodorou personally researched the Green Line last summer and theRead More

Is Dennis Grant the only TRNC homeowner to be pleased not to have a kocan?

Disgraced former Cotswold Water Park chief Dennis Grant freed from prison as his luxury villa in Cyprus can’t be sold to repay £300k of ill-gotten gains The former Cotswold Water Park Society chief executive who stole more than £700,000 from the charity has been freed from prison after prosecutors accepted that the luxury villa he bought in Cyprus is ‘not a realisable asset’. Dennis Grant, 67, had been ordered to forfeit £318,949.71 of his ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act with the bulk of that money to comeRead More

The Alternative UK News

Meet Gareth Malone’s Children in Need celebrity choir TV choirmaster Gareth Malone wants his Children in Need single to be his third chart topper – but what does he think of his celebrity singers? Gareth Malone admits that 90 per cent of his celebrity choral charges wouldn’t have made it through a typical auditioning process. That said, he’s still hoping that the Children in Need single he’s coaching them to sing gives him his third chart number one. “It’s not a vanity project for anyone; we’re all doing this becauseRead More

A photo tour of the Karşiyaka Olive Oil Factory

Three photos from a visit to the old factory near the mosque on 14 November 2002:   Nowadays there is a very hygienic factory nearer to the main coast road – though, unlike its predecessor, it cannot produce extra virgin olive oil.  

The best and biggest Bonfire and Firework Display … so far

Saturday 1st November started with torrential rain and wind that resulted in the Lambousa Saturday Market being a washout. But, like so many days here in North Cyprus, the bad weather soon petered out with the sun coming through to dry the Bonfire and Firework Display site at Lambousa Market resulting in a brilliant evening for the hundreds who turned up.       To entertain the crowd before the show started, the organiser, Gordon Kent, had arranged for an artiste, Christina, to appear with a variety of crowd thrillingRead More

RoC says 170-200 Cypriot-plated pickups used in IS Militants after passing over Green Line

Reading an online report on I was staggered to read this headline: IS Militants Using Cypriot Cars in Operations Pishtiwan Jaf BasNews, Athens The article stated that ‘Concern has arisen among security services in Cyprus after they received information that IS Militants are using cars with Cypriot number plates in the war in Syria and Iraq. According to Greek Media, between 170-200 pickups are being used by IS as mounts for heavy machine guns. But the question remains as to how IS militants were able to transport the vehiclesRead More

Safety on beaches with Cypriot invention

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the British entrepreneur of Greek Cypriot origin, part of a wealthy ship owning family, is best known for setting up easyJet the low-cost airline and the Stelmar shipping line, with start-up funds provided by his father. Based on his start in life he subsequently set up a charitable foundation, the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, ( that supports education, and entrepreneurial and environmental initiatives through the provision of funding and advice in the UK, in Monaco, in Greece and in Cyprus. Annually it sponsors awards with a cash prizeRead More

Join me on a photo tour of the Kyrenia Wednesday Market

If you are finding that some supermarket vegetables and fruit are not of the quality that you desire, then … why not visit the Wednesday Market on its temporary site between Bariş Park and the Kyrenia Municipality Cultural Centre/Girne Belediyesi Kültür Merkezi? There you can buy superb produce though the stallholders do not display ‘country of origin’. The produce on view ranges from fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and pulses through to toys, shoes, clothing and tools as well as birds. So, next Wednesday, why not visitRead More

EXTRA: additional to the ‘Safey’ article

After writing my piece on the joint Cypriot ‘Safey’ venture, I sent this e-mail to the team: Having read with great interest about the intercommunal venture promoting the ‘Safey’ product I am truly surprised that there are none located in the North of the Island. Surely an intercommunal product should be available to the Turkish Cypriots or have they declined the offer? To which The Safey Team very promptly replied: Unfortunately, since we launched ‘Safey’ earlier this year and it actually arrived in Cyprus in June we did not haveRead More

Money pours in to save Cyprus’s ruins

After years of sniping, by both communities on Cyprus, with regard to the decaying fabric of mosques and churches on the ‘wrong’ side of the buffer zone, there is tangible movement in their preservation for future generations. Following the agreement to resume intercommunal talks on 21st March 2008, the representatives of the two leaders agreed to set up a number of working groups and technical committees on a number of issues. This was followed, on 22 April 2008, by the groups and committees starting four months of meetings resulting inRead More

The Alternative UK News

Restoration work begins on the Mackintosh building Leading conservation architect Julian Harrap told the event, hosted by GSA at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, that the art school would be “under international scrutiny” after news of the fire in May raised the global profile of the building. The Grade A listed building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh lost about 10 per cent of its structure in the blaze on 23 May, and 30 per cent of its contents including Mackintosh’s library. Mr Harrap said: “The building was well known before,Read More

Dad’s Army is back – but not as we knew it

Dads Army logo

It was on 31st July 1968, in the days of black and white television, that the BBC aired the first episode of the TV comedy ‘Dad’s Army’ about the Home Guard during the Second World War, entitled ‘The Man and the Hour’. It was set in the then ‘present day’ of 1968, in which Mainwaring is seen addressing his old platoon as part a talk he gives on the contemporary ‘I’m Backing Britain’ campaign – Coming as it did only just over a decade after sweet rationing ended and withRead More

Greek Cypriots report that North’s population up by 34,136 since 2004

Last Wednesday, 8th October, the Greek Cypriot online newspaper Famagusta Gazette wrote that the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper had printed an article using population data from the ‘Registry of births department’. The quotes always denote what those in the Greek Cypriot sector of the island consider a pseudo north Cyprus body that is not under the Republic of Cyprus [RoC] control. They wrote about the births and deaths in the TRNC [they call it ‘the occupied area of Cyprus’] over the last ten years and stated that there wereRead More

Now another DNA analysis lab to be used by CMP

The Famagusta Gazette online newspaper reported on 10th October that the US-based Bode Technology Laboratory is to replace the Bosnian lab in undertaking the missing persons’ identification process for the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus [CMP]. Bode has already started the DNA analysis on 240 cases sent to them in mid-September with the first results due next month. The Bosnian contract was not renewed because of its high costs, though the lab still needs to conclude its identification analysis for the outstanding remains in its process and the CMPRead More