Ste­lios to raise bi-com­mu­nal co-op­er­a­tion cash prize to € 500,000 for next year

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Se­rial en­trepreneur Ste­lios Haji-Ioan­nou handed out cash prizes of EUR 10,000 each to 31 pairs of Greek and Turk­ish Cypri­ots who have es­tab­lished joint bi-com­mu­nal projects and de­clared that his char­ity, the Ste­lios Phil­an­thropic Foundation, will boost the grant to EUR 500,000 next year for 50 win­ning teams.

Speak­ing at the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony at the foundation’s bi-com­mu­nal café in old Ni­cosia, Sir Ste­lios said: “This is a char­ity project, not a po­lit­i­cal one. This is my way of giv­ing back to the is­land that my fam­ily comes from. Both my par­ents were born on the is­land. This project is one of my ways of re­pay­ing my debt to so­ci­ety. We are work­ing over the last seven years for last­ing peace on the is­land of Cyprus”.

Ste­lios said that this year the foundation re­ceived four times more ap­pli­ca­tions than pre­vi­ous years and at­trib­uted the en­thu­si­asm to the pos­i­tive po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, the pro­mo­tion and pub­lic­ity of the prize and the op­er­a­tion of the café that also played a key role to bring closer Greek Cypri­ots and Turk­ish Cypri­ots and man­aged to strengthen the el­e­ment of trust and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween them.

An­other con­tribut­ing fac­tor this year was the open­ing up of the bi-com­mu­nal co­op­er­a­tion, not just to busi­ness but also to arts, sport, lit­er­a­ture and sciences.

In his ad­dress, Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said that the ‘Ste­lios Bi-Com­mu­nal Busi­ness Awards’ cer­e­mony is an in­sti­tu­tion, firmly es­tab­lished as an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of bi­com­mu­nal co-op­er­a­tion and cre­ative in­ter­ac­tion.

He said that “through th­ese ac­tions, the Foundation is play­ing an in­valu­able role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing much needed con­tact and re-build­ing the so­cio-eco­nomic bonds of the two com­mu­ni­ties of the is­land, which ex­isted for many decades”.

The Pres­i­dent noted that “the re­mark­able record num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions that the Foundation has re­ceived for this year’s awards is tan­gi­ble proof of the gen­uine, tena­cious de­sire of the peo­ple of Cyprus, Greek and Turk­ish Cypri­ots, to re-es­tab­lish and fur­ther ad­vance their so­cio-eco­nomic ties and co­op­er­a­tion”.

“The im­pres­sive out­reach and suc­cess of th­ese awards should come as no sur­prise: Greek and Turk­ish Cypri­ots col­lab­o­rated and co-cre­ated suc­cess­fully for decades, prov­ing that their com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor, their Cypriot iden­tity, and their com­mon de­sire to pros­per to­gether, are strong and lin­ger­ing”, Pres­i­dent con­cluded.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony Sir Ste­lios, ac­com­pa­nied by win­ners and par­tic­i­pants walked through the Le­dra Street check­point to the north where a sec­ond bi-com­mu­nal café will open on Ferah Street early next year.

Ste­lios Haji-Ioan­nou an­nounced that he will raise the stakes for next year to EUR 500,000 go­ing to 50 bi­com­mu­nal teams for 2016. The to­tal grants have reached to EUR 2 mln so far.

This year’s 31 prize win­ning bi-com­mu­nal teams, each earn­ing EUR 10,000, are: Nikos Pis­sou­rios – Ugur Say­ilir, kite surf­ing; Chris­tos Kart­sioulis – Ergec Sen­turk, world­wide PC sup­port; Vasilis Htisti – Zafer Biler, joint restau­rant; Michalis Michael – Sukran Oz­er­dem, mar­ried cou­ple; Eleni Me­lanidou – Kur­sat Tilki, bi­com­mu­nal choir for peace; Costas Kafkarides – Yasar Ersoy, theatre; Michalis Theodorou – Niyazi Kizilyurek, pub­lish­ing house; Ay­din Mehmet Ali – Kon­stanti­nos Kon­stanti­nou, cy­cling ser­vices for peo­ple with mo­bil­ity prob­lems; Themis­to­clis Man­tis – Erdinch Usten­ler, glid­ing group; Pieris Had­jip­ieris – Yakup En­gin Tel, restoration of Apos­to­los An­dreas monastery; Ni­cos Vas­sil­iou – Mazlum Kor­tas, study the eco­nomic as­pect of a re-united Cyprus; Evren Man­ner – Christina Deme­tri­ades, bilin­gual an­i­mated film project; Char­alam­bos Leonidou – Hasan Ekin­gen, lace prod­ucts; Me­lani Pap­pas-Le­mona – Gozde Pehli­van, kinder­gar­den; Hacer Genc – Panayi­o­tis Con­stanti­nou, cat­a­logue for tra­di­tional wo­ven bas­kets; Hakan Djuma-Mar­ios Ge­or­giou-Aga­pios Aga­piou, ao­lar taxi bike; Dr. Prof. Sophia Serghi – Devrim Ce­lal, sail­ing around Cyprus; Demos Kini­gos – Hasan Hasan­bulli, fish trad­ing; An­droulla Shati – Samiye Taskin, re­cy­cling at schools; Ay­din Mehmet Ali – Ni­co­letta Demetriou, work­shops to pro­mote An­glo­phone lit­er­a­ture; Yian­nis Pa­padikos – Ti­bel Nidai, fish trad­ing; Ta­nia Mat­souka – Nazo Can­itez, rock climb­ing and yoga; Anna Ar­gy­rou – Gulsen Oz­to­prak, ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tants; Ta­cam Gok­boru – Sav­vas Anas­ta­siou, cy­cling camps; An­to­nis Le­f­coniki­atis – Ozfer Ozatay, photo equip­ment trad­ing and ex­hi­bi­tion; Maria Ge­or­giou – Ser­ife Ak­man, bak­ery café; Dr. Paul Costeas – Ovgu Ince, Karaiskakio and Ke­mal Saracoglu Foun­da­tions; Sylia Panayi­oti­dou – Erhan Oze, on­line art gallery; Har­ris Galazis – Emre Ser­dar, alu­minium busi­ness; Larkos Larkou - Hatidje Ar­dost, “Kypro­ge­nia” bi-com­mu­nal mu­sic group; and, Katie Econo­mi­dou – Dervish Baha, guided tours.

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