This week in history
THIS week in history last year, mud and water was dumped in the path of Easter holidaymakers during work to upgrade part of the sewerage system in Girne’s ancient yacht harbour. A municipality contractor operating an excavator was blamed for the incident during renewal of a pumping station. Head of the Marine Tourism Entrepreneurs Union, Faik Gencer, took photographs to illustrate what he called “bad work practice and the state of the harbour”. A vocal campaigner for improvements, Mr Gencer warned that the pumping station work would not solve a 10year leak from sewers if the system continued to “back up”.
Also this week in 2017, it emerged that some 200 TRNC police officers were to be interrogated as part of efforts to root out those suspected of having links to the US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen who was accused of being the mastermind of the previous summer’s coup attempt in Turkey. The Police Press and Information Office were forced to issue a statement confirming that an investigation had been launched after details were leaked by Turkish-language media and on social media.
This week in 2013, a Girne motel receptionist brought in a pair of “hit men” to kill his exboss, a court heard. Abdussamed Durmufl, owner of the Elizel Motel behind the ancient yacht harbour, known as “fiamo”, was beaten about the head with an iron bar and stabbed nine times when the two — who had checked into the hotel as guests — attacked him in March 2012, it was said. Prosecutors claimed that the alleged killers, Volkan Pirinç and Sami Akkaya, were brought in for the grisly job by İhsan Atar, who used to work at the Elizel.
This week in 2008, owners of homes with swimming pools in North Cyprus faced having to pay more for the privilege in a government crackdown on water usage. The drought was officially described as the worst in 100 years and the whole country was declared a drought area. Then Environment and Natural Resources Minister Mustafa Gökmen said a number of measures were being explored, including the introduction of a new tax for houses with swimming pools, to ensure enough water was available for drinking.
This week in 1998, possession of a “Republic of Cyprus” passport would carry a jail sentence of up to five years and/or a fine of up to two billion TL under tough new legislation approved by TRNC ministers. A 54-section Bill outlawing TRNC citizens from holding the South Cyprus-issued travel document was expected to be pushed through the North Cyprus Parliament after winning backing from the Council of Ministers.
On this very day, April 14, 1970, an explosion on board Apollo 13 caused one of the most critical situations in American space history and put the lives of the three astronauts on board in severe jeopardy. The explosion happened in the fuel cells of the spacecraft’s service module approximately 56 hours after liftoff. Apollo 13 successfully returned to Earth on Friday, April 17, 1970.
On April 18, 1955, Albert Einstein died in hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 76. The eminent scientist and originator of the theory of relativity was admitted to hospital three days before with an internal complaint. His work laid the groundwork for many modern technologies including nuclear weapons and cosmic science.