Home' Greymouth Star : April 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, April 24, 2015
An ash cloud from the Calbuco
volcano in southern Chile that erupted
unexpectedly yesterday was blowing
into Chile and Argentina overnight,
forcing the cancellation of flights from
nearby cities in both countries and
blanketing residents in ash.
The volcano, which last had a major
eruption in 1961, has belched a
spectacular plume of ash and smoke
around 15km into the sky near the
popular tourist town of Puerto Varas,
some 1000km south of Santiago.
Calbuco erupted twice over the last
24 hours and has now stopped, but
it remains unstable and could erupt
again, experts said.
Winds have already carried part of
the ash cloud to the city of Chillan,
some 400km south of Santiago, and
could reach the capital by the end of
the day, government meteorologist
Arnoldo Zuniga said.
Most of the ash, however, was
headed over the Andes mountains into
neighbouring Argentina, and weather
experts said it could reach as far as
Buenos Aires province, some 1500km
to the east.
“At the moment we don’t forecast
the ashes will reach Buenos Aires city,
depending on whether or not there
is a third eruption,” Ignacio Lopez, a
meteorologist at Argentina’s national
meteorology centre, said.
“So far, the eruption has been slightly
less serious (than in 2011) and the
meteorological conditions have been
good, meaning the ashes are remaining
suspended in the air,” Lopez said.
International airlines that fly into
Santiago said they were monitoring
the situation but flights were
In Argentina, Bariloche and
Neuquen airports were shut, with
Bariloche — which television pictures
showed covered in grey ash — due
to be closed today too. F lights by
LATAM Airlines’ local arm LAN
Argentina and State-owned Aerolineas
Argentinas were affected.
LAN Chile had cancelled over 20
domestic flights since the eruption.
Nearly 4500 people have been
evacuated from the immediate area,
authorities said, with the emergency
ser vices focusing on the small town
of Ensenada, some 15km from the
No one has been reported killed.
Flights cancelled amid eruption
Smoke and ash rise from the Calbuco volcano as seen from the city of Puerto Montt.
Abbott honours Turkish war historian
Australian Prime Minister Tony
Abbott has honoured a Turkish
academic whose research examines
how just 250 Turkish soldiers repelled
the first waves of Anzacs who landed
on the Gallipoli peninsula 100 years
The prime minister overnight
presented Dr Haluk Oral with an
honorary Order of Australia award at
a low-key ceremony in Istanbul.
The historian was recognised for
ser vice to Australia-Turkish relations
and particularly his contribution
to a greater understanding of the
He is the author of Gallipoli 1915:
Through Turkish Eyes which was
first published in 2007.
Dr Oral said the honour was
“ unbelievably important ” given he
had studied the Gallipoli campaign
for more than 30 years.
His research reveals there were not
as many Turkish soldiers present
where the Anzacs landed as many
“In the beginning there were only
about 250 soldiers, from 4.30am
when the landing started until when
the 27th Regiment came around
8.30am,” Oral said.
“D uring that time the number of
Anzacs reached 5000 to 6000.
“So I wanted to emphasise the
things these 250 soldiers did because
generally they are not talked about.
“ Instead they are talking about
what happened after Mustafa Kemal
Oral said the 250 soldiers did not
have machine-guns either — despite
reports to the contrary.
“In all Australian and British
sources it says that when they were
landing, Turks were using machine-
guns, but actually there were no
machine-guns whatsoever until
8.30am,” he said.
The academic explained that,
because the Turks did not know
exactly where the Anzacs would land,
they decided to position only small
numbers of soldiers on the beaches.
Reinforcements were then sent
from Maidos (the 27th Regiment)
and Bigali (Mustafa’s 57th Regiment)
arriving some four hours after the
initial Anzac landings. — AAP
Gallipoli Peninsula (Turkey)
Thousands of Australians, New
Zealanders and Turks are gathering
on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula ahead
of the 100th anniversary of one of the
bloodiest battles of World War One.
Security was especially tight as the
former adversaries now face a common
threat from Islamist militant violence.
A century ago, thousands of soldiers
from the Australian and New Zealand
Army Corps (Anzac) struggled ashore
on a narrow beach at Gallipoli during
an ill-fated campaign that would claim
more than 130,000 lives.
The area has become a site of
pilgrimage for visitors who honour their
nations’ fallen in graveyards halfway
around the world on Anzac Day every
The centenary is expected to see the
largest commemoration in history, with
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan,
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott,
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
and Britain’s Prince Charles leading the
“The 100th anniversary is a very
important moment because we’re at a
time now where this campaign ceases to
be about memory and slides into history,”
Bruce Scates, chairman of history
and Australian studies at Melbourne’s
Monash University, said.
“All of the veterans have died, those
with any living memory of the Great
War have gone,” Scates, the grandson
of a Gallipoli veteran who has been
advising the Australian government on
how to mark the centenary, said.
Although the Allied forces also
included British, Irish, French, Indians,
Gurkhas and Canadians, Gallipoli has
become particularly associated with
the Australians and New Zealanders,
marking a point where they came of age
as nations less beholden to Britain.
Turkey and Australia now find
themselves allies in a modern-day
struggle. Australian police on Saturday
foiled what they said was an Islamic
State-inspired attack planned at an
event to mark the centenary,.
Turkey, which borders Syria and Iraq
and has been a major transit route for
foreign fighters headed there, is also on
“A terrorist movement calling itself
Islamic State insults religion and mocks
the duties of a legitimate State towards
its citizens. In declaring a caliphate,
this death cult has declared war on
the world,” Abbott told a summit in
Istanbul, organised as part of the
Turks mark what they call the
Canakkale war on March 18 — the day
in 1915 that saw the start of the main
Allied naval assault on the Dardanelles
Straits ahead of the ground invasion.
Some 130,000 soldiers perished during
the campaign — 87,000 of them from
the Ottoman side — before the Turks,
under German command, finally
repulsed an Allied campaign that was
hampered by poor planning.
But it would prove to be one of the
Turks’ few successes in the war. In
November 1918, the Allied fleet sailed
through the Dardanelles and took
Istanbul without a single casualty.
“ We might have endured painful wars
100 years ago, but now, 100 years later,
is the perfect time to build peace. Let us
not create a culture of hatred or contempt
based on bad memories,” Turkish Prime
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the
For the thousands gathering at
Gallipoli, the overriding message
was one of reconciliation. Scates was
visiting graveyards with Halil Koc, the
descendant of a Turkish soldier.
“I was accompanying my grandfather
in 1990 and we couldn’t convince him
to hold an Australian veteran’s hand. But
today, I can visit Turkish and Australian
graveyards with the grandson of an
Australian veteran as we walk arm in
arm,” Koc said.
“This is a great message to the world.”
massacre a century ago of 1.5
million Armenians by Ottoman
forces as a “genocide”, President
Joachim Gauck said, while
adding that Germany bore partial
blame for the bloodletting.
Gauck’s speech at an event
commemorating the centenary
marked the first time that
Berlin has officially used the
word “genocide” to describe
the killings during World War
One, and an unusually strong
acknowledgment of the then-
German empire’s role in them.
“In this case we Germans
must come to terms with the
past regarding our shared
responsibility, possibly shared
guilt, for the genocide against
the Armenians,” he said at an
ecumenical ser vice in Berlin.
Armenians say up to 1.5
million of their kin were killed
between 1915 and 1917 as the
Ottoman Empire was falling
apart and have long sought to
win international recognition of
the massacres as genocide.
Modern Turkey, the successor
to the Ottoman Empire, rejects
the claim, arguing that 300,000
to 500,000 Armenians and as
many Turks died in civil strife
when Armenians rose up against
their Ottoman rulers and sided
with invading Russian troops.
Gauck, a Protestant pastor and
former East German dissident,
is the head of State and ser ves
as a kind of moral arbiter for the
His statement was expected
to draw an angry reaction from
Ankara, which has close defence
and trade ties with Berlin.
Turkish Foreign Minister
Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier
that a decision by Austrian
MPs this week to condemn the
massacre as “genocide” would
have “unfavourable repercussions”
for bilateral ties.
Ankara recalled its ambassador
to Austria in response to the
In his speech at the Berlin
Cathedral, Gauck said the German
empire, then allied with the
Ottomans, deployed soldiers who
took part in “planning and, in part,
carrying out the deportations”.
obser vers who reported back
to Berlin the atrocities they
witnessed were “ignored” for fear
of jeopardising relations with the
Ottomans, he said. — AFP
Chechen police told to
shoot rival servicemen
The leader of the Russia’s
southern region of Chechnya
has ordered his police to “shoot
to kill” if ser vicemen from other
parts of the country encroach on
Chechen President Ramzan
Kadyrov gave the order after a
man was killed in his capital,
Grozny, in an operation by police
from the neighbouring region
of Stavropol. Kadyrov said on
Instagram this week he had
ordered an investigation into the
“I declare to you that if anyone
appears on your territory without
your knowledge, it doesn’t matter
whether they ’re from Moscow
or Stavropol, then shoot to kill.
People need to reckon with us,”
Kadyrov told a meeting of his
Interior Ministry in televised
comments posted on You Tube.
They provided further evidence
of tensions that
between the Chechen leader
and Russian authorities after
leading opposition politician
Boris Nemtsov was shot dead
in Moscow in February and a
former Chechen policeman was
arrested as a suspect.
The Russian Ministry of
statement “unacceptable”. It also
said that the Stavropol police
had informed their Chechen
colleagues about the Grozny
Kadyrov professes loyalty to
President Vladimir Putin but
enjoys a large degree of autonomy
to run his mainly Muslim region
as he chooses, having put down
an anti-Moscow insurgency
that gave rise to two wars in
Chechnya after the collapse of
the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russian media have reported
incidents of police in Moscow
having run-ins with Chechens,
then coming under pressure not
to prosecute them because of
their ties to the Chechen leader.
Shortly after taking power in January,
Greece’s new government opened the gates
of one of the main detention centres where
thousands of undocumented migrants had
been held against their will after arriving on
the country’s Mediterranean shores.
Many of the inmates, including refugees
and children, were driven to Athens and
released, in what Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras’s leftist government hailed as the
beginning of the end of inhumane migrant
policies of the past.
Now the move has created other problems.
With the influx of migrants from Africa and
the Middle East rising this year, hundreds
have ended up like 40-year-old Syrian Dia
Qasem and her three sons: stuck in the Greek
capital’s public squares with nowhere to sleep
and little eat.
“The only help is from God,” sobbed Qasem,
a neat hazel-eyed woman with chipped red
nail varnish, one afternoon this week. Qasem
and her sons fled Damascus last year and,
after a dangerous voyage from Turkey, they
landed on the island of Kos.
They have enough money to stay in a hotel
on occasion. But most nights Qasem settles
down to sleep with her sons, other Syrians
and migrants from other nationalities, under
a tree in a central Athens’ square.
Above her hung a billboard with a photo
of the Acropolis and the slogan “ Welcome to
The migrant crisis came into focus this week
after the death of hundreds in a shipwreck off
In Greece, the influx is testing the social
and economic limits of a country already
crippled by financial crisis.
Greek reaction to foreigners pouring into
city centres, lining up at food banks and
shelters already crowded with impoverished
Greeks, is turning hostile.
“ Where are all these people going to stay?
Where will all these people go? Where will
they find a place to rest?” Babis Karagianidis,
an Athens resident, asked. “ With all the
internal problems that we have? We can’t
solve our own problems.”
For Tsipras, an open-door policy on
detention centres that was meant to help
migrants is turning into a big political
problem — largely because Greece does not
have the money to find alternative housing
for the foreigners. According to a sur vey by
the University of Macedonia, Greeks see the
government ’s response to the migrant crisis
as barely passable.
“Immigration is up there with finances
as the government ’s priorities,” Theodore
Couloumbis, an Athens political analyst, said.
“The government hasn’t got the luxury to add
fronts to the problems it’s fighting. ”
Greece is one of the main routes into the
European Union for tens of thousands of
Asian and African migrants fleeing war and
poverty every year.
The state of the country’s detention centres
seven in all still holding 2000 people —
received much international scrutiny. Greece
was fined one million euros by the EU because
of their poor conditions, which include
intense crowding and no heating or hot
water, says Greek minister for immigration
Tasia Christodoulopoulou says.
She says the government ’s policy, and the
emptying out of the Amygdaleza detention
centre near Athens, was a necessity. Other
centres still house detainees and it is unclear
what the government plans to do.
“People that were there were living an
indescribable barbarity,” she said in an
inter view. “ It ’s true the infrastructure (to
house the migrants elsewhere) does not exist,
but it’s not the fault of those being held.”
Pakistani migrant Ramzan Nazeer Ahmet
was held in Amygdaleza and then released.
He said he slept in a room with four other
people and their door was locked every night.
“This was like a prison, this was not a centre.
At centres you can go outside, you can play
ball, this was like a prison. ”
Now, however, rising numbers of arrivals are
posing new demands on Greek infrastructure.
More than three times as many undocumented
migrants landed on Greek islands in the first
quarter of this year, compared to last year,
according to the coastguard.
Numbers are also rising elsewhere, reflecting
deepening conflicts in Syria and across Africa.
But several in Greece say Tsipras’s more lax
policies are to blame.
Speaking on Lesvos island, which has
received 4500 undocumented migrants this
year, Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centre-
left To Potami party, said it was “shameful”
the government appeared unprepared.
Couloumbis said the government ’s plan
to release detainees had been a misstep of
an inexperienced administration. “I have
a feeling, despite the fact they were talking
about the problems, they weren’t prepared,”
Migrant influx strains Greece
Nigeria’s military said overnight
it was still advancing in Islamist
group Boko Haram’s last known
stronghold, dismissing reports
that land mines had forced its
troops to retreat.
A pro-government vigilante
and a security source had earlier
said troops pulled back from
the Sambisa forest after three
vigilantes were killed driving
over an anti-vehicle mine.
“It’s not true that our troops
are retreating, in fact we are still
marching for ward in Sambisa.
Our troops are still in there,”
General Chris Olukolade said by
Earlier, a soldier who asked not
to be named said: “ The soldiers
have retreated to Bama because
of mines. They had been on
the road but that made them
vulnerable, so they moved to the
bush but there are mines planted
The Sambisa forest, a former
colonial game reser ve, is about
100km from the village of
Chibok, from where Boko
Haram abducted more than 200
secondary schoolgirls a year ago.
Intelligence officials believed
they were being held in the forest,
but United States reconnaissance
drones failed to locate them.
“Three of our boys were killed by
a land mine as we progressed into
Sambisa. We’ve suspended going
further,” vigilante Muhammad
The militants controlled an
area the size of Belgium at the
start of the year, but have since
lost much of that ground after
a concerted push by troops from
Nigeria and neighbours Chad,
Niger and Cameroon in the past
A Chadian military source
said a joint military operation
involving forces from Niger and
Cameroon was expected to begin
to encircle the Sambisa forest
next week. Chadian troops will
go in from the Cameroonian
border, where they have been
massing. — Reuters
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