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Jennifer Lopez criticised over Cyprus gig July 21, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, KKTC.
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Greek Cypriots angry at invitation to attend the inauguration of a hotel in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus

Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez – Greek Cypriots want her to cancel planned gig in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty ImagesSinger Jennifer Lopez may have given it little thought when she accepted a seemingly innocuous invitation to celebrate her 41st birthday in northern Cyprus.

The deal: a sun-soaked stay en famille at a $220m destination described as the “single biggest hotel project both sides of the island” in exchange for a one-off performance to celebrate its opening.

But on the Island of Love, where memories of war are never far removed, the star appears to have walked into a political minefield. Instead of eliciting hot anticipation, the visit has ignited the sort of controversy that no celebrity needs.

Cyprus was invaded in 1974 by Turkish troops in response to an attempted coup by the Greek junta in Athens, and has been divided between Greeks in the south and Turks in the north ever since. It remains one of the world’s most intractable disputes, where almost every action is seen through a political lens.

A web campaign led by indignant Greek Cypriots to convince Lopez to change her mind has attracted thousands of signatories angry that she should even consider performing in territory that is not officially recognised by the United Nations.

“It is with dismay and shock that the people of Cyprus and especially the Greek Cypriot women in the Republic of Cyprus and elsewhere in the world heard the news that you intend to attend the inauguration of a hotel in the occupied by Turkey [sic] part of our native country,” says a letter that forms the basis of the campaign.

The missive, carried on the Cyprus Action Network of America, argues that nearly four decades after the island was “barbarically invaded” it would be morally unconscionable for the artist to visit.

To add insult to injury, campaigners say the hotel in Kyrenia will open on 20 July, exactly 36 years since Turkish paratroopers were dropped onto the island’s central plain.

“The Turks go to a great length to secure support from people like you in order to promote their political ambitions and objectives. Does your charitable work and status permit you to give credibility to Turkish rapists, thieves, invaders, occupiers of our stolen properties,” the letter asks.

Despite the furore, the five-star Cratos Premium insists the event will go ahead, promising a “very special birthday party … full of surprises for Jennifer Lopez”.

But opposition is mounting. An estimated 7,000 people have signed up to a Facebook campaign – and it shows no sign of letting up.

J. Lo cancels KKTC gig under Greek Cypriot pressure July 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, KKTC.
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Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony. Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony.

Latin pop star Jennifer Lopez has canceled a planned performance in northern Cyprus after whipping up a storm of angry protests from thousands of Greek Cypriots.

Lopez’s gig at a luxury hotel had triggered protests among Greeks, who accused her of according legitimacy to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which does not have international recognition and has been barred from interaction with rest of the world for decades. The Greek Cypriots hailed Lopez’s turnabout as “a victory” while the Turkish Cypriots called it the success of a Greek Cypriot campaign to keep them isolated.

Reports that Lopez would perform at a luxury hotel in the north on her 41st birthday later this month triggered a Greek Cypriot online campaign pushing for the event’s cancellation. The campaign paid off after Lopez announced her withdrawal with a snub to Turkey. “Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse,” a statement on her website said.

The official statement said after a full review of the relevant circumstances in the ethnically split island, it was the decision of the Latina star’s advisors to cancel the appearance. “This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region,” it said.

Lopez was reportedly to be paid $3 million by organizers for her one-off performance. Lopez, her husband singer Marc Anthony and their twin children were due to stay at the swanky newly built $220 million Cratos Premium Hotel in KKTC. She was slated to perform there on July 24.

Murat Bozoğlu, a director of the hotel, had earlier said that the Premium Gala night would be broadcast live to 193 countries in the world by Fashion TV and that this significant tourism event was not only important for the promotion of Turkish Cyprus but also for the whole island.

Organizers of the event had this week acknowledged Lopez’s publicists were getting thousands of letters of protest, but that the show would go on. A Facebook site against the concert attracted almost 20,000 members within a week.

Cyprus was split after a Turkish intervention that followed a Greek Cypriot coup engineered by the military junta ruling Greece in 1974. The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government, which runs the southern part of Cyprus, accuses Turkey of holding Greek Cypriot land under occupation.

Turkish Cypriots in the north, on the other hand, accuse the Greek Cypriots of persistently blocking efforts to lift their international isolation even after they voted for a plan to reunite the island in 2004, a plan rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

Cypriot Hotel Threatens To Sue J.Lo For $40m July 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus.
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A luxury hotel in northern Cyprus has threatened to sue pop star Jennifer Lopez for $40m (£27m) after she cancelled a gig there for “political” reasons.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, her husband and their two children were due to stay at the hotel

But newspapers in the Turkish-occupied territory said the hotel owner has offered J.Lo an olive branch, saying there is still time to reverse her decision.

The singer had been due to perform on July 24 at the Cratos Premium hotel and casino complex – but the booking outraged Greek Cypriots in the south of the island nation.

They claimed that performing in the disputed north would be tantamount to making a political statement and the singer was deluged with thousands of letters of protest.

A Facebook site against the concert signed up almost 20,000 members within a week.

In backing out of the concert, a spokesperson for J.Lo told celebrity gossip website TMZ: “Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse.

“After a full review of the relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the decision of management to withdraw from the appearance. This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region.”

Yet Feza Firat, whose Istanbul-based F&F Agency represents the Cratos hotel, claims Lopez had been “led to believe there was a war going on”.

Mr Firat went on to say the singer’s fee had already been paid.

The US-based American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association claimed the concert would “lend credence to an illegal entity recognised only by Turkey”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey occupied the north to try and stop Nicosia uniting with Greece.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is only recognised by Turkey and has been a significant political barrier to Turkey being allowed to join the EU.

Diamonds not a girl’s best friend July 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, Turkey.
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It totally sucks when geopolitics messes with your fabulousness. Just ask Jennifer Lopez, who faced pesky criticisms this week over her intention to perform at the opening of a $220 million hotel complex in North Cyprus on July 24. North Cyprus became a pariah state in 1974, when the island was invaded by Turkey.

The timing of the hotel opening is seen by Greek Cypriot activists as deliberately provocative – it coincides with the anniversary of the bloody invasion. The activists urged J-Lo to unpack her Louis Vuitton bagages and boycott the event, making all sorts of noise about ”human rights abuses”.

Whatever. La Lopez, who once made the casual remark that she keeps a list of those who have treated her unfairly (”There are certain people that are marked for death,” she reportedly said), was not about to let a few human rights cry-babies spoil her sparkle. But her ”advisers” are not made of the same steel. They released a statement saying they had decided to to withdraw J-Lo from the scheduled performance, due to ”the sensitivity of the political realities of the region”.

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// J-Lo has not yet personally commented on the scandal, but then, as an artiste, she communicates via her oeuvre, not through conventional dialogue. In her seminal work, Jenny from the Block, Lopez entreated her fans not to be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, for she remains as down-to-earth as ever.

It is a message echoed by the supermodel Naomi Campbell, who is fielding tiresome questions about the blood diamond she allegedly received from the former Liberian president Charles Taylor. (Blood diamonds being gems mined to finance wars. They are considered declasse in some circles.)

Like Lopez, Campbell is being persecuted by humanitarian pests, who have taken the presumptuous step off issuing a subpoena to call her as a witness before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Taylor is alleged to have armed rebels in the civil war in exchange for uncut diamonds, one of which he gave his favourite supermodel and school-of-anger-management alumnus.

Campbell has said publicly (ie, she told Oprah): ”I don’t want to be involved in this man’s case.” Anyone considering going against her wishes – and this means you, Special Court Registrar Binta Mansaray – should first consult the maids, police and chauffeurs she has assaulted in various misunderstandings over the years.

It is difficult to believe Campbell knows nothing about blood diamonds. After all, Kanye West has written a rap about the issue. But can the humanitarian law wonks at The Hague really expect her to remember the details of every dictator who throws a few baubles her way? And can they afford her appearance fee?

As Lindsay Lohan knows, the law is an ass. This week the former child star was sentenced by a Californian court to 90 days’ jail after it found she had violated her probation for earlier DUI offences.

Lohan responded to this outrage in a dignified way, that is to say via Twitter. She posted an excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: ”No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Totally, Linds.

Of course, these cases could be a stunt by the UN to publicise the eighth anniversary of the International Criminal Court, or the first international trial of an African dictator. Nothing says ”we care about human rights, like, a lot” like a celebrity endorsement. The Hague has a marketing department, right?

Jennifer Lopez cancels concert at northern Cyprus hotel July 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus.
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Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez has canceled a concert planned for the July 24 opening of the Cratos Premium Hotel and Casino, responding to online pressure against the performance in the breakaway north of the island Cyprus.

“Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse,” says a statement posted Thursday on her website.

“After a full review of the relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the decision of her advisors to withdraw from the appearance. This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region.”

The island split violently into a Greek-speaking south and Turkish-speaking north after a 1974 invasion by Turkey; Turkish Cypriots in 1983 declared independence in the north, recognized only by Turkey. The rest of the island joined the European Union in 2004. Some saw Lopez’s planned performance as an endorsement of the breakaway state.

The gig, scheduled for J.Lo’s 41st birthday, reportedly would’ve come with a $3-million paycheck. Apparently, as Beyoncé may have learned after playing a little New Year’s Eve gig in St. Barth’s for a son of Moammar Kadafi, not every multimillion-dollar paycheck is worth it the hassle.