AGM of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain (25/4/2010)
The 36th Annual General Meeting (74th GM) of the Association of Rizokarpasso held in the hall of the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green, was well attended and gave the opportunity for the 60 members present, the majority of whom were born in Rizokarpasso, to discuss the many issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for the last 35 years and denied basic human rights by the illegal occupying regime. Once again, the members vehemently upheld that the return of the refugees to their homes and properties was a human right, morally correct and totally non-negotiable and passed a Resolution to be sent to the 5 permanent member states of the UN Security Council, the EU and the leaders of the 3 main political parties in Britain. Maria Karaolis, President, presented a report of the Association’s activities since the last meeting, Yiannis Chronias, Treasurer, presented the financial accounts of the Association and Pavlos Pavlou presented the Auditors Report. On behalf of the Association Mary Karaolis congratulated Andreas Strongolou, the son of the well known actor born in Rizokarpasso, Demetri Andreas, on his selection as a candidate for the position of Councillor in Underhill Ward, Barnet, in the forthcoming Local Council elections on May 6th. Andreas Strongolou, together with Christiana Demetriou, Chris Poxamatis, Maria Panteli, Yiannoulla Antoniades and Maria Karaolis are all born in Britain and constitute two thirds of the Executive Committee of 9 thus showing the success of the first generation in passing on their love of, and commitment to, Rizokarpasso, and Cyprus in general, to their children and grandchildren.
Once again!!! Metro Article promoting the occupied north Cyprus
The members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain we have complained to "Metro" by email and letter (see below) regarding their inaccurate and misleading article on Rizokarpasso Cyprus.
26th March 2010Metro
Associated Newspapers Limited
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT
Dear Ms Scott
The members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain were appalled to read your travel article "Time to discover northern Cyprus" which referred to their village of Rizokarpasso as "underdeveloped villages such as Dipkarpaz where Greek and Turkish Cypriots cohabit in peace." Clearly, you must be unaware of the fact that until the Turkish invasion in 1974 and subsequent occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, Rizokarpasso was a wholly Greek Cypriot village of 4,500 inhabitants, many of whom fled for their lives in 1974, many were forced to leave by the illegal Turkish regime, some of those who remained enclaved were murdered and we now have only 260 enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who on a daily basis are denied basic human rights and witness the homes and properties of their friends and relatives being occupied and exploited by settlers from Turkey that were transported to colonize the occupied northern part of Cyprus and change the demography and culture of the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. The occupation and colonisation of the northern part of Cyprus contravenes numerous UN Resolutions, the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Surely, it is unprincipled for you to be promoting illegally occupied properties as holiday destinations, thereby assisting those who wish to exploit the suffering of others who have been denied the use, enjoyment and benefit from their properties and businesses for 35 years. Please note that Cyprus in 1974 had a population of three quarters of a million (80% Greek Cypriot, 18% Turkish Cypriot, 2% Armenian, Latin, Maronite) it was invaded by Turkey with a population of seventy five million and a very big and well equipped army, over forty thousand of whom still occupy the northern part of Cyprus along with the two hundred thousand illegal settlers transported from Turkey.
The members of our Association were either born in Rizokarpasso, or their parents or grandparents were. Many of us, whether first, second or third generation British citizens are the legal owners of property in Rizokarpasso and other areas of occupied Cyprus. The recent British court decision, which no doubt you are aware of, made it clear that the exploited Greek Cypriot properties in the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, which is under Turkish military occupation, continues to belong to its legal owners who have a right to enforce their rights against the usurpers in UK and other EU courts.
Our members would like to know how you intend to redress this misrepresentation of the facts with the vast readership of the Metro newspaper. Furthermore, we would like to know how you intend to remedy the distress that you have caused to the many Greek Cypriots who read your article but had experienced the reality of being uprooted from their homes and properties in 1974 by an invading, ruthless Turkish army. We look forward to hearing from you.
Please note that if we do not receive a satisfactory response we intend to pursue this matter with the Press Complaints Commission.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
Incumbent Members of
Parliament today pledged their support for efforts to
engage new MPs in campaigning for justice for Cyprus, at
a working lunch in Parliament organised by the National
Federation of Cypriots in the UK.
For more information, please call Tony Sophoclides on 07887 935 335.
Photos of this event are available on the website below.
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Notes to editors
- Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish military forces invaded the northern part of the island and thereafter occupied approximately 38% of its territory.
- The National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom was founded shortly after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and has since represented the largest community of Cypriots outside of the island itself.
- The Federation is an umbrella organisation of the Cypriot community associations across the UK and seeks to coordinate the activities of more than 300,000 Britons of Cypriot origin.
- Peter Droussiotis was first elected President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK in June 2007 and was re-elected for a second term in June 2009, the first second generation Cypriot elected to that position and the fourth President of the Federation. Peter also serves as President of Episteme – The Association of British Cypriot Professionals and has previously been a leading Labour Councillor in Haringey. A barrister by background, Peter founded PGD Strategy Limited, a specialist corporate finance and strategy consulting firm, of which he is the current Chairman in 2000, after a career which included senior roles with Credit Suisse, Minet Group (now part of Aon) and Price Waterhouse (now PWC).
The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain sent the following letter to the President of the European Commission. Similar letters were also sent to: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; the Rt Hon Chris Bryant MP, Minister of State & Minister for Europe;
Alexander Downer, UN Special Adviser on Cyprus.
4th March 2010
His Excellency Jose Manuel Durao Barroso
The President of the European Commission
Dear President Barroso
We are writing to you regarding the urgent need for restoration works of St Andrew’s Monastery, built on the headland of the Karpass peninsula on the spot where the Apostle Andrew is said to have come ashore on his way to Asia Minor and Greece in the 1st century AD. This is a major pilgrimage site in Cyprus and a symbol of the common heritage of the island as well as having a unique landscape of natural beauty and rare indigenous flora. The Monastery’s building complex includes the 14th century St Andreas church as well as a later church built in 1851.
The Management Committee of Apostolos Andreas Monastery could begin immediately the execution of a number of restoration operations since all the relevant plans have been prepared with the approval of the interested authorities of the Church, the State of Cyprus and the UN. The Turkish-Cypriot illegal regime initially agreed for the restoration of the Monastery to take place, however, subsequently it and the illegal Turkish occupying forces have for many years prevented the work from commencing.
The restoration of the Monastery is now very urgent if this high cultural and historic monument is to be protected. For over thirty years Revd. Zacharias has served at the Monastery which has met the spiritual needs of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots from all over the island of Cyprus for centuries. St Andrew’s Monastery is in the collective memory of all Cypriots.
We ask you in your capacity as President of the European Commission to use your influence on Turkey so that they allow the restoration works of St Andrew’s Monastery to commence.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
on behalf of the Executive Committee and Members
The Association of Rizokarpasso in Great Britain has send a letter to Chris Bryant, Minister of State & Minister for Europe, which accompanied the Memorandum of the People of the Karpass Peninsula sent to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and signed by the leaders of the 10 Associations in the UK which represent villages in the Karpass Peninsula.
23rd February 2010
Rt Hon Chris Bryant MP
Dear Mr Bryant
Wednesday 3rd February, I attended the National
Federation of Cypriots working dinner with you at the Greek
Cypriot Brotherhood building in North Finchley, London N12,
and was heartened to hear your comments regarding the
withdrawal of Turkish troops from the Republic of Cyprus,
the return of properties to their legal owners and your
commitment to supporting the Cyprus negotiations.
MEMORANDUM OF THE PEOPLE OF THE KARPASS PENINSULA
In view of the current talks to resolve the Cyprus issue,
being deeply concerned about the future of the Karpass
peninsula (it is defined as the area starting from a line
from Akanthou to Trikomo villages, as its western boundary,
and extends eastwards up to Cape St. Andreas), we state here
below briefly the position of the whole of its Greek-Cypriot
population which overwhelmingly forms the population of
2. The Vienna C (Third Vienna) Agreement
3. More especially for the Karpass, the organized institutions, the local authorities and the whole of its population, unanimously state and demand The Karpass peninsula is formed part of the area to be administrated by the Greek-Cypriot side for the following reasons:
a) Such a settlement will result in natural justice, meet
the expectations and justify the struggles and sacrifices,
not only of the enclaved Karpass people, but of the whole of
the Karpass people, who in their overwhelming majority are
4. We are convinced that this demand of all the Karpass is a just one and will be taken into account within the framework of the Cyprus talks otherwise we will not be able to accept a solution which will not make provision for the return of the Karpass peninsula. It must be realized fully by all concerned that for any solution to be viable, it must be just, otherwise it will not be approved, as was ANNAN plan, which was heavily biased against the Greek Cypriots.