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PRESS RELEASE

Mary Karaolis replay again to the Straw

Date: 30 November 2010 21:27

Dear Mr Straw

 Thank you for your response to my letter, copy attached.  However, I am disappointed that you have made no attempt to answer the points that I raised:

1)      Did you convey to Turkey the views in your article during your time in office which would have encouraged the Turkish government to continue in its intransigent approach in the negotiations secure in the knowledge that you were promoting partition if the talks failed?   

2)      Cyprus is not a divided state such as Israel and Northern Ireland. Have you chosen to forget that in 1974 Turkey, with a population of  74million, with the largest military in Europe, invaded and still occupies one third of the Republic of Cyprus a country with a population of fewer than one million? 

3)      Have you chosen to ignore the fact that the occupying forces instructed the Turkish Cypriots to move to the occupied north of Cyprus and that half of the Turkish Cypriots have now left Cyprus rather than live under the illegal regime and be controlled by the Turkish settlers who are the overwhelming majority in the north of Cyprus? 

4)      Have you decided that it is irrelevant that thousands of Turkish Cypriots cross the green line every day for work and business activities, and have full rights as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus including access to pensions and health care?  The Turkish Cypriots are not isolated, they too are desperate for a free, united Cyprus since they have become a minority in the north of Cyprus due to Turkeys colonizing policy.

5)      You imply that President Papadopoulos agreed to the Annan Plan in 2004 and then went back on his decision;  you know quite well there was no such agreement on his part. Do you condemn the Cypriot people for exercising their democratic right to vote NO in 2004 to a plan that would have denied them their basic human rights under Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property?

6)      In the last 36 years Turkey, violating the Geneva Convention, has transported settlers to occupied north Cyprus to colonise the area, change the demography of northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of the Greek Cypriots who fled for their lives in 1974.  Furthermore, there are 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso, renamed Dipkarpaz by the illegal regime.  The Greek Cypriot enclaved are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave their homes and properties following the Turkish invasion.  Turkeys record  on Human Rights within Turkey  is well known, e.g. Human Rights Watch report released on 1.11.10 documents the use of anti-terror laws to prosecute hundreds of Kurdish demonstrators in Turkey as though they were armed militants, violating free expression, association, and assembly.  The Kurdish minority in Turkey  constitutes the same proportion as the Turkish Cypriot minority did in Cyprus in 1974 are you advocating Turkey partitions off one third of its territory for a Kurdish state and so overcome the Kurdish problem within Turkey?

7)      Is it wrong to insist on Turkey adhering to the rules of the EU club before allowing entry?

We look forward to your response to our questions.  As British citizens we need our elected representatives to protect and respect our values and human rights as individuals and property owners who are being denied access, use, benefit and enjoyment of our properties in occupied northern Cyprus. 

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis    OBE   BEd(Hons)   MA   NPQH   FCollT

President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

On behalf of the Executive Committee & members

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Jack Straw answer

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Rt Hon Jack Straw 
 

House of Commons
Westminster
London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5070
Fax: 020 7219 8079
strawj@parliament.uk

 

9th November 2010

Dear Mr Straw

We were appalled and insulted to read your article in The Times stating It is time for the UK Government to consider formally the partition of Cyprus if the talks fail.  It is disgraceful that you, an ex Foreign Secretary in HM Government, should have produced such an article on Cyprus.  Perhaps you conveyed to Turkey the views in your article during your time in office which would have encouraged the Turkish government to continue in its intransigent approach in the negotiations secure in the knowledge that you were promoting partition if the talks failed?   

Have you have chosen to forget that in 1974 Turkey, with a population of  74million, with the largest military in Europe, invaded and still occupies one third of the Republic of Cyprus a country with a population of fewer than one million?  Have you chosen to ignore the fact that the occupying forces instructed the Turkish Cypriots to move to the occupied north of Cyprus and that half of the Turkish Cypriots have now left Cyprus rather than live under the illegal regime and be controlled by the Turkish settlers who are the overwhelming majority in the north of Cyprus?  Have you decided that it is irrelevant that thousands of Turkish Cypriots cross the green line every day for work and business activities, and have full rights as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus including access to pensions and health care?  The Turkish Cypriots are not isolated, they too are desperate for a free, united Cyprus since they have become a minority in the north of Cyprus due to Turkeys colonizing policy.

You imply that President Papadopoulos agreed to the Annan Plan in 2004 and then went back on his decision;  you know quite well there was no such agreement on his part.  How dare you condemn the Cypriot people for exercising their democratic right to vote NO in 2004 to a plan that would have denied them their basic human rights under Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

In the last 36 years Turkey, violating the Geneva Convention, has transported settlers to occupied north Cyprus to colonise the area, change the demography of northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of the Greek Cypriots who fled for their lives in 1974.  Furthermore, there are 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso, renamed Dipkarpaz by the illegal regime.  The Greek Cypriot enclaved are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave their homes and properties following the Turkish invasion.  Turkeys record  on Human Rights within Turkey  is well known, e.g. Human Rights Watch report released on 1.11.10 documents the use of anti-terror laws to prosecute hundreds of Kurdish demonstrators in Turkey as though they were armed militants, violating free expression, association, and assembly.  The Kurdish minority in Turkey  constitutes the same proportion as the Turkish Cypriot minority did in Cyprus in 1974 are you advocating Turkey partitions off one third of its territory for a Kurdish state and so overcome the Kurdish problem within Turkey?

The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the UN, of the EU, of the British Commonwealth of Nations and has celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation this year.  The illegal regime in the occupied north of Cyprus is unrecognised by any nation other than Turkey, its creator and supporter.   Turkey should become a democracy, respect international law and withdraw its troops and settlers from Cyprus so the legal owners can return to their homes and properties. Turkey should implement the Customs Union Protocol, without any discrimination before it attempts to join the EU.  Turkey should stop interfering in Cyprus and allow a unified, peaceful Republic of Cyprus. It is in the interests of Britain and of Europe for Cyprus to be a unified, secure, peaceful island at the crossroads of three continents; Cyprus is a democracy that has a Western outlook and values.  It is shameful that a man in your position should be promoting something different.  Insist on Turkey adhering to the rules of the EU club before advocating entry. 

We look forward to your response.  As British citizens we need our elected representatives to protect and respect our values and human rights as individuals and property owners who are being denied access, use, benefit and enjoyment of our properties in occupied northern Cyprus.  We should not be prepared to compromise our democracy and values on the altar of economic gain and the hope that we can keep Turkey from looking East.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis    OBE   BEd(Hons)   MA   NPQH   FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Editor 
The Guardian

Kings Place
90 York Way
London N1 9GU

29th October 2010

Dear Sir

Today we were appalled and insulted to read Martin Kettles article Disgracefully, Turkey's EU accession bid is going nowhere soon.  Mr Kettle states that Turkeys accession to the EU should not be held hostage by the parochialism of a Greek Cypriot statelet of fewer than one million people and that disgracefully, Cyprus remains as big a stumbling block as ever. Clearly Mr Kettle has forgotten that in 1974 Turkey, with a population of over 70million, with the largest military in Europe, invaded and still occupies one third of the Republic of Cyprus a country with a population of fewer than one million.

In the last 36 years Turkey has transported settlers to occupied north Cyprus to colonise the area, change the demography of northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of the Greek Cypriots who fled for their lives in 1974.  Furthermore, there are 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso, renamed Dipkarpaz by the illegal regime, which, like the rest of northern Cyprus, was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974 and remains under Turkish army occupation.  The Greek Cypriot enclaved are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave their homes and properties following the Turkish invasion

It is disgraceful that The Guardian should print an article that refers to the Republic of Cyprus as a statelet what an arrogant and patronising person Mr Kettle must be!  The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the UN, of the EU, of the British Commonwealth of Nations and has celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation this year.  The illegal regime in the occupied north of Cyprus is unrecognised by any nation other than Turkey, its creator and supporter.   Turkey should become a democracy, respect international law and withdraw its troops and settlers from Cyprus so the legal owners can return to their homes and properties before it attempts to join the EU.

I  look forward to your response, which I hope includes an apology for the demeaning language used when referring to the Republic of Cyprus.  As British citizens we need to protect and respect our values and not be prepared to compromise our democracy on the altar of economic gain.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis    OBE   BEd(Hons)   MA   NPQH   FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Lord Alan Sugar                                                                                             

Amstrad plc
Brentwood House
169 Kings Road
Brentwood, Essex
CM14 4EF

21st October 2010

Dear Lord Sugar,

On  behalf of our Association I wish to congratulate you on the successful, informative and highly motivating  programme The Apprentice now showing series 6;  it is very popular with many members of our community.  However, we were very distressed to discover that one of your current candidates, Jamie Lester, has been trading in stolen property, possibly owned by our members, in occupied north Cyprus.

 

Our association was formed immediately after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and works to promote:  a) the human rights of the enclaved in Karpasia, currently there are 260 remaining enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso, (a Greek Cypriot village of 4,500 in 1974), most of the remaining enclaved are aged over 65; b) the human rights of the Greek Cypriot property owners who have been denied use, benefit from and enjoyment of their properties in occupied north Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of 1974. 

 

The members of our Association, are British citizens, many of whom, like myself, are second and third generation and have properties in the Karpas area as well as other parts of occupied north Cyprus, (personally I own property in Rizokarpasso, Sysklypos and the Kyrenia mountains).   The inclusion of Jamie Lester as one of your candidates has caused enormous distress and anger amongst our community and, furthermore, the programme is misleading viewers who may not be aware of the problem of buying property in occupied north Cyprus.  We enclose a copy of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office guidelines which are very clear about the hazards of such a purchase.  No Government, aside from Turkey, has recognised the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, since the invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

 

The illegal, unrecognised regime in north Cyprus has transported settlers from Turkey to colonize northern Cyprus and occupy the Greek Cypriot properties, has allowed the area to become a haven for wanted criminals since there are no extradition arrangements and has encouraged unscrupulous people such as Jamie Lester to exploit the situation and make money by selling stolen property.  We wonder if his buyers were made aware that they may be forced to demolish the properties built on illegally occupied land, return the land to the legal owners and pay them compensation?  It is illegal under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus to sell land that is occupied by Turkey, and orders can be granted for demolition of properties built on such land illegally. The recent case of Apostolides v Orams (in the European Court of Justice and English Court of Appeal) confirms that orders made by the Cyprus courts relating to land in the occupied area can and will be enforced in courts throughout the EU.

We believe that this causes you embarrassment in view of your personal integrity and your position in the House of Lords.  We assume that the BBC will need to clarify why it has put you in this position, and that you will remedy the situation by suspending the candidate, and ensuring that, even though episodes have been filmed in advance, Jamie Lester is not in the final.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis   OBE   BEd(Hons)    MA   NPQH   FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Times Customer Services

1 Virginia Street
London
E98 1RL

13th October 2010

Dear Sir/Madam
Tony Dawe's article "Make an Autumn pilgrimage to Cyprus" states:

"As the main road turns inland, a track leads to Ayios Philion, where an ancient church and the remains of a castle stand above what was a Roman harbour. The gateway to the most spectacular part of the peninsula is Dipkarpaz, a popular watering hole for coach tours but a one-horse town."  .... "Stretching along the coast are many more pretty bays and a couple more places to stay, Turtle  Beach with half a dozen bungalows, a restaurant and campsite and the Karpaz View Hotel, near the tip of the peninsula and close to the Apostolos Andreas (St Andrew's) Monastery.  The monastery marks the spot where St Andrew landed on his final missionary journey back to his Palestinian homeland. According to legend, his footfall revealed a spring and its waters miraculously cured the blind captain of this ship. The chapel built in the 15th century is the oldest surviving building. "

We believe you should provide travellers with the full story, i.e.  The illegal Turkish regime in occupied north Cyprus has allocated 195 donums in Ayios (Saint) Philion to be used for the construction of a campus for the Kyrenia American University.  St Philion was a 4th Century Bishop of Karpas Peninsula, 24th January is his celebrated names day.  St Philion Church is 12th Century and there are also the remains of a 5th Century Church on the site.  Furthermore, at the cape of Apostolos Andreas in the Karpas there is an area with mostly juniper trees that is called Trachia. Legend has it, that it was named after Trachilos that ruled the peninsula, most probably sometime before Christ. Still to this day the ruins of the city of Ourania are scattered around the area known today as Panayia Afentrika on the north coast ten kilometres west of the cape.  Thus the whole area is one of tremendous archaeological importance to Western civilization and it would be an act of unbelievable vandalism and barbarity to allow the proposed destruction of the area. The restoration of St Andrew's Monastery has been prevented for some time by the illegal regime and so it is deteriorating rapidly and is in danger of completely collapsing through lack of repairs and maintenance even though the funds and plans for this exist.  As your article quite rightly indicates, this is a place of significant importance to the Christian religion.

Furthermore, there are 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso, renamed Dipkarpaz by the illegal regime, which, like the rest of northern Cyprus, was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974 and remains under Turkish army occupation.  The Greek Cypriot enclaved are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave their homes and properties following the Turkish invasion.

This latest plan by the illegal regime will destroy the cultural heritage of the Karpas area and impact on the rare and unspoilt natural beauty of the area with its unique environmental wealth of rare flora and fauna, designated a national park, which is invitingly described in the article.  A subsequent story to greater inform the readers of your travel article would give a true reflection of the situation and might avoid the destruction of the Karpas area by putting pressure on the occupying forces not to proceed with their proposal at St Philion, allow the restoration work to begin at St Andrew's Church and Monastery and, perhaps, improve the lives of the enclaved.

 

Yours sincerely

Mary Karaolis  OBE  BEd(Hons)  MA  NPQH  FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

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