WARNING: Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of CYPRUS

 

 

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TV5

I have emailed Ofcom and Channel 5 regarding Channel 5 TV programme yesterday evening on

"PropertyDeveloping Abroad: northern Cyprus". (Please see emails below).  They showed properties
in Lapithos, Pano Lapithos and the Kyrenia  area. 
 
Please send emails as a formal complaint to Ofcom, who are the independent regulators, and who have
already responded to me, and to Channel 5 customer services and Ben Frow, who is the programme
controller.
 
The more formal complaints they receive, the greater will be the impact and, hopefully, they will be
deterred from repeating such a programme in the future.  Furthermore, Ofcom will be obliged to
undertake an investigation of the Channel 5 programme.  Please also encourage friends and relatives
in England and Cyprus to make official complaints about this appalling programme which promotes the
exploitation of our stolen properties and homes.
 
Regards
 
Maria Karaolis
 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: OCCbroadcast <OCCbroadcast@ofcom.org.uk>

To: Mary Karaolis <rizokarpasso@gmail.com>
Date: 14-Jun-2006 10:46
Subject: RE: "Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus - 13th June 8.00 pm. Ofcom ref: 2711730
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Dear Mrs Karolis
 
Thank you for your e-mail.  We're investigating concerns about this programme but in order to register a formal complaint on our system and receive the outcome please can you provide your full postal address.
 
Yours sincerely
 

:: Broadcast Support Team

   Tel: 020 7981 3040

   Fax: 020 7981 3334

   Email: OCCbroadcast@ofcom.org.uk

 

:: Ofcom

   Riverside House

   2a Southwark Bridge Road

   London SE1 9HA

   020 7981 3000

   www.ofcom.org.uk

 

 
From: Mary Karaolis [mailto:rizokarpasso@gmail.com]
Sent: 14 June 2006
To: OCCbroadcas
Subject: Fwd: "Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus - 13th June 8.00 pm

 
I attach an email that I have today sent to Channel 5 TV and to Ben Frow the controller for the programme "Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus" about which I wish to make a formal complaint to you as the official agency that monitors programmes and takes appropriate action. 
 
You will see from the contents of my email the nature of my complaint.  I would be grateful if Ofcom would follow up my complaint, investigate the issue and take appropriate action.
 
I look forward to receiving your response to my complaint.
 
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis BEd (Hons) MA  NPQH
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Karaolis < rizokarpasso@gmail.com>
Date: 14-Jun-2006
Subject: "Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus - 13th June 8.00 pm
To: ben.frow@five.tv, Customer Services <customerservices@five.tv >

 
We were appalled that Channel 5 transmitted the programme "Property Developing Abroad:northern Cyprus".  Clearly, you made an attempt to cover up the fact that you were promoting the purchase of stolen assets by refering to the Turkish invasion and to the possible risks involved in purchasing property that might belong to Greek Cypriots but implied that any claim would result in compensation at 1974 prices!  You failed to say that is what the illegal regime, put in place by the Turkish army that invaded and now occupies northern Cyprus, would like to be able to do.  
 
In 1974 a two bedroom flat  in Cyprus that today can be sold for £65,000  would have cost £3,000 in 1974; a 4 bedroom semi in north London that today can be sold for £480,000 would have cost £18,000 in 1974.  How would you feel if you had to leave your home to save your life and then be told by the occupiers of your home that you might receive £18,000 for your home which is actually worth £480,000?   What would your reaction be if you saw your property on television being promoted as a good investment for property developers to exploit?  I am sure that you cannot fail to see how unethical and immoral your programme was. 
 
You misrepresented the reality: you failed to quote the landmark Titina Loizidou case where Turkey was compelled by the European Court of Human Rights to pay to her, as the legal owner, compensation for the loss of use of her house in Kyrenia and ordered the return of the property to the legal owner, Mrs Loizidou.  In another case, Apostolides v Orams, where the court order for the return of the property to Mr Apostolides was refused by the occupiers of his property, Mr Apostolides applied for the execution of the court order to be implemented against the Orams assets in Britain.
 
The members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain were either born in Rizokarpasso or their parents or grandparents were born in Rizokarpasso.  Most of our members are the legal owners of homes and properties in Rizokarpasso and since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus have been denied the use and enjoyment of their properties.  A number of our members, including myself, also have properties in Kyrenia and/or Lapithos, the areas that you were encouraging British citizens to exploit in your TV programme last night.  We also have friends and relatives who are the legal owners of properties in the areas you showed last night.  No doubt you will be involved in litigation as a result of your programme.
 
The title deeds to properties issued by the British Government prior to independence and the Republic of Cyprus after independence are the only legal title deeds and people named on these, and their beneficiaries, are the only legal owners of property in Cyprus.  The fact that many citizens were forced to leave their properties and fled for their lives in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus does not take away their legal ownership of their property. Channel 5 has promoted the exploitation of stolen assets by broadcasting this programme.  By implication this is aiding and abetting invasion, occupation, theft and the denial of human rights to the legal owners, most of whom are Greek Cypriots, of the properties by promoting the concept that this is legitimate "property development abroad" with "risks that any property developer should be prepared to take".  A legitimate comparison would have been the risks that any thief is prepared to take when stealing someone's property.
 
We as owners of properties in occupied northern Cyprus protest most vehemently against your outright attack on our human rights as the legal owners of properties which are under Turkish army occupation.  There are already many cases pending in the European Court of Human Rights regarding the exploitation of Greek Cypriot property and your programme has aggravated the situation by encouraging your viewers to go against the advice given by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding the so called "purchasing" of property in northern, occupied Cyprus and against the decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights. I note that you made no reference to the FCO advice on this issue in your programme.
 
I await your response to this communication and wish you to treat this email as a formal complaint against Channel 5.
 
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis BEd (Hons)  MA  NPQH
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
 

Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.

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________________________________________________________

PRESS RELEASE

ASSOCIATION OF RIZOKARPASON IN BRITAIN

BOURNEMOUTH VISIT

 

Members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain enjoyed a day trip to Bournemouth.  The group gathered and boarded their coach near the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green. The day was spent enjoying the sea views, the gardens, shopping, relaxing and having the traditional seaside lunch of Fish and Chips mainly at the well known Harry Ramsden's.   The group also visited the 900 year old Christchurch Priory.  The coach journey was lightened by singing popular songs such as "To Yelekaki" and "Kiria Vangelio".

 

The outing was an opportunity to exchange family information and to remember the wonderful times spent in Rizokarpasso more than 32 years ago.   Everyone is determined to strive for the removal of the Turkish forces and settlers from Cyprus so that we might all return to our homes and properties in Rizokarpason and enjoy our Rizokarpason in the company of our family and friends thereby making the sacrifice of our compatriots in Rizokarpason who have remained enclaved all these years meaningful.

 

The Association's next opportunity for family and friends to meet will be at the Trafalgar Square Rally on Sunday 16 th July, the Annual General Meeting on Sunday 15th October at the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green, and the Association's Dinner and Dance on Saturday 18th November at the The Penridge Banqueting Suite, 470 Bowes Road, London N11 1NL.


 

 


 

_______________________________________________________
From: Customer Services < customerservices@five.tv>
Date: 31-May-2006 18:18
Subject: VA/Property Developing Abroad/PP
 To: "Mary Karaolis" < rizokarpasso@gmail.com>,
 
Thank you for recent enquiry Property Developing Abroad.

Episode 2 of the series, which follows a British couple's search for a property in Northern Cyprus, was scheduled for transmission on Tuesday 30 th May. In the days leading up to transmission we were contacted by a number of individuals who expressed concern over the programme's content. In order to give us time to address these we decided to postpone transmission of the episode , it is now currently scheduled for 13 th June at 20.00.

The programme was made for Five by Granada Productions. In researching the programme, the producers were extremely sensitive to the Turkish invasion of the northern part of the island in 1974 and to the plight of Greek Cypriots forced to flee the area. The programme explains the potential legal minefield prospective purchasers are entering when they consider buying in the north of the island coupled with the moral and emotional issues of doing so. Viewers will be left in no doubt of the legal, economic, and political implications of buying property there.

However, it is true that Northern Cyprus is an attractive prospect for British property developers. The programme provides viewers with the information they need to decide whether to explore the opportunities available.

If there is anything further we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your interest in Five.

Yours sincerely

Philip

VIEWER ADVISOR

Please note that the contact details for Five Customer Services are as follows: Telephone: 0845 7 05 05 05 / 020 7421 7270
Text telephone for use by deaf people:  0845 7 41 37 87
E-mail:  customerservices@five.tv
Fax: 020 7836 1286

___________________________________________________________________

Answer of Association:

Dear Philip
 
Thank you for your response to our initial protest and for postponing the broadcast of your programme.  However, I am disappointed that you still intend to transmit it on Tuesday 13th June at 8.00 pm  because I am concerned at the statement in your email:

"However, it is true that N orthern Cyprus is an attractive prospect for British property developers. The programme provides viewers with the information they need to decide whether to explore the opportunities available."

This is not accurate.  The properties in occupied northern Cyprus are attractive only to thieves and receivers of stolen assets; the properties are relatively cheap because they are being sold by invaders, occupiers and thieves who do not own the assets that they are selling.  I cannot believe that in our democratic society, which supposedly values Human Rights, Channel 5 is seeking to portray our properties as being "an attractive prospect for British property developers".   We  as British Citizens, (indeed many are second and third generation and our fathers and grandfathers fought in the British Army during the Second World War), will not stand idly by whilst our properties are displayed on British TV as good investment opportunities. I also phoned your office this morning and spoke to David who assured me that my views would be passed on.

Please consider this as a formal complaint against your proposed transmission of a programme that portrays properties in occupied northern Cyprus as an attractive prospect for British property developers.

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis  BEd (Hons)  MA  NPQH

President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

On 31/05/06, Customer Services <customerservices@five.tv> wrote:

_______________________________________________________

The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain reaction

Channel 5 programme "Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus" was substituted by a programme on Spain at the last minute following numerous emails and phone calls from Greek Cypriots.  Members of the Association of Rizokarpasso having received an email from their president, Maria Karaolis, informing them of the programme and contact details for Channel 5, responded immediately and also mobilised support from friends and colleagues which swelled the number of protesting emails and phone calls received by Channel 5 thus forcing them to review their broadcast schedule and not show the programme.

 
Email sent to Ben Frow Controller of features programmes for Channel 5 TV and to the Duty Office at Channel 5 TV.  This email was also forwarded to Ofcom (Office of Communications).
 
To be treated as a formal complaint against the proposed broadcasting, by Channel 5 TV on Tuesday 30th May at 8.00 pm, of the programme "Property Developing Abroad: Northern Cyprus".


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Karaolis < rizokarpasso@gmail.com>
Date: 27-May-2006 23:09
Subject: Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus
To:
 
The members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain were either born in Rizokarpasso or their parents or grandparents were born in Rizokarpasso.  Most of our members are the legal owners of homes and properties in Rizokarpasso and since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus have been denied the use and enjoyment of their properties.
 
We are appalled that Channel 5 on Tuesday 30th May at 8.00 pm intends to show a programme "Property Developing Abroad: Northern Cyprus" stating in the TV guides "Nottingham couple Carl and Jane buy an abandoned property in northern Cyprus, hoping to increase its value by £20,000 in 10 weeks.  Presented by Gary McCausland".
 
Obviously, most of the property in occupied northern Cyprus belongs to Greek Cypriots who were forced to leave their properties and fled for their lives in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus.  Turkey still occupies one third of the island.  Channel 5 is promoting the exploitation of stolen assets by making and proposing to broadcast this programme.  By implication this is aiding and abetting invasion, occupation, theft and the denial of human rights to the Greek Cypriot legal owners of the properties by promoting the concept that this is legitimate "property development abroad".
 
We as owners of properties in occupied northern Cyprus protest most vehemently against your outright attack on our human rights as the legal owners of properties which are under Turkish army occupation.  There are already a number of cases in the European Court of Human Rights regarding the exploitation of Greek Cypriot property and your programme will aggravate the situation since you are encouraging your viewers to go against the advice given by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding the so called "purchasing" of property in northern, occupied Cyprus and against the decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights.
 
We sincerely hope that you will not broadcast your programme on Tuesday and that you will be more thorough in your research before encouraging your viewers to invest in what could end up as a hornets nest for them and, probably, legal liability for you.
 
Please treat this email as a formal complaint.
 
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
 
 
From: Ben Frow <Ben.Frow@five.tv> Mailed-By: five.tv
To: Mary Karaolis <rizokarpasso@gmail.com>
Date: 29-May-2006 13:14
Subject: RE: Property Developing Abroad: northern Cyprus
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Dear Mary

Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns about the Property Developing Abroad programme.

We appreciate your concerns and am aware of the many legal and emotional issues surrounding the programme.

To that end we are making sure that we address each of them in a truthful and responsible way.

Yours faithfully

Ben Frow

 

 **********************************************************************************************
 
From: OCCbroadcast <OCCbroadcast@ofcom.org.uk >  
Date: 30-May-2006 11:04
Subject: Ofcom response re Property Developing Abroad
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Ref: 2702640

  

30 May 2006

 

Dear Mrs Karaolis

 

Five; Property Developing Abroad; 30 May; 8.00 pm  

 

Thank you for contacting us about the above programme, to be shown tonight on Five. We regret you felt the decision to broadcast this programme is insensitive as you believe Five is promoting the exploitation of stolen assets.

 

However, if I may explain, under the terms of the Communications Act 2003 Ofcom only regulates material which has been broadcast and cannot intervene before something goes to air. All broadcasters are however required to adhere to the rules and guidelines of our Broadcasting Code which sets out the relevant standards of acceptability in terms of harm and offence, sexual portrayal, language, violence and other matters.

 

While the decision whether or not to broadcast this programme is at the broadcaster's discretion, I can assure you that we will monitor this programme as part of our normal regulatory work. If we judge we have cause to intervene we will do so. In the meantime, if you have not done so already and wish to bring your concerns directly to the attention of Five you can contact them at the following address:

 

22 Long Acre, London , WC2E 9LY

 

Telephone: 0845 7 050 505 & 0207 421 7270; or e-mail: customerservices@five.tv

 

Thank you for writing.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Marcus Foreman

Broadcast Associate

 

Ofcom are continually aiming to improve customer service levels.  Your details may be passed to a research agency who are conducting research for us.   If you would prefer not to be contacted for research purposes, you can telephone Ofcom on 0800 169 7670.  Please note this is a voicemail service only.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss your complaint or query. Alternatively, you can email your Ofcom reference and full name with the message "no contact" to market.research@ofcom.org.uk

 

:: Broadcast Support Team

   Tel: 020 7981 3040

   Fax: 020 7981 3334

   Email: OCCbroadcast@ofcom.org.uk

 

:: Ofcom

   Riverside House

   2a Southwark Bridge Road

   London SE1 9HA

   020 7981 3000

   www.ofcom.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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