25th October 2007
The Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP
Prime Minister of The United Kingdom
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
Dear Mr Brown
The Executive Committee and members of our Association are appalled at the content on Cyprus in your latest UK-Turkey Strategic Partnership. We believe that you have tried to persuade Turkey to act with restraint over northern Iraq by conceding to their illegal, expansionist demands over Cyprus. This is very upsetting for all British Citizens who are Greek Cypriot first, second and subsequent generations, especially those of us who have homes and properties in occupied north Cyprus, which have been illegally occupied by Turkish settlers or illegally sold to other nationals; in fact it is insulting to all who uphold human rights.
Britain as a Guarantor power failed in its Treaty obligations to Cyprus in 1974 and allowed Turkey to violate its Treaty obligations and invade Cyprus. Turkey is still occupying 36.2% of The Republic of Cyprus with 43,000 Turkish troops yet the Turkish prime minister has been welcomed in Britain and a partnership formed. Most of the Turkish Cypriots have now left the occupied area and it is now inhabited mainly by illegal settlers and their offspring transported to Cyprus by Turkey to colonise occupied Cyprus, is it these illegal migrants whose isolation you wish to end?
ou state that you will promote direct commercial, economic, political and cultural contacts between the UK, the EU and the Turkish Cypriots. Since the Turkish Cypriots have identity cards and passports of the Republic of Cyprus, (EU Passports) and can travel anywhere in the world that they want to using the lawfully operating ports and airports of the Republic, they are not isolated. Over 8,000 Turkish Cypriots cross the green line daily working in the Republic and getting the same salaries as other citizens in the Republic and they are economically secure. Furthermore, Turkish Cypriots in the occupied area have free medical care available, as do all Cypriots, and this is extensively used by Turkish Cypriots who cross in large numbers into the Government-controlled area for medical care. The Turkish Cypriots enjoy the same rights as any other citizens of The Republic of Cyprus, including free state health care, social welfare services and facilities, national insurance, state documentation and provision of education.
Therefore, I can only assume that your policy is to promote the interests of the illegal settlers from Turkey who have colonised the north of Cyprus and are occupying our homes and properties and you wish to reclassify them as Turkish Cypriots rather than illegal settlers. We expect you, our Prime Minister, to work on our behalf to secure our human rights to our homes and properties.
I await with interest your response.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis BEd (Hons) MA NPQH
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
The General Meeting (69th
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 members present to discuss the many issues regarding Rizokarpasso,
especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved
for the last 33 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 signed a petition to be sent to the Prime
Minister expressing their steadfastness. Maria Karaolis, President,
presented a report of the Association's activities since the last meeting,
she also informed members of the forthcoming visit of the Bishop of Karpasia,
Christoforos, and the various events that would give members the opportunity
to meet him. Yiannis Chronias, Treasurer, presented the financial accounts
of the Association, followed by Androulla Aresti, the independent auditor of
the accounts. The members debated a range of issues and then were able to
socialise and catch up on each others news over souvlakia.
Petition The Rt Hon Gordon Brown PM
We petition the Prime Minister to act in accordance with Britain's treaty obligations with the Republic of Cyprus and to take decisive action to prevent direct trade and direct flights between Britain and occupied northern Cyprus and to prevent the illegal sale and advertising of Greek Cypriot property. According to the Treaty of Guarantee, Britain, Greece and Turkey undertook "to prohibit, as far as lies within their power, all activity having the object of promoting directly or indirectly either the union of the Republic of Cyprus with any other State, or the partition of the Island."
In 1974 Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus and ethnically cleansed 200,000 Greek Cypriots, who made up 82% of the population, from 38% of Cyprus territory in the north, and still occupies their land and homes with 40,000 troops and 150,000 colonists. Only 264 enclaved Greek Cypriots remain in Rizokarpasso and they are denied basic human rights by the illegal administration. UN Security Council resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984) declare the self proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," "legally invalid" and call upon all states not to assist this illegal secessionist entity in any way. Supporting a direct link will lend credibility to the occupation and colonizing of northern Cyprus it will ignore the human rights abuses carried out since 1974. The Turkish Cypriots are not isolated, they enjoy all the benefits of other legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and many of them enter daily and work in unoccupied Cyprus and receive health and social benefits from the Republic of Cyprus. It is the illegal settlers and occupying army who are isolated in northern Cyprus and should remain isolated till they leave Cyprus.
Our Association believes that the interests of democracy and international law require the following:
a) The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.
b) The repatriation to Turkey of the over 150,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.
c) The restoration of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots.
d) The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.
e) The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.
f) The return of all properties to their lawful owners.
g) The end of the suffering of the enclaved.
h) The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.
Following a lengthy process of complaint by the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain against The Methodist Recorder regarding their article on July 5th the complaint has been resolved. The Methodist Recorder published a letter from the Association, a summary of the complaint has been placed on the Press Complaints Commission website, web address below, and will appear in the PCC published report as indicated in the letter received by the Association from the PCC.
It is essential that we do not allow the public relations machine of the occupying power to mislead the British public by promoting an inaccurate description of the reality of occupied Cyprus. In the last 8 months we have proceeded with official complaints to the PCC against The Metro newspaper and The Methodist Recorder. Our complaints have been resolved by their agreeing to publish our letters. Small victories but, none the less, they will remain recorded in the PCC reports and provide a clear message that we will not abandon our human rights or stand idly by whilst Turkey attempts to rewrite history and obliterate our cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus.
Our reference: 072421
Dear Mrs Karaolis
Now that your complaint has been resolved, a short summary of it will soon be available on the Commission's web site. It will also appear in our biannual report for publication at the end of October 2007. Unless we hear to the contrary by 15th October, we will assume you are happy with the summary and are content for information to be released publicly.
wording will be as follows:
Mrs Mary Karaolis, President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain, complained that a feature on Northern Cyprus had contained inaccuracies, and had misrepresented the reality of the situation in the Karpas Peninsula in its claim that Greek and Turkish Cypriots lived side by side.
The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter written by the complainant:
Our Association was appalled to read your recent feature on occupied Northern Cyprus, which is inaccurate. You state that the UN partitioned Cyprus. In fact UN policy is the reunification of the island of Cyprus. The forced partitioning of Cyprus is the result of the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the continued occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkish troops. We were particularly concerned by your reference to Greek and Turkish Cypriots living side by side in the Karpas Peninsula, which we maintain completely misrepresents the reality of the situation: Rizokarpasso – which stands at the top of the peninsula – was a Greek Cypriot village of over 3,000 people prior to the Turkish invasion; the Greek Cypriot population has now been reduced to 264; Anatolian settlers from Turkey have been transported to colonize the area and occupy the homes of Greek Cypriots who fled in 1974 and are now denied access to their properties, including members of our Association. Andrew Dismore MP, who visited the area in 2006, confirmed the appalling reality of the situation and the denial of human rights to the remaining enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso. We will continue to strive for a solution to reunite the island and bring peace and prosperity to all the legal people of Cyprus. (Cl 1)
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner, whose details can be found in our How to Complain leaflet.
Once again members of the Association of Rizokarpasso...
Once again members of the Association
of Rizokarpasso in Britain joined the wider Greek Cypriot community in
Britain on Sunday 15th July 2007 in marching from Whitehall past the
Houses of Parliament to gather in Trafalgar Square to protest against
the invasion, continued occupation and colonization of our island by
Turkey and Turkey's continued denial of freedom and human rights for the
Greek Cypriots. The Rally was organised by the National Federation of
Cypriots in the UK. Dignitaries included the Mayors of Famagusta,
Alexis Galanos and Morphou, Charalambos Pittas. Many British Members of
Parliament attended: Simon Hughes, Eddie O'Hara, Theresa Villiers, Andy
Love, Andrew Dismore, Roger Gale and Alan Meale also Charles
Tannock Member of the European Parliament. The Deputy Chairman of the
Greater London Assembly, and councillors from Barnet, Haringey and
Enfield and ex Member of Parliament and great friend of Cyprus, Tom Cox
also attended. The demand from all was clear: