Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
Print this page Print Bookmark and Share

To: Financial Times
16 November 2007
'Bring northern Cyprus into the fold'
Promote a just solution to the division of Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is a net contributor to the European Union – it is not "partly supported by EU subsidies" ('Bring northern Cyprus into the fold', Nick Kochan, November 13). The Republic has prospered in spite of and notwithstanding the brutal invasion and illegal occupation by Turkey of over a third of its territory in 1974. The reward for their hard work was the Annan plan, a proposal that they should have 7 per cent of their land returned to them in stages and forget the rest. Unsurprisingly, they voted to reject that plan.

Let us hypothesise that the UK were invaded and occupied by a non-EU member state. Does Mr Kochan consider that the remaining EU states should then support the occupying power's aspirations to join the EU and seek to legitimise that occupation? I think not.

Therefore, before we rush to recognise the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" Gordon Brown should show some moral backbone and promote a just solution to the division of the island.

A good start would be asking Turkey to remove its 45,000 or so troops from the island and returning the lands and homes to their rightful owners. (Mr Kochan refers to "former Greek owners" of the lands – the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Greek Cypriot owners are the legitimate owners, so any buyer of Greek Cypriot property in the north pays money at his own risk.)

Mr Brown should stop signing agreements with Turkey in continuing breach of this government's Treaty obligations to the Republic of Cyprus, which has been a pawn in the hands of larger powers for far too long and should start to respect international law.