Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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To: Financial Times
11 January 2007
'Cypriot bridge demolition reverberates in Ankara'
Many myths--if not outright distortions of fact--have grown around the situation on the island of Cyprus, and three of them have been included, yet again, in the FT 11 January report ('Cypriot bridge demolition reverberates in Ankara') by Vincent Boland and Karin Hope.

First, the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus did not "reject a United Nations sponsored peace plan." The citizens rejected a faulty and entirely pro-Turkish suicide plan. Had the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus unwisely agreed to the Annan Plan, there would be no Republic of Cyprus. No nation willingly commits suicide.

Second, the report suggests that there is a connection with the rejection of Annan 5 and the Republic's joining the EU. There is none. Cyprus long qualified for membership and had to wait for the other nine countries to qualify, and the accession date of 1 May was set long before the Annan 5 referendum.

Third, and most serious, the report says that as a result of the Republic's joining the EU, "…the Turkish Cypriot community is excluded."

This is completely false and a distortion of the facts.

Those Turkish Cypriots who live in the Republic of Cyprus enjoy the benefits of citizenship in both the Republic and the EU as do their Greek Cypriot compatriots. These benefits include: Republic of Cyprus passports, identity cards, labour rights and access to medical care.

If there are Turkish Cypriots who are without these benefits, it is because they choose to live in the illegally occupied north with 120,000 Anatolian colonists who were brought into the occupied area (contrary to international law). They have chosen to live in a ghetto.

If these Turkish Cypriots want the full benefits enjoyed by their fellow Cypriots in the Republic, all they have to do is move south. Better, however, they should tell Ankara to withdraw its 40,000-man army, take with them the 120,000 Anatolians, and allow all Cypriots to return to their homes.

It might also be a good idea if the Financial Times would refer to Cyprus by its full name--Republic of Cyprus--and use the word "Republic" as a short-hand.