Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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01 December 2010
News bulletin December 2010
• American lawyer takes ‘TRNC’ to court • EU rebukes Turkey on Cyprus, freedom of speech, religion and borders • Appeal to UNESCO to save heritage of occupied north • Jack Straw criticised

American lawyer takes ‘TRNC’ to court
An American lawyer is taking Turkey’s illegal regime in Cyprus to the American courts. In explaining his reason, Athan Tsimpedes (pictured) stated: “the unrecognised regime trading as the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ is operating in the United States as a commercial enterprise – and is involved in a fraudulent property scheme which is selling stolen properties owned by British citizens.” The case has resonance in Britain because of the recent High Court decision in the matter of Apostolides v Orams, which ruled in favour of Greek Cypriot property owner Meletis Apostolides whose property had been illegally purchased and built on by a British couple. 

EU rebukes Turkey on Cyprus, freedom of speech, religion and borders
The European Union has admonished Turkey to move faster to settle its border disputes and to normalise relations with Cyprus. In its report of 9 November, Turkey was further criticised for shortcomings in free speech and freedom of religion. It said Turkey also needed to step up efforts to resolve disputes with neighbours, including with Armenia – with which it signed a 2009 agreement to normalise relations that hasn’t been ratified. The EU also noted the lack of progress in normalising relations with the Republic of Cyprus, which has been an EU member since 2004. 

Appeal to UNESCO to save heritage of occupied north
Lobby for Cyprus was part of a delegation that recently appealed to UNESCO to take immediate effective steps to call upon Turkey to fulfil its international obligations for the protection of cultural and historical heritage in the occupied areas of Cyprus. More than 500 Christian churches, cemeteries, and monasteries have been destroyed or desecrated, and countless icons have been stolen and been sold on world markets. Canadian MP Jim Karygiannis and Lobby for Cyprus have written to all British MPs calling on their support to save the cultural heritage of Cyprus. To sign the online petition to UNESCO go to www.cyprusculturaldestruction.com

Jack Straw criticised
Former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw caused much offence following his comments in the Times (8 November 2010) where he called for Britain to support the formal partition of Cyprus if current UN-sponsored talks to settle the Cyprus issue fail. His remarks are not only a betrayal of those who lost family and had their land seized by Turkey which invaded in 1974 but they go against Britain’s treaty obligations. As a guarantor power, Britain is treaty bound to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. A divided Cyprus would result in the loss of British Bases on the island and would put British troops at risk as they go into conflict in Afghanistan.