Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Statements

01 May 2007
Fact sheet May 2007
Famagusta refugees send appeal to EU for return of their city

“Now that the Famagusta refugees have spoken, demanding that their city be returned to them, it is time for the European Union to act"…

Lobby joins Cyprus president in refuting Turkish Cypriot claims

“Lobby for Cyprus supports the charge by Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos that the claims by Turkish Cypriots that the residents of the illegally occupied north are living in ‘economic isolation’ or embargoes are spurious and politically motivated”…

 

The once bustling Demokratias Street in Ammochostos, Famagusta, now silenced by Turkish occupation


The same view of Demokratias Street, Ammochostos prior to Turkish occupation © 1973 Laurie Patton

Famagusta refugees send appeal to EU for return of their city

“Now that the Famagusta refugees have spoken, demanding that their city be returned to them, it is time for the European Union to act," said Theo Theodorou, Lobby for Cyprus spokesman.

Theo Theodorou was referring to the signature campaign by the refugees of the eastern Cypriot city still illegally occupied by Turkey, which was sent by Famagusta's legitimate mayor Alexis Galanos, to EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Oli Rhen.

The letter contained approximately 26,000 Famagusta refugee signatures and an additional 4,000 from other Cypriot refugees, now living abroad.

In the covering letter, the Mayor included a copy of the petition for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 550 and the relevant provisions of an agreement in the late 1970s between the late President of Cyprus Spyros Kyprianou and the then Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. UN Resolution 550 “considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha [a district of Famagusta] by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations.”

Mayor Galanos stressed the expectation that the EU and its representatives must demonstrate more sensitivity toward the historic European city of Famagusta. He added that “it is completely unethical to sweep such a flagrant violation of human rights under the carpet.”

“There are many other matters between Turkey and Cyprus that continue to be unresolved” said Theodorou. “These include more than 1,000 Greek Cypriots who are still ‘missing’ following the 1974 invasion by Turkey about which the Turks have not given satisfaction, the ‘enclaved’ Cypriots who are still living in dire conditions in the occupied north, and the attempts by the Turks to sell the homes and the properties of the Greek refugees.”


Lobby joins Cyprus president in refuting Turkish Cypriot claims

“Lobby for Cyprus supports the charge by Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos that the claims by Turkish Cypriots that the residents of the illegally occupied north are living in ‘economic isolation’ or embargoes are spurious and politically motivated,”
said Theo Theodorou, Lobby for Cyprus spokesman.

“Most of the residents of the occupied north are comprised of about 120,000 Anatolian peasants transported there to alter the demographic balance,” said Theodorou, “and the claims on their behalf are being made in order to gain political advantage, as the president has said.”

The president added “that for three years now, the [Cyprus] government has been providing free medical and pharmaceutical care as well as other social benefits for Turkish Cypriots and has taken several other steps towards promoting trust and cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”

He also recalled the new set of measures, including provisions for joint ventures with Greek Cypriots and the upgrading of civil society, on which Turkish Cypriots are expected to respond to positively.

The president made his remarks when receiving the credentials of new Ambassador of Norway to Cyprus, Sverre Stub, during which he analyzed the situation in Cyprus.

Referring to the July 8, 2006 agreement between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the presence of the then UN Undersecretary General for political affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, President Papadopoulos reiterated the government’s commitment for its immediate implementation which is fully supported by the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council.

“We are continuing our efforts towards the implementation of the July 8 Process, which we believe can create the dynamic necessary for the solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the principles agreed to, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus and the principles and values on which the European Union is founded” the president added.

“If there is any isolation of those living in the north” Theodorou said, “it is self-imposed and the matter can be easily resolved if the 40,000-man Turkish army leaves, takes with it the Anatolian peasants, and all refugees and displaced persons are allowed to return to their homes.”