Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Letter / Email Templates

You can use the following sample letters as a basis for writing your own letters on a number of themes relating to the Cyprus issue.

Cultural destruction
Example 1 - response to article/programme
[Your name and address]

[Name, title and address of recipient]
 
[Date]

RE: Cultural destruction in occupied Cyprus

Dear [name/title/sir/madam etc]

I am writing to complain about your [article/programme/promotion] regarding the area of Cyprus that is currently under illegal Turkish occupation.

I would like to correct your claim that the occupied area is ‘unspoilt’ – this is not the case.

Following the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous 200,000 Greek Cypriots, concerted efforts have been made to destroy the rich Greek, Christian and European cultural heritage of the occupied area.

To say the occupied north is ‘unspoilt’ is completely untrue. 

More than 530 churches and monasteries have been pillaged, vandalised, or destroyed. Churches, chapels and monasteries have been converted to military storage facilities, stables and night-clubs; churches have been converted to mosques, used as military facilities, stockyards or hay barns. 

All the Greek names of towns and villages have been renamed in Turkish to erase any trace of the history and culture of the island. 

It not for nothing that the plight of the heritage of occupied Cyprus is often described as ‘cultural genocide’.

I look forward to hearing from you on this upsetting matter.

Yours sincerely
[Your signature and name here]
Example 2 - to MPs / MEPs
[Your name and address]

[Name of your MP]
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA]
or 
[Name of your MEP]

[Date]

RE: Cultural destruction in occupied Cyprus 

Dear [name of your MP/MEP]

I am writing to ask that you raise before the [House of Commons/European Parliament] the important and tragic issue of the systematic and deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of occupied Cyprus.

Since the illegal Turkish invasion in 1974 and following its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous 200,000 Greek Cypriots, concerted efforts have been made by Turkey and its occupation regime to destroy the rich Greek, Christian, European cultural heritage of the occupied area.
  • More than 500 Greek Orthodox churches (including a rich and Byzantine heritage) and chapels have been pillaged, vandalised or demolished 
  • 133 churches, chapels, monasteries and cemeteries have been desecrated
  • The whereabouts of 15,000 paintings are unknown
  • 77 churches have been turned into mosques
  • 28 churches are being used by the Turkish military forces as hospital or camps
  • 13 churches are used as agricultural barns
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, July 2006). 
 
All the Greek names of towns and villages have been renamed in Turkish to erase any trace of the history and culture of the island and to perpetrate the lie that there has never been a Greek presence in the area despite thousands of years of history. 

It not for nothing that the plight of the heritage of occupied Cyprus is often described as ‘cultural genocide’.

It is wholly unacceptable that the cause for Turkey’s accession is being championed while Turkey and its agents have systematically ransacked the rich European cultural heritage of Cyprus, an EU member state. Turkey's behaviour is an affront to the civilised world and makes a mockery of the notion that Turkey truly respects and embraces the values of the European family of nations. 

I call on you to urge [the UK government/European Union] to press Turkey to permit the restoration and revival of all churches and cultural heritage of the occupied north.  

I look forward to your response on this important matter. 

Yours sincerely
[Your name]

Send your letter to your MP at the House of Commons. Find your MP's details here:

Contact your MP/MEP direct: www.writetothem.com