CYPRUS WEEK - Rally for Human Rights and for a Free United Cyprus
"UK CYPRIOTS CALL ON CAMERON TO ACT FOR JUSTICE AND UNITY IN CYPRUS"
National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom
Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU.
Tel: 020 8445 9999 Fax: 020 8445 9977
19th July 2010 - Press Release
British Cypriots joined politicians from across Britain’s political spectrum yesterday to condemn Turkey’s intransigence over efforts to end its continuing illegal military occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.
A petition was delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for the UK to use its influence with the Turkish Government in order to press Turkey to withdraw its occupying troops and to play an active and positive role in current efforts to reunite Cyprus for the benefit of all Cypriots.
A letter to the Turkish Ambassador to the UK was also delivered following a demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in London. Later, a march through the heart of London culminated in a mass rally in Trafalgar Square. The annual July London “Rally for Cyprus” was organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, to mark the twin anniversaries of the fascist coup by the military junta then ruling Greece on 15h July 1974, and the illegal invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army which followed 5 days later, on 20th July 1974.
Twelve days before the rally, on 6th July 2010 , an event took place in the Houses of Parliament to offer support to relatives of people still missing since Turkey invaded the island in the summer of 1974 and to lobby politicians for their support.
The rally in Trafalgar Square was addressed by several British politicians from the main parties. Mr Peter Droussiotis, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, and The Minister of Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus, Mrs Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, also addressed the event.
In his opening address, Mr. Droussiotis said:
“We expect the new British Prime Minister David Cameron whom we petitioned at 10 Downing Street today and the new Foreign Secretary William Hague to tell Turkey that it must change its tune on Cyprus, that it must, at long last, change course, if it wants to make further progress in Europe.
“Turkey’s unacceptable behaviour in Cyprus must not be rewarded; it must be punished if it is not corrected. The new British government has a unique opportunity to help bring this about – to make this vital and principled change to its approach to Turkey.”
Tribute was then paid to former MPs in attendance, still showing their support for Cyprus; Tom Cox, Eddie O’Hara, Andrew Dismore and Ian Twinn. Respects were also paid to Rudi Vis, the former MP for Finchley and Golders Green and a long-standing friend of Cyprus and the UK Cypriot community, who died earlier this year. Other parliamentary supporters of the Cyprus cause in attendance included Transport Minister Theresa Villiers MP, Mike Freer MP, Matthew Offord MP, Alan Meale MP and Jim Sheridan MP.
The Cyprus High Commissioner HE Alexandros Zenon and his Deputy Mr Dimitris Hatziargyrou represented the Cyprus High Commission at the event while the Mayors of the occupied towns of Kyrenia and Morphou, Mrs Maria Ioannou and Mr Charalambos Pittas, respectively, represented Cypriot towns and villages under Turkey’s military occupation.
Jim Sheridan MP, a Scottish MP, then delivered the wishes of the people of Scotland for a solution to the Cyprus problem before stating that the Coalition Government had been elected on a pledge of delivering fairness and that: “There is no greater cause for fairness than in Cyprus” and calling upon the UK Government to ensure that Turkey cannot gain EU member status while occupying another EU state.
The Minister of Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus, Mrs. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, who was the main speaker at the event, then addressed the audience, firstly by recognising the good turnout for the rally, saying that “Your participation in this massive demonstration gives a strong message that this injustice … cannot longer be tolerated, a message that must reach all policymakers in the UK.”
The Minister added:
“European values and principles are being trampled upon by Turkey. The values of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, which are the very foundations of the United Kingdom, are being made a mockery by Turkey’s illegal actions in Cyprus.
“Our message is not one of despair, it is one of hope, of resolve and of re-dedication to the cause of peace, justice, freedom and unity for Cyprus. We have searched for 36 years for a peaceful solution and we shall continue to do so. We want a common future with our Turkish Cypriots compatriots, in peace, prosperity and security as citizens of the European Union.”
Matthew Offord, the recently elected Member of Parliament for Hendon, spoke of the his and his colleagues’ determination to hold the British Government to account, saying that it had been elected on pledges of fairness and that Cyprus is an example of where fairness must be delivered, adding:
“If Turkey wants to join the EU, it must fulfil their obligations to the people of Cyprus. That means that there is no division of the island. That means the return of property to the people from whom it was taken in the invasion of 1974. And that means that people who are missing must be located and identified, so that their relatives can begin the grieving process. Until that happens, Turkey is not welcome in the EU. Until then, we keep fighting.”
Mike Freer, new MP for Finchley and Golders Green, added his support, saying that he would work with his colleagues in Parliament to maintain a high profile for Cyprus on the Government’s foreign policy agenda.
The last guest speaker was Alan Meale MP, a stalwart supporter of reunification of the island of Cyprus, who expressed his dismay at returning to the rally each year to demand a solution, rather than to celebrate a reunited island. He added:
“Here we stand in Trafalgar Square, in the shadow of the South African Embassy, asking for an end to apartheid in Europe. And until we get that, there is no place for Turkey in the EU. There is no place for them in Europe while they occupy part of Cyprus.
“Struggles sometimes take decades, as you all know. But for those who have lost homes and relatives we must continue to fight until we win a solution and free Cyprus from tyranny. There can be no peace until Turkey removes its troops from the island.”
Mr Droussiotis closed the rally by thanking everyone who had come to show their support and solidarity.
Photos of the rally will be available in the media resources section at: www.cypriotfederation.co.uk
Videos of the speeches can be viewed at:
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For more information, please call Tony Sophoclides on 07887 935 335
Sunday 18th July 2010
This year's events take place against the backdrop of the 36th anniversary since the Greek junta coup against the government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish invasion and occupation of 34.7% of the Republic of Cyprus.
These events are also intended to celebrate the Accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU which will hopefully lead to the unification of the island as a truly independent federated state for all the people of Cyprus.
This year is also the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Cyprus in 1960
PROGRAMME: 13 – 20 July 2010
"Raising the flags of the Republic of Cyprus and of the European Union"
Tuesday, 13th July 7.00 PM : Raising the flags of the Republic of Cyprus and of the European Union and an Exhibition of the Archives of Theatro Technis and of the Cypriot Community in Camden, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Unity Theatre Trust. Also poetry and music by the harpist Ricardo Curbello and others.
View full video of this event at:
"Lobby for Cyprus Seminar - "Law and Ethics of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus"
Wednesday, 14th July, 7.30 pm : The Seminar consisted of three presentations:
1. Costas Frangeskides: “CAN THE CYPRUS ISSUE BE SOLVED THROUGH THE COURTS?” - A lawyer’s perspective on the role of the law in the search for a just settlement.
2. Kyriacos Christodoulou: “THE CYPRUS ISSUE - A REFUGEE PERSPECTIVE”
3. Dr. Klearchos Kyriacides: “THE TURKISH INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF CYPRUS: a case study in unethical behaviour.
See full video of the seminar at:
"RALLY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOR A FREE UNITED CYPRUS"
Sunday, 18th July, 4.30 PM : RALLY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOR A FREE UNITED CYPRUS, starting outside the Turkish Embassy at Belgrave Square London SW1 at 3.00pm and marching to hear the main speaker at Trafalgar Square, Erato Kozakou Markoullis.
See full video of this event at:
For further information:
Readers of this weblog are asked to add their names to the online petition at: