Gordon Brown became Prime Minister of Great Britain on 27 June 2007, but within only a matter of days of him taking office it became abundantly
clear that he was going to continue the discredited approach on Cyprus of
his predecessor Tony Blair. Day by day the Brown administration has become
more and more pro-Turkish.
1 July 2007, Gordon Brown appoints Joan Ryan as Cyprus advisor drawing condemnation from Cypriot community leaders and
pro-Cypriot politicians including MP for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers
and Councillor Mike Freer, Leader of Barnet Council. In the time
since she became and MP in 1997 only once back in 1998 has Joan Ryan raised
in the issue of Cyprus in
the House of Commons according to Hansard.
BRITISH MP - PROTEST
British MP for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers, has written to new
Foreign Secretary David Miliband to protest about Joan Ryans appointment
as Prime Minister Gordon Browns advisor on Cyprus, noting in statements
that she was "shocked to learn of this appointment", which is
"a slap in the face for the Cypriot community"
"If the community thought that Tony Blairs resignation would mean
that the Labour government started to see sense again on Cyprus, this
appointment shows there is no hope of that. Gordon Brown is clearly going
to continue Mr. Blairs discredited approach on Cyprus which has completely let down all those who fled their homes
during the 1974 invasion", she pointed out.
Villiers noted that ``Joan Ryan has not taken a balanced or fair approach
on Cyprus issues and I am deeply worried about the prospect of her
deciding what the British governments approach on this issue should be.``
``I oppose this appointment and I have appealed to David Miliband to meet
me and representatives of the Cypriot community so that he can hear at
first hand why Gordon Browns decision has caused such anger and outrage
in his first three days at Number 10,`` she added.
In her letter to Miliband, Villiers explains that she represents a large
British Cypriot community, noting that many of her constituents are
deeply concerned about the appointment of Joan Ryan as the Prime
Ministers advisor on Cyprus.
``They believe that Ms Ryan has not taken a balanced or fair approach on
matters relating to Cyprus. I have to say I sympathise with their point of view,`` she
BARNET LEADER RYANS APPOINTMENT
Councillor Mike Freer, Leader of Barnet Council, says in a press release
that he was ``appalled`` at British Prime Minister Gordon Brown`s appointment
of MP Joan Ryan as the government’s special envoy to Cyprus.
``When Prime Minister Brown announced change would be his watchword, I
was hoping we would see a change in the failed and misguided policy on Turkey and Cyprus,`` he notes.
Freer adds that ``appointing Joan Ryan underlines that this government
will continue its biased approach against a just and fair solution with
ultimate aim the division of Cyprus.``
``I suspect the appointment is more to do with helping Ms Ryan hold onto
her super marginal seat at the next general election than finding a
solution,`` he says.
10 July 2007, The Prime Minister Gordon Brown turned down an invitation to
attend a photographic exhibition showing the destruction of religious monuments
in the occupied areas which was held for one day at Westminster Abbey in
London. The exhibition was attended by religious representatives, MPs,
diplomats, including a Foreign Office representative, people of the arts
and other British personalities. The new Foreign Secretary David Miliband
did not attend the exhibition.
PM - APPEAL - CYPRUS
British MP Roger Gale has appealed to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
to discard the perceived views about Cyprus and seek to instigate measures to deliver a fair, rather than
an imposed, solution.
In a letter to Miliband, on the occasion of a photo exhibition staged in
London by Greek Cypriot Doros Partasides with photographs depicting the
condition of the churches and chapels in the Turkish occupied part of
Cyprus, Gale said it was a pity that Miliband was not able to see ``this
demonstration of the effects, upon heritage and upon people, of
thirty-three years of unlawful occupation of part of what is now a Member
State of the European Union and of which the United Kingdom is a
Gale said that one of the churches depicted is in Komi Kebir, which is
the home village of the late George Gerolemou, his constituent, who died
last month, at the age of 94. ``His retirement villa from which he
and his wife were evicted is illegally occupied by a settler from
mainland Turkey and although it is too late for George, his family would
like what is now their property back, please,`` Gale added. He expressed
the belief that ``over the 34 years successive UK governments have
signally failed to take sufficiently robust action, in tandem with our
allies the United States, to bring about a resolution of `The Cyprus
11 July 2007, The Foreign Office demonstrated the British
government’s policy of appeasing the illegal Turkish occupiers of
Cyprus once again by giving support to Luton Town to play an illegal
football match in occupied Cyprus against the Turkish Cypriot side Cetinkaya,
against the wishes of the Cyprus Football Association which was not asked
by either side for its approval (as is its right under UEFA rules), the
British FA, UEFA and FIFA. After decisive intervention by the British FA,
which threatened Luton with
expulsion, the illegal match was called off only minutes after Gordon
Brown’s Foreign Office reaffirmed its continued support for the
With Foreign Office support, Luton Town
entered Cyprus illegally through the illegal Ercan airport which is built
and operates illegally on Greek Cypriot land in the occupied village of Tymbou,
thus undermining Cyprus sovereignty and violating Britain’s treaty
obligations with the Republic of Cyprus to act to maintain Cyprus
independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as violating the
Chicago Convention on civil aviation and putting peoples lives at risk.
As a result of this anti-Cypriot
Foreign Office bias and its not taking into account the decisions of
international sporting bodies which govern the sport of Football the first official
meeting between Cypriot President Tasos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot
leader Mehmet Ali Talat in nearly a year was cancelled by the latter who
used the cancellation of the illegal football match as an excuse not to
negotiate. If the Foreign Office had consulted with the Cypriot community
and the Cyprus FA and told Luton Town not to go
ahead with the match the peace process would not have been damaged.
15 July 2007, Joan Ryan MP for Enfield North the government’s special
envoy for Cyprus snubs the Cypriot community in the UK by failing to show
up at the Trafalgar Square event marking the 33rd anniversary of
brutal Turkish invasion and ethnic cleansing of Cyprus, which was attended
and addressed by all of north London’s other MPs including Allan Meale
(Labour), Andy Love (Labour), Edward O’Hara (Labour), Andrew Dismore
(Labour), Simon Hughes (Lib Dem), Theresa Villiers (Conservative), Roger
Gale (Conservative) and Charles Tannock (Conservative).
Joan Ryan by her conspicuous absence
has shown her contempt for her Cypriot constituents and her role as special
envoy which is motivated not by concern for finding a just solution for the
problem of the illegal Turkish invasion, occupation and ethnic cleansing of
Cyprus but by her and the governments wish not to offend Turkey. By being
“impartial” as she claims she has turned a blind eye to
Turkey’s brutal crimes against humanity and the fate of 200,000 Greek
Cypriot refugees who are still being denied the right to return to their homes
in contravention of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council
and the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, by the presence
of 40,000 illegal Turkish troops and 160,000 illegal Turkish colonists
brought to Cyprus in violation of the Geneva Convention, and the ongoing
destruction by Turkey of Cyprus religious and cultural heritage.
On top of this Joan Ryan up till now
has not signed the Early
Day Motion introduced on 11/7/2007 by Edward O’Hara condemning the destruction of the
Churches in the occupied areas by the Turks.
That this House notes with concern that up to 100
Christian churches in the occupied north of Cyprus have been stripped by
looters of all removable items such as floors, bells, altar tables, iconostaseis
and over 23,000 icons for sale in the international art black market,
that many others are used as stables, barns, cafes, military bases and
mosques and that there has been widespread destruction of their
associated cemeteries and grave monuments; congratulates Panayiotis Yiacoumi
and Doros Partasides on recording this widespread desecration and
destruction in their photographic exhibition, The Loss of a Religious
Heritage; and calls upon all the communities of Cyprus not to use
religious and cultural monuments as objects for hatred but to respect
them and work together to protect and preserve them as their shared
12 September 2007, The Barnet Council unanimously
approved a motion Tuesday evening, requesting the Chief Executive of the
Council to write to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, asking him to
urgently reconsider his decision to appoint Joan Ryan as Special Envoy for Cyprus,
in view of her recently publicized Turkish Cypriot connections.
Barnet Council approves
motion on Cyprus
The Barnet Council unanimously approved a motion
Tuesday evening, requesting the Chief Executive of the Council to write
to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, asking him to urgently reconsider
his decision to appoint Joan Ryan as Special Envoy for Cyprus, in view of
her recently publicized Turkish Cypriot connections.
The motion, tabled by the Conservative leader of Barnet Council Councilor
Mike Freer and amended by Councilor Andreas Tambourides, notes that
“Joan Ryan MP has shown increasing partiality on Cypriot affairs,
including calling for direct flights to occupied ''northern''
It said the Council understands that the wisdom of this appointment has
already been questioned by a Senior Foreign & Commonwealth Official.
“The holder of such a vital role must show impartiality and
neutrality, Council believes, traits that Ms. Ryan has recently proved
not to show”, the motion added.
The Council believes an equitable solution must be found that would
re-unify Cyprus and allow Greek Cypriot refugees to move back into the
property seized from them in 1974.
It also deplores the inaction by the Labour Government in securing such a
settlement, and the increasingly apparent anti-Greek bias demonstrated
for example by former PM Tony Blair's intervention in the Annan 5
4 October 2007, The British Special
Representative for Cyprus Joan Ryan met the leader of the brutal Turkish
occupation regime in his so-called "presidential palace" in
occupied Cyprus in violation of UN resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984)
which call on all states not to facilitative the illegal pseudo-state in
any way. Her presence in Cyprus is not part of a UN or Cyprus government
approved peace mission but a private visit to prop up the Turkish
occupation regime. The president of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos refused to
meet her because of her pro-Turkish bias in meeting Talat as president in the
offices of the occupation regime. In statements made the previous day Joan
Ryan appeared to support partition, calling for bi-zonal communal
communication, seen as a reinforcement of her call for direct flights to
the occupied areas, instead of calling for bi-communal meetings.
23 October 2007, Gordon Brown signed an accord
with the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prompting Turkish
positions on occupied Cyprus.
The document of the partnership entertains a clearly partitionist
logic, since the main subject of its provisions relating to Cyprus is the
systematic promotion of separate relations of the Turkish Cypriot secessionist
entity in the occupied areas, which it refers to as the "TRNC", with the rest of the world. UN Resolution 550 (1984), apart from the fact that
it condemns the secessionist actions in the occupied areas and proclaims them
illegal and invalid, calls on all states, not to recognise the purported
state and not to facilitate or in any way assist this the aforesaid
The government of Cyprus was given no prior notice of
this agreement which clearly violates not only UN Security Council
resolutions signed by the United Kingdom but also the Treaty of Guarantee
which compels the UK “to prohibit, as far as lies within their power,
all activity having the object of promoting directly or indirectly either
the union of the Republic of Cyprus with any other State, or the partition
of the Island.”
The partnership agreement commits Britain and Turkey to
take forward work on ending what the Turkish Cypriots call isolation and to
encourage others in the international community to join them in their efforts.
In the document, London and Ankara say they will work within the UN, the EU
and bilaterally to promote direct commercial, economic, political and
cultural contacts between the UK, the EU and the Turkish Cypriots, despite
the fact that nearly 3,000
people signed a petition asking the Prime Minister “to act in
accordance with Britain’s treaty obligations with the Republic of Cyprus
and to take decisive action to prevent direct trade and direct flights
between Britain and Turkish occupied Cyprus and to prevent the illegal sale
and advertising of Greek Cypriot property to British nationals.” They
will also provide continued help for occupation regime
authorities/universities in their attempts to engage with the Bologna
process, in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from deporting or transfering parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, and will promote the right of separate representation of the Turkish Cypriots in the European Parliament.
13 September 2008, After openly calling for a leadership challenge against Gordon Brown in order to try and hold onto her seat at the next election, Joan Ryan was sacked by the PM as Britain's envoy to Cyprus. She consistently failed to attend and speak at anti-occupation events and rallies demanding justice for Cyprus unlike the MPs representing the constituencies surrounding her own, including Theresa Villiers (Conservative), Alan Meale (Labour), and Simon Hughes (Lib Dem).
20 July 2009,
A mass rally in Trafalgar Square, London denouncing 35 years of illegal Turkish occuption was attended by the followin British members of parliament. Theresa Villiers MP (Con), Simon Hughes MP (Lib Dem), Charles Tannock MEP (Con), Andrew Dismore MP (Lab) and Mary Honeyball MEP (Lab). Also present were Mayor of Barnet Cllr Brian Coleman (Con), and former MPs Tom Cox (Lab) and Ian Twin. Once again Joan Ryan (Lab) failed to show her face.
CYPRIOTS LONDON ANNIVERSARIES
Cyprus News Agency
21 July 2009
British Cypriots and politicians from across Britains political
spectrum condemned Turkeys intransigence over efforts to end its
continuing illegal military occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was petitioned by the National
Federation of Cypriots in the UK to use the UKs influence over the
Turkish Government in order to persuade Turkey to withdraw its
occupation troops and play an active and positive role in current
efforts to reunite Cyprus for the benefit of all Cypriots.
A demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in London and the delivery
of a letter of protest to the Turkish Ambassador was followed by a
march through central London, the delivery of the petition in Downing
Street and a mass rally in Trafalgar Square.
The annual July London Rally for Cyprus was the culmination of a series
of events, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK,
to mark the twin anniversaries of the coup by the military junta then
ruling Greece on 15th July 1974, and the illegal invasion of Cyprus by
the Turkish army which followed five days later, on 20th July 1974. The
event came hot on the heels of a lobby of Parliament held on 14th July
The rally in Trafalgar Square was addressed by several British MPs and
MEPs from all three main political parties, President of the National
Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis, Mayor of occupied
Famagusta and President of the Occupied Towns and Municipalities of
Cyprus Alexis Galanos, and Cypriot Minister of the Interior Neoklis
Sylikiotis, who was the main speaker at the event.
The Mayors of the occupied Cypriot towns of Morphou and Lapithos,
Charalambos Pittas and Athos Eleftheriou, respectively, also took part
in the rally.
In his opening address, Droussiotis said the division of Cyprus is a
scar on the face of the island, an anachronism in the Europe of the
21st century, a tragedy for all of the islands people that must not be
allowed to continue,`` noting that ``this is a division created by
Turkey and sustained by it through force of arms and Turkey must, at
long last, be held to account.``
We are here today to remind the British Government of its historic
responsibilities to Cyprus. We call upon the Prime Minister to use
Britains influence over Turkey proactively and decisively. The United
Kingdom must exert real pressure on the Turkish Government to support
with deeds not merely with empty words the true unity of the
island,`` he added.
In his speech, Sylikiotis referred to the good will which President of
the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has shown in current direct
negotiations on the island and expressed hope it will be matched by
Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
However he underlined that progress in those talks was dependent upon
Turkeys commitment to a solution.
The Cyprus settlement must be found by Cypriots for Cypriots but the
key to a solution lies in Ankara. Turkey must abide by international
law and the UN Resolutions on Cyprus. The EU also has a central role to
play. In her EU accession course, Turkey must fulfill her obligations
to the Union and the Republic of Cyprus and must cooperate and support
a solution that serves the interests of all Cypriots. Cyprus and Greece
currently support Turkeys accession. This support, however, is not
unconditional. Turkey has to fulfill the obligations of the Ankara
agreement, he said.
British MPs and MEPs called on the UK government and EU member states
to act in order to ensure that the ongoing direct negotiations between
the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus are not in vain. There was
unanimous support for a comprehensive and durable settlement which will
liberate Cyprus from the Turkish military occupation and end the
islands forcible division of the last 35 years.
MP Theresa Villiers highlighted the importance of the recent ruling of
the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the matter of property rights.
MP Simon Hughes also referred to the ECJ ruling, stating that the
Courts message is that property rights cannot be transferred by illegal
occupation and that this needs to be understood north of the line as
well as beyond the frontiers of Cyprus.
MEP Charles Tannock called for Turkeys accession course to the EU to be
used as leverage in order to exert pressure on Ankara.
MP Andrew Dismore addressed the rally in Greek, saying that the islands
35-year-long division was unjust and unacceptable and that it was time
for Turkey to play a constructive role so that justice could be done
and Cyprus could be restored to unity for all Cypriots.
MEP Mary Honeyball spoke of her admiration for President Christofias in
his endeavours to progress negotiations towards a solution.
Support was also lent to the Cyprus cause by some of the performers on
the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, who had earlier lent their
voices to the calls for justice and the upholding of human rights.
The event in Trafalgar Square was also attended by German MEP Reimer
Boege, Mayor of Barnet Cllr Brian Coleman, a large number of London
Councilors including UK Cypriot Councillors, and former Members of
Parliament Tom Cox and Ian Twin, long-standing friends of Cyprus and
the UK Cypriot community.
Meanwhile, the mayors of Famagusta, Morfou and Lapithos, in a meeting
yesterday with Foreign and Commonwealth Office official Stephen
McCormic, called for a more decisive intervention on the part of
Britain towards Ankara to change the Turkish stance if the talks
between President Christofias and Talat are to yield results.
McCormic said that Britain stresses at every opportunity it has with
Turkish officials Ankaras need to fulfill its obligations towards the
EU, Cyprus and help the talks to reach a positive conclusion.
Earlier in the week a discussion took place in a parliament hall, attended by MPs Eddie O'Hara (Lab), Roger Gale (Con), Rudi Vis (Lab), Nigel Waterson (Con), Joan Ryan (Lab), David Lepper (Lab), Theresa Villiers (Con), Andrew Love (Lab), David Barrowes (Con). The gathering was also attended by Labour MPs Jimmy Wright and Jimmy Sheridan, who did not take the floor. Joan Ryan once again failed to be critical of Turkey.
British MPs express full support to Greek Cypriot stance in Cyprus
16 July, 2009
British MPs, who participated in a meeting in London on the Cyprus
problem, expressed their full support to the stance of the Greek
Cypriot side in talks for a Cyprus settlement.
They also deplored Turkey's stance, noting that the key to a solution
lies with Ankara and that Britain and the US can and must help towards
achieving a settlement.
Opening the discussion in a parliament hall, President of the National
Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom Peter Droussiotis, who
presided over the meeting, said ''Turkey has created an illegal regime
and is trying to change the demography of the occupied areas and
destroy its cultural heritage.''
''This by a country knocking at the door of Europe. A Europeanised
Turkey which fulfils a positive role, a democratic Turkey, is a
strategic imperative even more so for a small island like Cyprus whose
existence and survival depends not on military might but on
international law. Turkey has a unique opportunity with the direct
negotiations to demonstrate that it can change. The UK, a close ally of
Turkey, with historic responsibilities to Cyprus, must exert real
pressure on the Turkish government to support in deeds the true unity
of the island,'' he added.
Labour MP Eddie O'Hara paid tribute to President of the Republic of
Cyprus Demetris Christofias for his integrity, consistency and
indefatigability in conducting the talks, adding that Turkish Cypriot
leader Mehmet Ali Talat has not a free hand, Ankara has it, and Turkey
cannot be allowed to enter the EU without the solution of the Cyprus
Conservative MP Roger Gale said he has a huge admiration for President
Christofias for his tenacity and determination in the talks but Talat
cannot deliver, since ''the solution lies with Turkey and beyond, I
believe it lies with the USA.''
Labour MP Rudi Vis said that the EU should stop entry negotiations with
Turkey until it solves the Cyprus problem and its internal problems.
Conservative MP Nigel Waterson said that he is pleased with the small
progress made at the talks although he realises that Turkey is a
Labour MP Joan Ryan, who served as Special Representative of the Prime
Minister on Cyprus, praised President Christofias for insisting on the
talks because it is the only way for reaching a solution, noting that
whenever a British Minister meets a Turkish counterpart the Cyprus
issue is on the agenda.
She expressed certainty that the new Minister for Europe Glynis Kinnock
will show strong support for Cyprus as the previous Ministers did.
Labour MP David Lepper said that Turkey thinks the world will forget
about Cyprus by showing signs of modernising and by presenting itself
as a player on the international stage, noting that persistence and
dedication will make sure this will not happen.
Conservative MP and Shadow Secretary for Transport Theresa Villiers
said that the international community and the British governments have
failed Cyprus, adding that the issue will continue to be a priority for
her and that she supports President Christofias' stand on the talks.
Labour MP Andrew Love said he is a 100% supporter of President
Christofias and his government, noting that every effort should be made
in exercising all possible influence on Turkey and that the window of
opportunity that exists now may not be there forever.
Conservative MP and Shadow Minister for Justice David Barrowes said
that the National Federation should try and lobby all candidates for
the next general election.
Ex Labour MP Tom Cox said that both Labour governments have failed
Cyprus, which deserves better.
The gathering was also attended by Labour MPs Jimmy Wright and Jimmy
Sheridan, who did not take the floor, as well as Cyprus' General Consul
Before the gathering, an event was held outside the parliament for the
missing persons, with the distribution of leaflets and a live
8 November 2009, The British High Commissioner Peter Millett insults Cypriots by attending the ingurgitation of a privately funded memorial illegally erected in occupied Cyprus to British soldiers who died in the Cyprus independence struggle which should not have been built on Cyprus at all considering the present circumstances, and could have easily been situated in the UK. The location of the memorial in the occupied north was a deliberate slight against the Greek Cypriots. Millett's actions showed a lack of respect to Greek sentiment about the resistance to British colonialism and its divide and rule policy where Turkish Cypriots were used by the British to oppress the Greek Cypriot majority.