Quotes

ACTION CYPRUS

AN HEC PROJECT

Assessment of the British Government

 

The Labour government of Gordon Brown

 

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 any concern in the issue of Cyprus in the House of Commons according to Hansard.

 

BRITISH MP - PROTEST

CNA 1/7/7

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 notes.

 

 

BARNET LEADER RYANS APPOINTMENT

CNA 2/7/7

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 lasting
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.

 

BRITISH PM - APPEAL - CYPRUS

CNA 17/7/7


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 guarantor power.``

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 Problem`.``



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 proposed match.

 

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 Cypriot heritage.

 

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

 

Financial Mirror

 

12/9/2007
 

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.

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'' Cyprus”.

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 referendum.

 

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 secessionist entity.

 

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 2009.

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 talks

LONDON (CNA/ANA-MPA)

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 problem.

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 limiting factor.

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 Evangelos Savva.

Before the gathering, an event was held outside the parliament for the missing persons, with the distribution of leaflets and a live presentation.

 

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.

 

 

A grieving mother holding photos of her missing son.
1600+ men, women and children still missing

Greek Cypriots taken prisoner and transported to Turkey.
up to 70,000 held hostage in concentration camps

A Greek Cypriot napalmed by the Turkish air-force.
5000+ massacred

Greek Cypriots subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment.
thousands raped and tortured
200,000 ethnically cleansed

Christian gave stones smashed by the Turks.
500+ churches desecrated or destroyed

The murder of Tasos Isaac.
murders of refugees continue to this day

The murder of Solomos Solomou.

2001/2009 HEC and Argyros Argyrou. Updated on 10 November 2009.