Turkish Cypriots Denied Again!
Whilst the world has been enjoying and congratulating itself on its participation in the London Olympics 2012, here in North Cyprus, again the Turkish Cypriots have been denied their right to be part of a large united and harmonious world.
Yesterday the 10th August 2012, a peaceful demonstration was held at the Lokmaci Crossing and then the participants and supporters paraded though the ancient streets of Lefkoşa (North Nicosia) to arrive at the Ledra Palace crossing where a letter, as shown below, was handed to a representative of the United Nations with the request that this be handed to His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation.
We wait with bated breath for signs of a reply and hopefully (inşallah) through the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot people and their supporters, justice will be seen to be done.
ASSOCIATION OF TURKISH CYPRIOTS ABROAD AND TRNC OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
TURKISH CYPRIOT PARTICIPATION IN THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
10th August 2012
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations Organisation
Your Excellency may be aware that the latest victims of the unjust isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots have been the Turkish Cypriot athletes, who were recently prevented from participating in the London 2012 Olympics. Despite requests by the National Olympic Committee of Northern Cyprus, and the promises made by former OIC officials to support Turkish Cypriot participation in the Olympic Games under the Olympic flag; Turkish Cypriot athletes were prevented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take part in the games of the 30th Olympiad.
The decision of the IOC is in direct violation of the very same goals and principles that govern the organization. Article 2 of the Fundamental Principles of the Olympics states:
“The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”
Article 4 further states:
“… [The] practice of sport is a human right…every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind in the Olympic sport.”
Similarly, Article 6 adds:
“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Turkish Cypriot athletes and sports representatives have today taken part in a symbolic walk in Lefkoşa (North Nicosia) to highlight the inhumane exclusion of the Turkish Cypriot athletes from all international sports competitions, including the Olympics. As it is clear from the above, the rules of the IOC openly reject discrimination of any kind, including one’s right and honour to compete under their own identity. We would like to recall that the IOC has made special arrangements in the past to ensure that political disputes do not prevent athletes from participating in the Olympics under their own identity.
We rightfully ask that Turkish Cypriot athletes not be forced to participate in international sporting events under the auspices of any government or organization that does not represent them. This includes the “Republic of Cyprus”, solely controlled by Greek Cypriots since 1963. As is the case for athletes from Chinese Taipei (otherwise known as Republic of China or Taiwan) and others, we ask that athletes from Northern Cyprus be allowed to take part in the Olympics and all other international sports events under their own identity – the Turkish Cypriot people.
I would like to recall you that the prevention of the Turkish Cypriot people from enjoying the same fundamental rights and freedoms on which the world of nations founded the United Nations is a flagrant violation of human rights. Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“…no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”
The former UN Secretary-General, Your Excellency’s predecessor H.E. Kofi Annan, expressed his views regarding the isolation of Turkish Cypriots in his report to the Security Council, dated 28 May 2004 (S/2004/437), in the following advisory:
“The Turkish Cypriot vote [in favour of the UN-sponsored plan to unify Cyprus] has undone any rationale for pressuring and isolating them. I would hope that the members of the Council can give a strong lead to all states to co-operate both bilaterally and in international bodies, to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and barriers that have the effect of isolating the Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development”.
This was followed by The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution 1376 (2004) stating:
“The international community, in particular, the Council of Europe and the European Union, cannot ignore or betray the expressed desire of the majority of Turkish Cypriots for greater openness and should take rapid and appropriate steps to encourage it. The Turkish Cypriots’ international isolation must cease”.
We kindly request that Your Excellency use your moral authority and good offices to help bring an end to the grave injustice that generations of Turkish Cypriot athletes have endured.
We have full confidence that, in the interests of upholding and cherishing the purposes and principles of the UN for the enjoyment of human rights including in sports, you will do your best to remedy this injustice being imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people through no fault of their own.
With our highest regards
TRNC National Olympic Committee
Eyüp Zafer Gökbilen
Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad (ATCA)
TRNC National Olympic Committee Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad
Fevzi Çakmak Sokak, Girne Posta Kutusu 831, Lefkoşa
North Cyprus North Cyprus
Mersin 10 Turkey Mersin 10 Turkey
Tel: 0392 815 5926 – Tel: 0533 830 8567