Breaking down the Cyprus barriers
By Chris Elliott
Living in North Cyprus and hearing and seeing what the locals have to say about the ongoing problems of the international isolation of North Cyprus we begin to see a common thread. Writing as we do on the internet and in a number of websites and social media groups we also see many comments and opinions from people worldwide and also a lot of frustration which people feel because they are not able to influence the wind of change.
Changes can be achieved and it’s all down to individuals coming together and working to achieve a common goal and this can only be attained through an organisation that is effective and well organised. We would like to suggest that perhaps Embargoed should be your choice if you want to make a change. Please therefore consider the following.
Since 04 March 1964
The plight of Turkish Cypriots has been ignored by the international community since the Cyprus conflict broke out in December 1963 and a badly drafted UN resolution on 4 March 1964 ignored their political equality.
49 years on, they continue to live under international isolation, forcing them to exist as second class citizens in their homeland.
Join this campaign to end these unjust embargoes.
Embargoed! and its Mission
We are a human rights group campaigning to bring an immediate and unconditional end to the international isolation of North Cyprus, and the full restoration of political, economic and social rights of the Turkish Cypriot people. The idea of three friends, Bulent Osman, Gulfem Veziroglu and Ipek Ozerim, Embargoed! was formed in September 2004 with twenty signatories. The first committee comprised Bulent Osman (Chair), Ipek Ozerim (Secretary) and Zeki Mehmed (Treasurer) and we publicly launched in London and Nicosia, North Cyprus on 4 March 2005. Today the group’s support runs into the thousands.
We operate as an independent non-profit membership association limited by guarantee – UK company registration number 05433072. The campaign is driven forward by the incredible energy and tenacity of our active members, with financial support provided through membership subscriptions, donations and fundraising activities.
Our founding members are primarily from London – the home of the largest diaspora of Turkish Cypriots. A multi-ethnic group of all ages, our diverse membership also spans a wide range of social and professional backgrounds. What unites us is our outrage at the international community’s ongoing treatment of North Cyprus and its citizens.
Together, we form a group of committed human rights activists that use positive, peaceful actions to raise awareness about the plight of Turkish Cypriots and to lobby for change.
Core Values and Methods
Human rights is everybody’s right!
We use all possible channels to mobilise non-violent action and support for our campaign. We will continue to lobby governments, political parties, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and other related groups to end the unjust isolation imposed on the people of North Cyprus.
Although Embargoed! is committed to championing Turkish Cypriot rights, we do not believe this should be at the expense of Greek Cypriot rights. During the course of our campaign, we have tried to increase understanding, respect and dignity between the two sides in Cyprus, challenging intolerance where it exists and at the same time breaking down barriers. As a group, we do not endorse any particular political end solution in Cyprus – we believe this should be left to the democratic free will of the two sides. However, we are committed to helping Greek and Turkish Cypriots reconcile their past and present differences.
Embargoed! was formed as a peaceful, pro-active movement of ordinary people in the UK who were angry that Turkish Cypriots continue to be treated as second class citizens in their own homeland, forced to go without their basic human rights. Today, our campaign has global support and is spearheading a sea-change of opinion about North Cyprus and the rights of its citizens.
Since Embargoed! was formed in 2004, we have seen a massive transformation in the language international media and politicians use to describe North Cyprus, which is no longer vilified. There is greater awareness about the root causes of this long-running conflict and the fact that both Cypriot communities have suffered. Global leaders and institutions also acknowledge that Turkish Cypriots continue to be unfairly penalized through their international isolation. Many have made pledges to end this isolation and restore the fundamental rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, but, sadly, little has translated into action.
That’s why we need your help! There are lots of ways you can get involved and support the campaign, from becoming a member, to taking action on a specific campaign, becoming a volunteer, or making a donation. Every little really does help!
- Online Joining
- Offline Joining
- Online Joining
- TAKE ACTION! VOLUNTEERING
- Sign the Charter!
- Combat media bias
- Lobby your MP
Your membership of entitles you to influence how Embargoed! works and what it does. You can cast a vote at Annual General Meetings for the election of Committee Members, nominate someone to these positions or be nominated by others.
Your membership shows the international community there is huge support for this campaign. At the same time, your annual membership subscription will provide vital funds that cover the organisation’s administrative and campaign costs.
Once you join Embargoed! you will receive:
- Our quarterly newsletter
- Access to special briefings and events
Membership of Embargoed! is not exclusive to Turkish Cypriots. It is open to all persons and organisations that wish to help the group realise its objectives. Our membership base has always been ethnically diverse, including people of African-Caribbean, Chinese, English, Greek, German, Irish, Jewish, Kashmiri, Indian, and Welsh origin.
So join the Embargoed! family today and make a positive difference by clicking here!
So there we have it. Those people, wherever they are, who want to support the aims of Embargoed, can do so by becoming a member for a very small fee which will make a very real difference in supporting the future campaign costs of Embargoed.
They have campaigns in the pipeline, which continue to challenge the status quo and lead a charge to hopefully end this unfair situation. Their 50th Anniversary of the Embargoes project will cost a minimum of £10,000 and without your support they will not be able to get it off the ground.
For other campaign projects see the following short film by clicking on the video screen below.
With thanks to Fevzi Galatyali Hussein fro his help and support in the publication of this article.