Heritage

The Queen’s representatives ordered to stay away from Cyprus police memorial

The Queen’s representatives ordered to

stay away from Cyprus police memorial

We would like to thank John Oakes and T-Vine for sharing this very important article with cyprusscene.com and our other news sharing partners and it just goes to show that forces are still at work trying to deny the truth of the past and wanting to preserve the status quo. Non-recognition of the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus!

British War Memorial Kyrenia 2010

In 2009, Greek Cypriot pressure for the British High Commissioner not to attend a wreath-laying service at the British War Memorial in Girne failed

NEWS/TRNC

By John Oakes

Representatives of the Queen have been ordered to stay away from the unveiling of a memorial to 19 British policemen gunned down in Cyprus during the troubles. The ban has angered serving officers, relatives and veterans.

The British High Commissioner for Cyprus, Mr. Ric Todd bluntly informed TRNC Royal British Legion officials that he will not be attending their November 8th ceremony. That remains the position, despite protests to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made this week by peers and MPs.

Even Sir Hugh Orde, former Chief Constable of Northern Ireland and now Patron of the Police Roll of Honour Trust, the charity sponsoring the memorial, has been told he may only attend on condition that he leaves his uniform and medals at home. No other uniforms are being allowed at the unveiling.

The snub follows pressure from the Greek Cypriot authorities who claim that the slightest sign of Royal involvement in the ceremony would be tantamount to acknowledging the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which they claim is “illegal”, and therefore cannot be allowed any form of diplomatic recognition.

To date, only Turkey recognises the TRNC. It was Turkey’s armed intervention in 1974 which created a safe haven for Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus after they had been subjected to ten years of genocide. The TRNC was eventually declared under President Rauf Denktaş in 1983 after nearly a decade of talks with Greek Cypriots had failed to unite the island. The Greek Cypriots continue to claim they are the sole authority on the island, even though this goes directly against the constitution and the international treaties governing the Republic of Cyprus.

British_police_killed_EOKA_OliversArmyChapt005Pic14

British acceptance of the Royal ban has caused outrage in police and military circles, who see it as cowardly and disrespectful to the men who laid down their lives for their country – and not just British lives. The Memorial also lists 25 Turkish Cypriots, 18 Greek Cypriots and 1 Maronite who were also shot by Greek Cypriot EOKA terrorists fighting for Enosis (union with  Greece) between 1955 and 1960.

When asked to comment on the issue, the Minister for Europe, The Rt Hon David Lidington MP said this week: “Anniversaries are a politically sensitive issue in Cyprus, and we consider British Government participation carefully.”

British Legion and Police Roll of Honour officials involved are being diplomatically tight-lipped about the whole affair, but other old Cyprus hands are seething.

Lord Maginnis 2

Lord Maginnis, photo from BBC

Lord Maginnis, a veteran of Ulster’s stormy politics and previously an Army Major who served in Northern Ireland for 12 years, told T-VINE this week:

“When, in 2009, I insisted that the British High Commissioner in Cyprus [Peter Millet] attend the unveiling of the British/Cyprus memorial to our 371 servicemen who died between 1956 and 1959, the Greek Cypriots boycotted his office until he was replaced. But that is no excuse for either this or the previous Government’s blatant cowardice and capitulation to the successors of EOKA and EOKA-B. It makes me angry and so ashamed.”


He continued, “The recently-released diaries of General  Grivas, the genocidal head of EOKA, put next week’s Royal ban in perspective: it comes as a direct result of the inter-community bloodshed he created. His evil deeds cast a long shadow.”

Our readers may also be surprised to read the following text which is a reply following a request for clarification of whether a UK Government representative would be attending the unveiling of the Cyprus Police memorial. It seems they feel more comfortable going to events and being supportive in the Republic of Cyprus or in the UK buffer Zone. I wonder why as surely as this is hardly an even-handed demonstration by a 1960 Cyprus Treaty Guarantor of being impartial.

To read the T-Vine article and other news, please click here

 

“from the Minister for Europe

 

Dear……

Thank you for your note on  British High  Commission  attendance  at  the  British  Cemetery in Kyrenia.

We  pay  tribute  to those  who have  lost their lives  during  the  Emergency Period.  The  British Government  will  continue to be represented  by  the  High  Commissioner   at  the  annual ceremony at  the  Commonwealth  War  Graves  Commission  Cemetery  at  Wayne’s  Keep  in  Nicosia, where  we  commemorate  all UK Service  personnel killed  in  Cyprus.

We do not have any plans  to attend  the  service at  Kyrenia in north  Cyprus. We  recognise  the  difficult  history of  the  Cyprus  Problem  which  continues  to have  an impact on the  island  today. Anniversaries are  a  particularly  sensitive  issue  in  Cyprus  and  we  consider  UK Government  participation  carefully.

Our  focus on  the  island is currently how to help the  Cypriots  achieve  a better  future  together, and we do this by supporting the  UN-led settlement negotiations to re-unify the  island.

Thank you  again for your interest in this  sensitive and important  matter. Please do pass  this letter  on to  Mr  Oakes by way of  further  explanation.

Yrs  etc

Rt  Hon  David  Lidington  MP”

8 replies »

  1. I am sure if the Queen was aware of what is happening she would be appalled. How dare these ignorant defenders of murderers try to stop this ceremony.

    I urge everyone to go along to the ceremony on 8th November to show support for the unveiling and to show disgust at those who stay away under “orders”.

    What time id the unveiling to take place please?

    • This is a typical attitude that we always hear about the Cyprus issues.It realy boils my blood to read such a thing that it was the Greek Cypriots who encarridged the EOKA to shoot or kill the British Police and the soldgers in our peacefull Island,and now it is them who dictate to British not to attend the unvailing in Girne.They like always will get away with it. This is like a murderer who killed the mans child ordering the father not to attend to her funneral or visit her grave. I sometimes wonder in which century we live in. just a litle thougt by a Cypriot who lived through the 74 war asking a litle peace in the island.

  2. I completely agree with David Waters. It is disgraceful. A world power bowing down to to a small minority.

  3. If you wish to continue the pressure created by this article, it really would help to write in protest to your MP at home. See you all there on the 8th………..John Oakes

  4. Sometimes it really makes me feel ashamed to be British. My ancestors fought in 2 world wars so that i and all future generations could live in world where discrimination and bullying would be put down, and then things like this happen.

  5. I served in Cyprus 1958/9 and finally returned there in 2012 for the Memorial service on Remembrance Day and I have been back again for 2013 and 2014 and during my stay in 2014 I attended the unveiling ceremony of the Memorial which took place on the Saturday evening in honour of the Police personnel who lost their lives there and everyone turned out again for the Remembrance Day service the next day which was all very moving. A local newspaper printed in English called Cyprus Today appeared a few days later with the headline Ashamed to be British and after reading it I felt very annoyed and on my return home I sent copies of articles from that paper along with a letter explaining my disgust to my local TV station, two local newspapers, two national newspapers, my local radio station and my MP. My MP sent me a letter to say it was nothing to do with him and passed it over to somebody else and one local newspaper phoned to tell me there was no story involved and that seems to be the attitude of everybody who should care.

    • Thank you for telling us this Derek. Like so many things involving Northern Cyprus it seems the world seems to want to turn its back on reality and the truth.