By Chris Elliott..
Sitting at home in self Isolation in Northern Cyprus, I have been studying news reports about the Coronavirus situation and I was interested in a TV broadcast in which Dominic Raab the UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was talking about a £75m plan to get ‘tens of thousands’ of British tourists home.
Straight away I ask myself what about the expats in the TRNC wanting to get to the UK and those in the UK wanting to come back to their homes in the TRNC.
A big problem is flights and the TRNC have been doing a great job in Coronavirus control and a few days ago helped a group to cross the closed border into the south of Cyprus before these people were able to fly to Gatwick from Paphos on the last 2 Easyjet flights before the Easyjet fleet was grounded.
At the moment no flights are operating from south Cyprus and the only other route to the TRNC is via Turkey and the only people allowed to enter the TRNC are their citizens who have to go into 14 day Self Isolation.
So what about those British expats stranded in the UK and TRNC who are unable to reach their destinations due to lockdown or cancelled flights.
In another TV broadcast Emily Thornberry the UK Labour, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was passing comments about what Dominic Raab had been saying about repatriation plans and she said that perhaps the UK Royal Air Force could help with flights to get people moved from one location to another.
What a brilliant idea as the RAF have suitable aircraft including the Queen’s flight based with other aircraft at Northolt airfield near London and other suitable aircraft at other airfields that could fly direct from the UK to Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus to collect expats wanting to get back to the UK.
If the TRNC Council of Ministers would permit, these same aircraft could bring back to the TRNC expats who live here and on arrival they would need to go into self Isolation like returning TRNC citizens..
The only problem with this humanitarian action would be the unfair embargo placed on Northern Cyprus which is so long in the tooth and should now be done away with. After all said and done the UK is a party to the Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee and like Turkey did in 1974, it has every right to safeguard its citizens by mounting direct mercy flights into the TRNC and in other words enacting the right of Force Majeure.
That’s my thoughts on this issue and no doubt many people will find this idea to be a token of hope and it’s down to governments and people in power to make it happen.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
For those people who are wanting to return from the UK to the TRNC or go from the TRNC to the UK please go to Facebook page “TRNC Residents trying to get home” click here and register your details as directed .
If the opportunity to make a return journey arises, then your details are on file to pass to the relevant authorities.