Introduction by Chris Elliott….
We were notified by John Aziz Kent of his comment to Lord Sharkey who made a statement regarding the UK Government Hansard Report of 19th May 2021 urging the UK Government to help the Turkish Cypriots who have lived with embargoes for 50 plus years. International politics are fast changing and perhaps the Cyprus problem could be solved by a two-state solution as US President Biden is now recommending and wanting to assist to resolve the Israel and Palestinian problem, where ethnic cleansing has been going on for many years, to secure national security.
John Aziz Kent Kent Facebook comment:
Honorary President of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Association
“Thank you Lord Sharkey; for bringing to the attention of the UK Government the TRUTH of how much suffering the Turkish Cypriots have had to suffer for more than half a century. This was very much needed before the next meeting of the 5+UN informal meeting. Hopefully your speech could help all sides to think again about the long suffering Turkish Cypriot people and look for a based on reality and TRUTH solution without the Greek Cypriots playing their famous Blame Games as they have done to nearly causing a war.
Distinguished Lords and UK Government politicians, the historical by whom, why, when and what for the Cyprus problem started when it could be easily solved. But all Cypriot Greeks and Turkish people and the whole world must be told the TRUTH by the Greek Christian Orthodox Church.
They know the TRUTH and I as an 87 years old Turkish Cypriot knowing most of it because I lived those horrible times. When I was living in Cyprus until the Greek Cypriot EOKA tried to kill me after killing my friend Police Sergeant Lisani Ahmet and thereafter when I was forced to escape to my beloved and adopted country Great Britain where they tried to kill me there too.
These are the TRUE stories please, believe me, I do not like telling lies or play the Greek Cypriot Blame Game which has deceived most of the world including their own people.”
Lord Sharkey’s Speech from Hansard
Volume 812: debated on Wednesday 19 May 2021 5.21pm
Lord Sharkey (*All Party Parliamentarian Group)
“My Lords, I declare an interest as vice-chair of the APPG* for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The island of Cyprus has been divided for over half a century. Almost since it became divided, there have been many attempts at reunification. The last full-dress attempt to find a solution and reunite the island, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, failed dramatically at the last moment in Crans-Montana in 2017.
Despite this setback, the UN Secretary-General felt able to say this at the time:
“I continue to hold out hope that a durable settlement to the Cyprus problem can be achieved … I have continually emphasized that natural resources in and around Cyprus constitute a strong incentive for a mutually acceptable and durable solution.”
Much has happened since then, none of it obviously helpful or encouraging. The eastern Mediterranean has become significantly more turbulent, more violent and less stable. Turkish foreign policy has become increasingly erratic, unpredictable and alienating to many of its allies and friends. The prospect of the successful exploitation of the oil and gas reserves around the island has receded. Turkey has taken an increasingly tough and even threatening posture over exploration and extraction. The Greek Cypriots resolutely ignore or reject asset-sharing proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriots. Of course, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has a new president in Ersin Tatar. Mr Tatar was elected on an explicit platform of partition and an explicit rejection of the long-standing basis of all previous attempts at settlement: a bizonal, bicommunal federation. It is not at all surprising that this view should now emerge as a political force in Northern Cyprus.
It is often said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen is a definition of madness. Turkish Cypriots have been doing the same thing over and over again for half a century, and nothing different has happened. Mr Tatar and the people of Northern Cyprus think that this is an obviously unproductive approach and formally proposed partition at the UN-sponsored meeting in Geneva three weeks ago. This was rejected by the Greek Cypriots, perhaps unsurprisingly. Despite all this, the UN Secretary-General said after the Geneva meeting:
“I do not give up. My agenda is very simple. My agenda is strictly to fight for the security and well-being of the Cypriots, of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.”
As things stand, Turkish Cypriots emphatically do not live in prosperity and the two communities do not live together in any meaningful way. However, more UN-sponsored talks have been proposed. It is admirable that the UN has not given up; I know that Her Majesty’s Government have not given up either and remain deeply concerned.
I believe that both the United Nations and this Government are driven by the ever more urgent need for regional stability, as well as by an ever more urgent need for justice for Turkish Cypriots, who, through no fault of their own, have effectively been shut off from the world for more than half a century. They live under severe and damaging embargos. Their economy lags behind in the absence of investment and development capital. Infrastructure is not renewed. Dependence on the Turkish lira worsens their economic position even further. They also now live with the prospect of the extinction of their distinctive Turkish Cypriot culture under the pressure of Turkish immigration, funding and influence. I ask the Government to continue to make every effort to keep the talks alive and, in particular, to impress on all sides the need for significant compromise.
In the meantime, can the Government consider removing the requirement that all passengers travelling from London to Ercan in Northern Cyprus deplane with all their baggage to undergo security checks in Turkey? We imposed that restriction, and we could lift it ourselves without reference to anyone else. I know from conversations with President Tatar that his Administration would comply with any conditions Her Majesty’s Government might have. This would not solve the problem, of course, but it would bring some economic relief to the north and demonstrate our willingness to provide practical help. I commend it to the Minister.”