By Chris Elliott….
Predictably the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office sat on its hands before rejecting the latest Petition requesting direct flights to the TRNC after 12,134 signatures. This is not the first rejection so why allow it to run as far as it did or why was it not allowed to run until the closure date before making a rejection statement as shown below.
The last petition to the UK government asking for direct flights to North Cyprus received 12,893 signatures and was rejected on 21st September 2020 by statement and formally closed on 21st January 2021.
For those that signed the petition and requested an update, they received an email saying:
“The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. Direct flights would breach obligations under international law”
“The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. In accordance with the rest of the international community with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ as an independent state. The United Kingdom recognises the Republic of Cyprus as the sovereign authority for the island of Cyprus. As a result, the UK Government cannot negotiate an Air Services Agreement with the administration in the north of Cyprus.
Remember at the time of the British Government of the day, which observed the ethnic cleansing attempt by Greek Cypriots of Turkish Cypriots in December 1963, and of the Greek Cypriot actions in early 1964 with the Cyprus Akritis plan that forced the Turkish Cypriots out of the Cyprus Government and its people into ghettos, making them stateless. Following this, the UK Government then recognised the so called Republic of Cyprus and this also created an unrecognised stateless group of Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus.
Having made this decision, the Cyprob was born and developed by the so called RoC, UK, UN and EU which continues to deny acceptance of Turkish Cypriots and their human rights and self determination to this very day.
The Republic of Cyprus has not designated any airport in the northern part of Cyprus with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); as such, no airports in that part of Cyprus are listed by ICAO as open for international traffic.
The UK High Court also ruled in 2009 (Kibris Türk Hava Yollari v Secretary of State for Transport) that allowing direct flights to Ercan airport in the north of Cyprus would breach our international legal obligations. This is because it would fail to respect the Republic of Cyprus’ rights under the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, including to choose which airports to designate as customs airports. This ruling was endorsed by the Court of Appeal in 2010.
In light of the above, it would be unlawful for the Government to authorise direct flights to the northern part of Cyprus.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office”
Now the UK Government statement has been proved to be wrong by so many facts and statements made in the public domain in recent months including in the lead up to the failed 5+UN informal meeting and for them to continue their support of embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots and the TRNC is shameful.
The key to getting more signatures on any future petitions can be found in the last UK GOV petition where there is a click link that shows a map which by MP constituency shows the number of signatures made click here. What we see of this last petition is that the area around London produced the largest number of signatures.
The UK is a huge area where many UK citizens can be lobbied to sign this petition in many more constituencies.
How can this be done, well perhaps the answer is through social media pages and for example if on Facebook you do a search for towns like Manchester, Sheffield etc etc. combined with for Sale or Buy and Sell many Facebook pages can be found where it may be possible to place the petition appeal along with news of a great holiday location and that could be a good buy!
There will be those who would say I am promoting spam postings but after 50 plus years perhaps now is the time to use all means to achieve justice and equality for the Turkish Cypriots.
Think outside the box and be creative to share this message and Who Dares Wins will ensure many more signatures from UK citizens on the next petition.