We are sharing for readers who are seeking the latest facts and information with the approval of the BRS, news recently provided by the British Residents’ Society to their members on 16th August 2022.
“LOBBYING – STRATEGY
As you will have seen the results of the survey, which we circulated on 11th August, are truly staggering. We could not have expected the number of members who responded (over one thousand) nor the overwhelming majority (96%) who are happy for the BRS to drive this.
The next stage of this depends on those of you who desire change, which will mean communicating your anger and displeasure to the UK Government. Those within the BRS who asked the membership to respond cannot undertake this task alone. We need those of you who support us to take the next step with us.
Those steps are
- To send a letter or email with a letter attached, to the Foreign Secretary in London, with copies to their own MP if they still have a UK address. A template letter will be produced in due course, for you to send outlining why this action needs to be taken.
- To sign a petition, which will be organised by the BRS, to be delivered to 10 Downing Street.
- This will coincide with press and TV coverage designed to raise awareness of the UK public to the plight of the Turkish Cypriots but also to the shabby treatment of UK citizens who reside in the TRNC for whom the UK Government has a duty of care and responsibility to deliver.
Over the years, the British community in the TRNC have often had good reason to complain. Residency delays and other administrative mistakes for instance. Title deed delays for another. No matter, with perseverance, we get there. Not every time, but mostly. Frustrating? Certainly. Deliberate? Not usually. Ask the average Turkish Cypriot. They queue forever as well. It is more simple errors rather than conspiracy.
Yet, what lies at the heart of TRNC frustrations? The answer is simple – internationally enforced isolation – for all of us, Turkish Cypriot, and the British community alike. Which of us has not justifiably bemoaned the absence of direct flights?. So what can we DO about it?
So, if you feel “isolated” (and you should) you know who to blame – the UK Government. It is time for British community in the TRNC to be seen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Turkish Cypriots and do something, be we swallows, regular visitors, property owners or residents!
This will need co-ordinating, and you, our members have provided the mandate for us to attempt to achieve change. The BRS Chairman, Julian Mawdesley asked whether I would be prepared to co-ordinate this, and I have agreed, so as not ‘tie up’ the BRS Committee and interfere with their day-to-day work.
But as I mentioned at the beginning, I need your support to achieve this.
- The facts need to be got across to the UK Foreign Office and the Secretary of State in particular, by sending a letter to the Foreign Secretary in London, with copies to your own MP if you still have a UK address. Later this week I will upload a suggested prepared letter on our website which, if you choose you can use to get the point across. The relevant addresses will also be provided.
- A petition to the UK Parliament, (not by House of Commons website, such petitions require 100,000 signatures to get them debated) calling for recognition of the undeniable fact there MUST be a settlement that is based on the sovereign equality and equal International status of the Turkish Cypriot people, with a covering letter setting out why UK should accept its past Cyprus mistakes.
- Any member who wishes to help will be able to attend any of our Clinics (details on the website https://brstrnc.com under ‘Meet Us’) to sign the petition document. We are also speaking to other organisations to allow us to capture as many UK passport holders as possible, whether British or Cypriots.
Once completed, we will forward the petition to the All-Party Friends of Northern Cyprus at Westminster, asking them to get one of their members to present it to Parliament, waving hard copy pages of signatures, preferably in the Commons.
We will also invite voluntary TRNC organisations, with expat members, such as the Anglo Turkish Association to circulate the petition as well. We will also include the London Turkish Cypriot organisations. The All-Party group will also be asked to arrange to present a copy direct to the Foreign Secretary.
The fact that this is happening will be notified to ALL TRNC and UK media outlets, both printed and broadcast, at the launch of the campaign AND on presentation of the petition. No opportunity to get the message across will be lost.
As Stephen Day is now living in the UK he has offered to provide all the help and advice he can, to facilitate this.
Nothing on this scale has ever been attempted. If ever there was a time for it to happen, it is now. President Tatar is leading his people (and indeed expatriates) into a new dawn. A long overdue dawn and a welcome one. It is in expatriates interests not only to support him in his drive, but also to be SEEN to do so.
We cannot change the past, but together, we can try to change the future. It’s time to undo the mistakes of the UK Government during the past 50 years.
Editor’s Note: BRS have an excellent members’ Facebook page which gives information and allows members to ask questions however Facebook is excellent for sharing of information but it is no more than a stream of information and BRS found many questions were being asked time and time again so the BRS team developed BRITBOT on their website where members could retrieve information published on many past subjects.
Readers wishing to learn more of the British Residents’ Society or registration as a member which can be started online please visit their website – https://brstrnc.com or https://brstrnc.com/regform.asp