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 22nd January 2022.
BRS LOBBYING CAMPAIGN
Back in the summer of 2022, Stephen Day wrote an article in Cyprus Today titled ‘Rocking the F.O. Boat’ inviting the BRS to take forward a lobbying campaign targeted at the UK government to end the isolation of the TRNC.
As you may or may not have seen, Stephen Day’s article in the Cyprus Today newspaper dated 21/1/23 (see below) made reference to the British High Commission and the Commissioner’s vision (or lack of) on the Cyprus issue. The BRS lobby team would like to make our members aware that a letter was delivered to his Excellency Mr Irfan Saddiq OBE by hand by our Chairman Mr Julian Mawdesley at Shakespeare House, Nicosia on 11/11/22 inviting him to meet with us and to discuss ways in which we can work together on all matters relating to the lobbying initiative. We are yet to receive a response!
This is just one example of why we feel our initial letter writing campaign is so important to keep promoting and to keep encouraging people to send their letters as with large numbers we are able to put more pressure on appropriate authorities to listen to us.
A number of letters sent to conservative MPs are being forwarded to the Foreign Office for a reply and in particular to the current Minister for Europe, who in turn are providing responses.
Our message to those who are not listening is simple: ‘Issues do not disappear by burying your head in the sand!’
Cyprus Today 422 – Published originally by Cyprus Today 21 January 2023
Day by Day column: Stephen Day:
In 1965 The Four Tops released their hit single “The Same Old Song”. In 2023 it is still being played regularly. That’s fine, but the last thing the British High Commissioner should be doing is singing the same old Foreign Office (FCO) Cyprus song. That flopped decades ago, never remotely troubling the higher echelons of the diplomatic success charts. For nearly 50 years, various British High Commissioners have played the role of lead singer, repeating the same tired, repetitive and ultimately failed message, with not an original thought in sight.
Step forward the latest British High Commission incumbent, namely Mr Irfan Siddiq OBE. He has just given us his latest thoughts on the Cyprus issue (no yawning at the back, now). If you were looking for that illusive, original, FCO thought, forget it chum. Here we go again….
Mr. Siddiq says the “two states” option is a “none starter for any serious negotiations”. I see. So that’s it, is it? The FACT two states actually and effectively exist is therefore to be ignored, for the umpteenth time. Two states are the REALITY your Excellency. Ignore reality and you end up with unrealistic outcomes – like no result at all. Then the High Commission wonder why 50 years of unchanging UN goals results in 50 years of repetitive failure! It beggars belief! My reader can accuse who he wants of “intransigence” during the endless efforts to reunite the island, but isn’t there a great deal of “intransigence” on the part of the British FCO? Stuck in the rut of repeated failure, as they are, and blindly heading for another?
The High Commissioner says that “renewed effort on the settlement of the Cyprus issue is essential”. Yes, and it has been for half a century. Result? No settlement. Does Mr Siddiq accept that the Greek Cypriots (GC’s) have rejected UN sponsored efforts on a regular basis, especially when they voted NO to the UN’s Annan Plan and the Turkish Cypriots (TC’s) voted YES? Can he explain why the EU went on to reward the GC’s intransigence with membership of their Union and condemned the TC’s to continued isolation? Can he explain why the UK, as a Cyprus guarantor of the rights of BOTH Cyprus communities, did not use their then power of EU veto to block this injustice?
Can he explain why after the TC’s voted for the Annan Plan, promises to lift the embargoes if they did so, were quietly forgotten? Doesn’t he realise that this EU elevation of GC diplomatic legitimacy beyond anything the TC’s can hope for, finally ended all hope of Cyprus reunification? Despite all this, Mr Siddiq believes “a better relationship with the EU” is required. Pardon? To put it bluntly, the EU stuffed the TC’s and the GC’s couldn’t have a better relationship with Brussels, they are members of it!
His Excellency continues – “a new commitment to political equality” is required. Too right. Unfortunately the main source of “inequality” between the two peoples is the fact that UK, UN and EU all grant recognition to the GC’s regime and isolate the TC’s. “Equality” can be achieved by recognising both states or NOT recognising both.
It’s one or the other. Not adopting either option is the main cause of 50 years of UN talks failure. So, High Commissioner, how’s about the FCO making that “new commitment to political equality”? It could hardly produce more “failure” than we have now, could it?
His Excellency talks of the two sides in this “conflict”. What conflict? The last conflict on this island was caused entirely by the Greek military dictatorship in Athens and the Greek Cypriot EOKA B in 1974. They overthrew the 1960 power sharing constitution (and consequently the Republic of Cyprus) and the UK, as a supposed “guarantor” of that constitution, did absolutely nothing about it. Peace reigns in Cyprus, there is no “conflict”, thanks to the LEGAL intervention of the Turkish Army as a second guarantor power, which saved the TC’s from genocide and enforced Union with Greece. Does memory fail the collective FCO mind?
Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades has recently met King Charles III to “brief” him on the “latest developments in Cyprus” and (wait for it) “Turkey’s latest provocations in the eastern Med”. A very balanced approach, eh? When will President Tatar be meeting King Charles, even as the ELECTED leader of the Turkish Cypriot community? He won’t be, will he? Yet more absence of “equality”. How’s about rectifying that as well, High Commissioner?
His latest statement also notes “the more time passes without a [Cyprus] deal, the more difficult it becomes”. Well I never. It’s not even “difficult” High Commissioner. After 50 years of the “same old FCO song” it’s damned near impossible. How much longer must the TC’s spend in isolation? Another 50 years?
It is not just the Turkish Cypriots who suffer from diplomatic isolation, trade embargoes and no direct flights. It is thousands of British passport holding expatriates who live in TRNC, others who live in UK but have property here and hundreds of thousands of British Turkish Cypriots living in UK. Doesn’t the High Commission have some responsibility towards their interests?
The talks are over. They as dead as the proverbial Dodo! As deceased as Monty Python’s parrot. It is time for a change. A time to end one of the greatest crimes ever visited on a single people by the international community. A time for the UK to act like a guarantor of BOTH Cyprus communities and end the great injustice that Turkish Cypriots have laboured under for far too long. I pray for the day.
I have asked my Editor to forward this article to the High Commissioner as a matter of courtesy and a long overdue need for a FCO response to this never ending injustice.
Hope springs eternal, just like the “talks”, eh?
Source: Cyprus Today
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