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ATCA Letter Given To Ban Ki Moon

ATCA TRNC Representative Mr Kerem Hasan provides UN General Secretary Mr Ban Ki Moon with a letter stating ATCA's stance about the Cyprus issue.

The letter reads as below -

Your Excellency,

As a Turkish Cypriot Human Rights organisation which has representatives and members in the United Kingdom; United States; Australia; Germany and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), we would like to welcome you to the island of Cyprus. We hope that your visit will be beneficial and inspiring to both President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Dimitris Christofias.

We have felt compelled to write to you to point out the unjust situation imposed on Northern Cyprus and the feelings of the Turkish Cypriot people. We are particularly concerned that following the Annan Plan referendum in 2004, no isolation has been removed and we, the people in Northern Cyprus, continue to live under isolation from the international community through no fault of our own.  Unfortunately, your visit has been shadowed by the disgraceful rulings made in the Apostolidis v Orams case, at both the European Court of Justice and the British Court of Appeals. The case not only has “imposed” the Greek Cypriot courts as belonging to the so called “legitimate” “Republic of Cyprus”, the ruling seeks to enforce judgements related to Northern Cyprus within the EU. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not, however, a member of the European Union. If the Orams case rulings are implemented, there will be massive consequences for the island of Cyprus and chaos. Such a ruling has in an instance,  made hundreds of thousands of people “trespassers” in North and South Cyprus, respectively.  The ruling is therefore manifestly absurd at law and unenforceable in Northern Cyprus. It also contravenes the whole UN Parameter of having a bizonal solution in Cyprus, based on the existence of two founding states of equal status.  The property issue can only, in our opinion, be resolved at political talks. However the Orams case ruling seriously undermines the Cyprus solution talks. The Greek Cypriot Courts of South Cyprus are, indeed, unconstitutional because of the absence of Turkish Cypriots in the judiciary as stipulated under the 1960 arrangements. Following the ruling, Greek Cypriot groups have now threatened Mr Christofias that “he does not have the right to negotiate on property issues...otherwise they will take legal action against him at the European Court of Human Rights”.

Your Excellency, the Turkish Cypriot people faced an attempt to be ethnically cleansed from the island between 1963-1974. 103 Turkish Cypriot villages were attacked or destroyed and Turkish Cypriots were forced to live in 3% of the island’s territory in those dark years. The Greek Cypriots attempted to instigate the “Akritas Plan” and the “Iphestos Plan” – both gave details of how the Turkish population would be cleansed from Cyprus. The plans bore the signatures of high level Greek Cypriot officials. As a last resort, Turkey intervened in 1974 and Cyprus was divided. Both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots have lived in peace ever since. In 1975, the exchange of population agreements was made between the sides. In 1977 and 1979, respective agreements were again made that a comprehensive solution would be “bizonal and bicommunal with the political equality of the sides”.

Your Excellency, as you are aware, the Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the Annan Plan by 65% which was rejected by the Greek Cypriots by 75% in 2004. The Greek Cypriot side was than made a European Union member as “the sole legitimate government of Cyprus”. However this is far from the truth. The Greek Cypriots do not have the right to represent the whole of Cyprus or the Turkish Cypriots, because we have our own elected representatives. Since that time, the Turkish Cypriots feel very much let down by the international community and the European Union, and we are able to continue our lives because of the firm support and backing of Turkey. The Greek Cypriots were very wrongly made a member of the European Union. Now the South is threatening the Turkish Cypriots that “any provision of the solution will be subject to change if it runs contrary to EU Primary Law”. This is indeed unacceptable and the Turkish Cypriots cannot be expected to support this sort of a solution, which would be written on “sand”.

Your excellency, we wanted to use your visit as an opportunity to not only thank you for sparing the time to visit Cyprus; we wanted to put forward our views as the very people who believe in your good offices mission. We understand that everyone is working hard for a solution, but we find it difficult to understand how and why we have been let down in such a way by the United Nations in its failure to carry out its promises and to get the isolations removed from Northern Cyprus?

We feel that there is a need for everyone involved in the talks to appreciate, not only in words, that there is an entity in Northern Cyprus, which is a sovereign State. As President Mehmet Ali Talat has said: “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is more legitimate than the Greek Cypriot controlled “Republic of Cyprus”.

The Turkish Cypriots see on a daily basis the extreme statements made by Greek Cypriot officials across the political spectrum and in particular the Greek Cypriot Leader Dimitris Christofias’s rather insulting remarks about our flag on the Five Finger Mountain, and his rejection that Turkish Cypriots exist on the island, who are political equals with the Greek Cypriots, and who are a constitutive in the establishment of a new Partnership State, and a people able to exercise their right to self determinate.

Your Excellency, the Turkish Cypriot people invoke Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty”

We also invoke Article 3:

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”

We ask that the Right to Life of every Turkish Cypriot be respected and that the UN takes concrete steps to fulfil its promises as placed in the Annan Report on the 26 April 2004, that “the Turkish Cypriots should not be penalised for the referendum result”. The Turkish Cypriots want to exist in Cyprus under the full, unhindered effective Guarantees of Turkey. We simply do not feel safe or secure in the absence of the Turkish army in Cyprus. We also ask that the UN takes steps to ease if not remove the international isolations on North Cyprus, and to state that if no solution can be found to the Cyprus issue this time round, it is through no fault of the Turkish Cypriots. The fact of the matter is that the Greek Cypriots have no motivation whatsoever for a solution in Cyprus.

We thank you for your visit to Cyprus, and hope that the UN will be able to carry out what it was set out to do:

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”-Preamble

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

We look forward to a reply via email, and hope that you can understand our concerns.

Yours sincerely

Kerem Hasan
ATCA-TRNC Representative


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