UK Cypriots protest outside Turkish Embassy calling for a free and united Cyprus

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The National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom held its annual ’15 November’ demonstration with over 250 people, outside the Turkish Embassy in London to condemn the illegal ‘UDI’ by the secessionist regime in the occupied area of Cyprus and to call for a free and united Cyprus.

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“On this dark anniversary for Cyprus, we are sending a message to Turkey that their plans to permanently partition Cyprus and continued illegal occupation of Cyprus will never be accepted. We also reiterate our rejection of any statements, symbols or actions that seek to promote the division of Cyprus.” said Federation President Christos Karaolis.

Thirty eight years to the day since the ‘unilateral declaration of independence (UDI)’ by the non-recognised, secessionist regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, over 250 people protested outside the Turkish Embassy in London to voice their demands for a free, united Cyprus; the reversal of the illegal ‘UDI’; and the end of Turkey’s ongoing occupation of more than a third of Cyprus. The United Nations condemned the illegal ‘UDI’, declared it “legally invalid” and called for it to be “withdrawn” through UN Security Council resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984).

UK Cypriots and Cypriot students travelled from across London and from as far as Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Swansea, Reading, and Essex to take part in the protest. Representatives of the Armenian and Egyptian diasporas in the UK were also in attendance to show their solidarity with Cyprus against injustice by Turkey.

Resolution to the Ambassador of Turkey

On behalf of the community, the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis and the President of EFEK, Eleni Basta, delivered resolutions to the Ambassador of Turkey. They were accompanied by the Vice-President of the Federation & President of POMAK, Andreas Papaevripides; the President of NEPOMAK, Christos Tuton; Vice-President of the National Federation, Bambos Charalambous; Executive Secretary of the National Federation, Andreas Karaolis; NEPOMAK UK representatives Carolina Mantzalos (Vice President) and Adrian Patsalos (General Secretary); student representatives.

The Federation’s resolution states that, “Turkey must finally accept that Cyprus should be a normal, modern, truly independent and sovereign, European state and not a protectorate of Turkey. Peddling a ‘two state solution’ needs to cease and Turkey must accept that foreign guarantees and troops are an anachronism” The resolution goes on to say “we call upon you, as the Ambassador of Turkey to the United Kingdom, and a representative of your country’s Government abroad, to listen to the pleas of the Cypriot people, the international community and your host country, to allow for a reunified Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, where the human rights of all Cypriots will be safeguarded”

Letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The Federation also sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, on this dark anniversary. In the letter, Mr Karaolis recalled the UK’s longstanding position of non-recognition of the secessionist regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, in line with international law. The letter went on to say that Turkey’s illegal actions “must be condemned in the strongest terms by the UK Government… we urge you to play a proactive and constructive role on Cyprus to ensure that future generations of Cypriots grow up in a reunified country, safe from foreign occupation and division. Partition is unacceptable to the Cypriots, and, as repeatedly stated by successive Governments, to the United Kingdom. The only solution is a reunified Cyprus, as a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, that is based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and High-Level Agreements.”