To Gordon Brown Prime Minister
8 June 2009
The Right Hon Gordon Brown MP,
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
Dear Prime Minister,
We are presenting to you the enclosed petition, a copy of which is also sent to the European Parliament, in protest at the continued occupation of the northern 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and our town of Ayios Amvrosios. As refugees and as British citizens originisation from of Ayios Amvrosios, we are particularly unhappy and distressed at the massive exploitation of our land and homes in the occupied areas, as highlighted recently in the British press as a result of the Apostolides vs Orams case.
On 28 April 2009, The European Court of Justice upheld the rights of Mr Apostolides, the legitimate owner of the property, purchased illegally by the Orams. The Court states that the land is situated in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and, therefore, the Cypriot court had jurisdiction to decide the case. With this judgement the ECJ not only safeguarded the property rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees, but also confirmed beyond doubt the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and reaffirmed once more the competence of the Republic’s authorities on the whole territory of Cyprus.
The decision is consistent with other precedents in the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, which has constantly ruled that the land and property in the occupied north still belongs to the Greek Cypriot refugees who were forced to flee following the 1974 invasion by Turkey.
We therefore respectfully ask the British government to:-
– Take all necessary steps to stop the illegal exploitation of our land and homes,
– Ensure that accurate information is provided to the British public explaining the illegality and potential consequences of purchasing holiday villas and apartments build on land belonging to refugees, such as many of the members of Ayios Amvrosios Association,
– Amend the content of the website of the Foreign Office so that it reflects the judgements of the European Court of Human rights and Justice, such as in the Loizidou and Mr Apostolides cases and provide appropriate advice to potential property developers and buyers, to avoid further exploitation of properties belonging to the refugees.
We support the efforts of the president of the Republic of Cyprus and of Mr Talat to find a settlement for all Cypriots. However, this is impossible, because Mr Talat is totally controlled by Turkey, has limited authority and no freedom to negotiate on behalf of the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, without interference and intimidation. For this reason, we urge the British government not to ‘hide’ behind the notion ‘settlement for Cypriots by Cypriots’ as this is likely to lead to a dead end again, since Turkey is allowed to control the occupied area. Britain should honour its legal and moral obligations, as well as providing support to a fellow EU country, the Republic of Cyprus.
We would be grateful if our concerns and demands stated within the petition, are taken into consideration when dealing with the Cyprus issue, that the British government finally takes an active role in the implementation of the numerous UN and Security Council Resolutions and the decisions of the European Courts, in order to bring about the end of the division of Cyprus and the return of all refugees to their homes, without restrictions and discrimination.
Note: Ayios Amvrosios Association is a UK based refugee organisation, whose members are predominantly refugees or their descendants, originating from the town of Ayios Amvrosios, 20 km east of Kyrenia. The pre – invasion population of the town was around 2,000, all of whom have been forcibly removed by the Turkish military and replaced by colonists from Turkey and the Balkans.