While British Cypriots protested 31 years of the self-proclaimed, illegal regime in occupied Cyprus this weekend, Turkish boats continued a recently initiated illegal survey of Cyprus waters in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone, demonstrating yet again that Turkey has no commitment to the peace process in Cyprus.

Picketing the Turkish Embassy in London last night, a vocal demonstration, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, made itself heard despite the Embassy’s refusal to recognise the protest, formally accept the resolution put to it by Federation President Peter Droussiotis and members of the organisation’s Executive and Secretariat, or to engage in dialogue with British Cypriots.

The letter of resolution demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish occupying army and he Turkish colonists illegally transferred by Turkey to the north of Cyprus and called on the Turkish government to abide by the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the European Union and international law. This year, however, the letter also urged Turkey to immediately stop the unlawful marine surveys taking place in the island’s EEZ, which can only be regarded as a blatant contravention of the United Nations’ Convention of the Law of the Sea, and an act of provocation completely at odds with UN led efforts to reunite the island. The resolution also called upon Turkey finally to resolve the terrible human tragedy of the Cypriot people who went missing during its invasion of the island in 1974.   

Federation member associations, UK Cypriot youth organisations and Cypriot students in the UK showed their resolve against the illegal occupation and the self-proclaimed pseudo-state, which remains unrecognised by all countries in the world except Turkey.

Mr Droussiotis said:

“We know that Turkey sustains and controls this illegal and unrecognised puppet regime: for more than three decades, the so-called ‘TRNC’ has been a symbol of Turkey’s bullying behaviour, representing a huge threat to peace, security and stability on the island and in the region. As if we needed any reminder of Turkey’s arrogant and bellicose behaviour, we now have it in the way in which this country is once again flouting international convention and the rule of law by making incursions into Cyprus’s EEZ, where natural resources are to be mined by the Republic of Cyprus, for the benefit of all Cypriots.

“Turkey gains nothing from its obstinate, intransigent and provocative actions in relation to Cyprus. On the contrary, Turkey’s unacceptable behaviour along with a catalogue of human rights abuses within its own territory and a condescending attitude to virtually all of its neighbours mean that the country is currently isolated in the world, as illustrated by its failure to be elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The world must not tolerate Turkey’s injustices in Cyprus indefinitely.”