WORLD

Campaigners urge UK to 'end Turkish Cypriot isolation'

CAMPAIGNERS URGE UK TO END TURKISH CYPRIOT ISOLATION

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged to "unconditionally end the continued isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people".

Turkish Cypriot campaigners in London wrote to the U.K. premier this week, hitting out against "untenable" sanctions against the Turkish population on the divided island.

The Justice for Turkish Cypriots Platform wrote that "the international community cannot expect the Turkish Cypriot people to negotiate whilst their human rights are ignored and embargoes continue to be sanctioned against them in all areas".

"This situation is untenable and is a violation of the international human rights of the Turkish Cypriot people," it added.

The appeal was delivered to government offices by spokesman Ersu Ekrem and the group's U.K. representative Chet Ramadan, arguing that the collapse of the Crans-Montana talks in Switzerland was "a direct result of the extreme demands made by the Greek Cypriot leadership to exclude Turkey's active and effective guarantee status.

"This platform does not and will not support any solution which waters down the guarantee of Turkey and the legal unilateral intervention rights of Turkey obtained in [the] 1960 agreement, vital for the safety and security of the Turkish Cypriot people."

Representatives from the EU, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaderships, and the guarantor nations of Turkey, Greece and the U.K., had taken part in the UN-backed talks which collapsed at the start of July.

The UN sought a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

However, speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ekrem said future negotiations should be held on the basis of two states in Cyprus.

The letter, which was forwarded to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, accused the Greek Cypriot side for the talks' failure, as their "demands to date for greater and greater concessions has resulted in the loss of our shared sovereignty, political equality, continued international isolation and the infringement of our human rights".

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

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