University of York participation in the British Council’s University exhibition organised in the northern-side and illegally occupied part of the capi
It has come to our attention that the University of York, has participated in the British Council’s University exhibition in the so called pseudo state “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” which took place on the 6th November 2012. Hence, we would like to kindly ask you to consider the following information for the future. We are certain that you are aware of the fact that Turkey invaded Cyprus in July 1974 in violation of international law and the UN Charter, and continues to occupy 36.2% of the island. As a result, nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly expelled from their homes and properties. The occupied area was unilaterally and illegally declared an independent state, under the name “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in November 1983. This secessionist act was condemned by the UN in the Security Council resolution 541 (1983) and 550 (1984). In particular, in resolution 541 (1983) the Security Council considers the said declaration as “legally invalid” and calls upon all States “not to recognize any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus”, while resolution 550 (1984) condemns the declaration of a separate state in the “occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus” and calls upon all States “not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity”. As a consequence, no country other than Turkey has recognized the said illegal regime. Furthermore, it has to be stressed that certain important issues arise, both of a legal, but also of moral and ethical nature from visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus. The majority of the hotels situated in the occupied areas of Cyprus belong to the displaced Greek Cypriot people who were forced to leave their properties following the Turkish invasion of 1974 or have been built illegally on properties belonging to displaced Greek Cypriots, in violation of the latter’s property rights and without their consent. It is highly possible, therefore, that people reside in such hotels, committing trespassing violations and contributing to the violation of property rights (amongst others) of Greek Cypriot refugees. Greek Cypriot property owners may bring legal action before the competent Courts of the Republic against trespassers to their properties in the Turkish-occupied area, claiming damages and other legal remedies available to them under civil law. In fact, in September 2011, a British national, Mr. Gary Robb was sentenced to a ten month jail sentence for the appropriation of Greek Cypriot property in the occupied area of Cyprus. Additionally, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), having examined cases brought before it by the Republic of Cyprus and by individual Cypriots against Turkey, has found Turkey guilty of violations of the European Convention of Human Rights, on account of the complete denial of the Greek Cypriot legal owners’ right for access to and control, use and enjoyment of their property in the occupied areas. In addition, in case you are travelling to Cyprus through the illegal airport of “Ercan” you have to bear in mind that the Government of the Republic Cyprus, as the sole legitimate and internationally recognized authority on the island, has since 1974 declared the so called “Ercan” airport as an illegal point of entry into and as an exit from Cyprus. The so-called “Ercan” airport is not recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is the responsible international organization regulating civil aviation. In fact, any possible use by international traffic of the illegally operating “Ercan” airport violates international law, contravenes U.N. Security Council resolutions, the ICAO Convention, the EUROCONTROL Conventions and the EU acquis communautaire, while ignoring these instruments’ and their related bodies’ respective norms, standards, procedures and recommended practices. Therefore, travelers arriving in Cyprus through an illegal point of entry may be subject to the application of the relevant laws of the Republic of Cyprus. It is stressed that UK authorities do not recognize the illegal “Ercan” airport. In particular, a decision by the United Kingdom Court of Appeal (12 October 2010) has reaffirmed a decree issued by the UK Ministry of Transport which dismisses the application of the so-called “Turkish Cypriot airlines” to operate direct flights between UK airports and the illegal “Ercan” airport. The decision, in addition, affirmed the non-recognition of the so-called “TRNC” and actions emanating from such a non-recognized and illegal entity. Consequently, we would like to call the University of York to reconsider its position of participating to the British Council’s University Exhibition in future and comply with the relevant UN resolutions. We would like to thank you in advance for your consideration of this very important matter and count on your support and understanding in addressing the serious issues raised above on behalf of the Students at the University.