To the British Council in Cyprus,
It has come to our attention that the British Council is organising, again this year, an
event for prospective students as part of the Cyprus Education Fair, taking place in the
‘Merit hotel & Casino’, in the occupied part of Nicosia on the 12th and 13th
2012, dates which you do not clearly show on your main website. By choosing to host
this event in occupied Nicosia, you are directly recognizing, supporting and promoting an
illegal pseudo-state, which is the result of the brutal 1974 Turkish military invasion and thus you are in
direct conflict with many UN resolutions and International law. Your actions ignore the extensive and
on-going violations of human rights which occur from the day Turkey invaded Cyprus, a country which
is a full member of the European Union since 2004. The pseudo-state that you support, the so-called
“TRNC”, is recognised only by Turkey and represents nothing more but four decades of pain and
suffering of the 200,000 refugees, the families of the 1619 missing persons and the descendants of
the thousands of brutally murdered soldiers and civilians.
UN Resolution 550 (1984), “Reaffirms the call upon all States not to recognise the purported state of
the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” set up by secessionist acts and calls upon them not to
facilitate or in any way assist this the aforesaid secessionist entity.” The Council of Europe,
responding to Cyprus΄ Interstate Applications, has found Turkey, through the relevant reports of the
European Commission of Human Rights, responsible for serious violations of the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in the part of Cyprus
occupied by Turkey (Cyprus v. Turkey, Joint Apps. 6789/74 and 6950/75, 26 May 1975; Cyprus v.
Turkey, App. 8007/77, 10 July 1978). In addition, the European Court of Human Rights in its decision
regarding the Fourth Interstate Application by the Cyprus Government against Turkey, (Cyprus v.
Turkey, App.25781/94, Judgment of 10 May 2001), finds Turkey guilty of gross violations of human
rights in Cyprus and in continuing violation of a number of articles of the ECHR (Articles 3, 8, 9, 10, 13
of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the Convention). Furthermore, in the landmark case of
Titina Loizidou, a Greek-Cypriot refugee from Kyrenia, the European Court of Human Rights held that
the denial to the applicant of access to her home in the occupied by Turkey territories of Cyprus and
the loss of control of her property was imputable to Turkey and its subordinate local administration.
The Court ruled that Loizidou remains the legal owner of her property in Kyrenia, and that Turkey is in
violation of the European Convention not allowing her to access her property (Loizidou v. Turkey,
(Merits), Case no. 40/1993/435/514, Judgment of 18 December 1996).
Since you are organising the “Education UK Exhibition” in the free part of Nicosia on the 12th and 13th
of November, where Turkish Cypriots can also attend, the only thing you are achieving by creating a
separate event in the occupied areas, is to strengthen the segregation that exists between Greek and
Turkish Cypriots resulting from the 1974 invasion. What is even worse is that you maintain a different
office in the occupied part of Nicosia which clearly serves to indicate your acceptance of this on-going
illegal regime. It is important for us to clarify that our movement does not question the right of Turkish
Cypriots to education or entry to British Universities, provided that this is exercised through the one
and only legal and globally recognised state of the Republic of Cyprus. However, we do question your
decision to ignore the feelings of Greek Cypriot students studying in UK Universities and support the
state which deprived them of their homes, members of their families and 37% of their homeland.
Upon these facts, we urge you to reconsider your decision to host this event and we request some
explanations as to why the British Council has ignored all the aforementioned facts, international law,
as well as the decisions of successive UK governments not to recognise the so-called “TRNC” and
proceeded to create the specific event.
Thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.
Secretary of Expats and Foreign Relations “METOPO” CYPRIOT STUDENT MOVEMENT (U.K)