Category Archives: Meetings

RIZOKARPASSO ASSOCIATION TRIP TO EASTBOURNE 2019

Eastbourne was the destination this year for the annual summer seaside trip for the members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain. The group gathered and boarded their coach near the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green. On arrival everyone enjoyed the traditional seaside lunch of Fish & Chips at Qualisea Restaurant.

After lunch they appreciated the nice weather and fresh sea air and spent the afternoon either relaxing or walking along the seafront. However, some took advantage of the shopping opportunities in Eastbourne, which has a large shopping area with many well known shops as well as a street market. Before boarding the coach for the return journey most indulged in ice cream and/or doughnuts, declaring that they would diet the following day.

The coach journey was made more enjoyable with Greek music and people singing Greek songs e.g. “To Yelekaki”, Yialo YIalo”, “Samiotissa” led by the melodious voices of Keti and Andreas.

 Anastasis, who at 97 is our oldest Association member, has a wealth of knowledge about our unforgettable Rizokarpasso and its families; he has always been a staunch supporter of the Association and never misses an outing or an event. 

Members took the opportunity to exchange family information, recount memories of Rizokarpasso, and express their desire to return to their homes and properties in Rizokarpasso. They remembered the sacrifice of the remaining 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso, whose numbers have declined over the years from over 3,000 Rizokarpassides prior to 1974. All said they wanted to send the NFC letter to their Members of Parliament  to seek their support for justice for Cyprus and to remind them of the 45 years of Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, the continued violation of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus and the latest announcement that Turkey is sending a second drilling ship, Yavuz, this time to a drilling site off the Karpas peninsula.  Many will attend the NFC annual Parliament event for Cyprus on Tuesday 17th July. The Association’s next opportunity for family and friends to meet will be at the Association’s Dinner and Dance at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood on Saturday 30th November.

Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain Annual General Meeting 12th May 2019

The 44th  Annual General Meeting of the Association of Rizokarpasso held at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, North Finchley, gave the opportunity for the members present to discuss the many challenges faced by Cyprus and the specific issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for over 44 years and denied basic human rights. The members reported incidents that they have been made aware of by their enclaved relatives and which will be followed up by the Committee. The members passed a Resolution to be modified as appropriate and sent to the UK Prime Minister, President of the USA, President of the European Commission, President of the European Council, President of the European Parliament, UN Secretary General, NATO Secretary General, Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, and UK Ambassadors for Russia, China, France and Germany. 

Maria Karaolis, the President, presented a report of the Association’s activities since the last Annual General Meeting.  Andreas Gavrielides, the Treasurer, presented the Financial Report and Tony Vouros the Auditors Report.  The meeting finished with all the members enjoying souvlakia, catching up on news and discussing their arrangements for the Association’s summer trip to Eastbourne on Sunday 23rd June and to the Annual Dinner & Dance of the Association on Saturday 30th November. 

The 10 Executive Committee members for the period 2019-2021 are shown below. The strength of the Association is evident by the fact that the committee includes British born Cypriots and members who were born in Rizokarpasso and still have enclaved relatives there. 

Maria Karaolis

Andreas Gavrielides

Yiannis Chronias

Demetris Nicola

Nicki Elia

Andriana Maria Demetriou

Andreas Joannou

Maria Panteli

Kate Christoforou

Andreas Strongolo

Dear Prime Minister

Today at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain we resolved to call upon you not to waver from the principles that UK Governments have set out regarding human rights and the upholding of international law.  Rizokarpasso had nearly 4,000 Greek Cypriots prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion, they have now been reduced to 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots, who on a daily basis are denied basic human rights, and the properties of the Rizokarpasso refugees have been occupied by settlers from Turkey.

The 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the continued occupation of Cyprus by over 40,000 Turkish troops and over 200,000 settlers from Turkey violates human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice and the very principles at the heart of democracy. Turkey is in flagrant violation of International Law and of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions including General Assembly Resolution 3212 (1974).  Furthermore, it is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies.

Turkey has proven time and again that it cannot refrain from interfering in Cyprus’ affairs. Turkey’s rhetoric is clear that it intends to continue to take unilateral actions and use its military power so that Turkey, itself, benefits from Cyprus’ natural resources. There have been countless occasions where the Turkish warship, ‘Barbaros’, has entered Cyprus’ territory without the consent of the Cypriot Government. In the last week, this has escalated as ‘Barbaros’ and the drilling ship, ‘Fatih’ (which translates to ‘Conqueror’ in English), have arrived in Cyprus’ EEZ with the intent to start drilling for natural resources.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has described Turkey’s recent illegal incursion as a “second invasion” and it comes nearly 45 years after Turkish troops landed in Cyprus in July 1974. Cypriot authorities have taken steps to issue an international arrest warrant for the crew of ‘Fatih’ and all those involved in the illegal drilling operation. They are also examining a series of other possible measures, within the context of EU and International law. Cypriot Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, has confirmed that Cyprus has submitted the coordinates delineating the boundaries of its EEZ and continental shelf to the United Nations. There has already been strong international condemnation expressed regarding Turkey’s latest actions. 

We ask that our UK Government takes sustained action to ensure Turkey removes its warships and drillship from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and respects the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and International Law.  The Republic of Cyprus must be allowed to exercise its sovereign and legal right to explore and exploit its natural resources, uninhibited. A sovereign right which must be respected according to international law. At a time when the coalition nations have been using UK bases in Cyprus for global security reasons it is important that powerful nations and international bodies act with integrity to stop Turkey from threatening and violating the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU state, a member of the UN and of the Commonwealth and is a democracy that provides stability, support and refuge in a volatile region. . The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a leading member of NATO and of the Commonwealth, a member of the Council of Europe, is still a member of the  European Union, and has sovereign bases on the island: no other state has such vested historic, cultural, strategic and national interests in Cyprus.

We believe that Turkey’s role as a NATO member should be reviewed and its progress towards EU membership should be frozen until it complies with international law and UN Resolutions. Turkey mistreats its minorities, violates freedom of speech, restricts the media and press. We believe that Turkey should comply with International Law and abide by the values upheld by the UN, NATO, and the Council of Europe of which Turkey is a Member State.  Furthermore, we believe a negotiated solution for Cyprus should encompass:

  1. The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.
  2. The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.
  3. The repatriation to Turkey of over 200,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.
  4. The return of all properties to their lawful owners.
  5. The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.
  6. The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.
  7. The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain Annual General Meeting 13th May 2018

The 43rd  Annual General Meeting of the Association of Rizokarpasso held in the hall of the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green, was well attended, and gave the opportunity for the members present to discuss the many challenges faced by Cyprus and the specific issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for over 43 years and denied basic human rights. Maria Karaolis, the President, presented a report of the Association’s activities since the last General Meeting.  Andreas Gavrielides, the Treasurer’s Report. Pavlos Pavlou presented the Auditors Report. The meeting finished with all the members enjoying souvlakia, catching up on news and discussing their arrangements for the Association’s summer trip to Brighton on Sunday 24th June and to the Annual Dinner & Dance of the Association on Saturday 24th November. The AGM was attended by the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis.

The members passed a Resolution to be modified as appropriate and sent to the UK Prime Minister, President of the USA, President of the European Commission, President of the European Council, President of the European Parliament, UN Secretary General, NATO Secretary General, Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations and the President of the Republic of Cyprus. The letter to the UK Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May:

Dear Prime Minister

Today at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain we resolved to call upon you not to waver from the principles that UK Governments have set out regarding human rights and the upholding of international law. The future of Cyprus is delicately balanced: we hope that future talks between the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades and the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mustafa Akinci, will be more successful than those of the past. However, the key to any solution lies in Ankara, which to date has not demonstrated a willingness to support a solution with deeds.   Recently Turkey has continued to ignore international law and once again violated the EEZ of Cyprus by sending Turkish warships that prevented the Italian exploration vessel from drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ. Such bullying gunboat diplomacy has no place in the 21st Century.

Rizokarpasso, in occupied northern Cyprus, had approximately 4,000 Greek Cypriot inhabitants 43 years ago when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Only 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots, of whom 45 are school children, remain in Rizokarpasso.   On a daily basis, the enclaved are denied human rights and basic freedoms. In October last year the illegal regime in occupied northern Cyprus stopped the UN humanitarian aid being taken to the enclaved by imposing duties on the aid.  Last week the illegal regime allowed the resumption of UN humanitarian aid. The desecration of the cemetery in Rizokarpasso and the looting and destruction of most of the churches is part of the cultural destruction of the occupied areas which is Turkey’s deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing so that all traces of Greek Cypriot presence in northern Cyprus is eradicated. Our members, were either born in Rizokarpasso or their parents or grandparents were and they look to their UK  Government to play a crucial role in supporting and influencing a just solution for all the legal citizens of Cyprus.

The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a leading member of NATO and of the Commonwealth, a member of the Council of Europe, is still a member of the  European Union, and has sovereign bases on the island: no other state has such vested historic, cultural, strategic and national interests in Cyprus.

At a time when the coalition nations are using UK bases in Cyprus for global security reasons it is important that powerful nations and international bodies act with integrity to stop Turkey from threatening and violating the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU state, a member of the UN and of the Commonwealth and is a democracy that provides stability, support and refuge in a volatile region.

We urge you to ensure that your administration remains committed to the UK’s obligations as set out in International Law and the Treaty of Guarantee. The UK’s continued, constructive contribution is key to progress, not least in the form of pressure upon Turkey to bring about a more positive and constructive engagement.  We trust that you took the opportunity during President Erdogan’s visit to stand firm on the UK’s commitment to the principles which should guide you and your

government’s actions in relation to Cyprus; human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law: values which, by its actions, Turkey does not uphold.  Furthermore, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies, over 200,000 Turkish nationals were transferred  from Turkey to settle in northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of Greek Cypriots.

The continued occupation of Cyprus by over 40,000 Turkish troops and over 200,000 settlers from Turkey violates human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice and the very principles at the heart of democracy. Turkey is in flagrant violation of International Law and of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions including General Assembly Resolution 3212 (1974).  We believe that Turkey’s role as a NATO member should be reviewed and its progress towards EU membership should be frozen until it complies with international law and UN Resolutions. Turkey mistreats its minorities, violates freedom of speech, restricts the media and press; it is not a democracy and should not be allowed to exploit the current migration crisis in Europe. We believe that Turkey should comply with International Law and abide by the values upheld by the UN, NATO, and the Council of Europe of which Turkey is a Members State.  Therefore, a negotiated solution for Cyprus should encompass:

  1. The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.
  2. The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.
  3. The repatriation to Turkey of over 200,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.
  4. The return of all properties to their lawful owners.
  5. The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.
  6. The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.
  7. The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain’s Annual General Meeting – 13th March 2016

img_3076-pres-vice-pres-treas-secre

The 42nd   Annual General Meeting (85th GM) of the Association of Rizokarpasso held in the hall of the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green, was well attended, and gave the opportunity for the members present to discuss the many challenges faced by Cyprus and the specific issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for 42 years and denied basic human rights.

Maria Karaolis, the President, presented a report of the Association’s activities since the last General Meeting. Andreas Gavrielides, the Treasurer, presented the Financial Report; and Pavlos Pavlou, presented the Auditors report.  The members present said they would be exercising their democratic right to vote on Thursday 23rd June Referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. The meeting finished with all the members enjoying souvlakia, catching up on news and discussing their arrangements for the Association’s summer trip to Southend on Sunday 3rd July and Dinner & Dance of the Association on Saturday 5th November.   All members present received a copy of the booklet by  Yianni Stavrinou Economide “History of Apostolos Andreas Monastery” written in Greek originally published in 1967 and recently reprinted.

There was unanimous approval for the adoption of the Resolution to be sent to the UK Prime Minister, President of the USA, President of the European Parliament, President of the European Council, President of the European Union, UN Secretary General, Members of the UN Security Council, Commonwealth Secretary General, NATO Secretary General.

RESOLUTION

Adopted by the members of The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain at the AGM Sunday 13th March 2016

Rizokarpasso, in the occupied part of northern Cyprus, had approximately 4,000 Greek Cypriot inhabitants 42 years ago when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Only 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots, of whom 39 are school children, remain in Rizokarpasso.  On a daily basis, the enclaved are denied human rights and basic freedoms. The desecration of the cemetery in Rizokarpasso and the looting and destruction of most of the churches is part of the cultural destruction of the occupied areas which is Turkey’s deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing so that all traces of Greek Cypriot presence in northern Cyprus is eradicated.

Turkey violates the Fourth Geneva Convention which forbids an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies.  Over 200,000 Turkish nationals were transferred from Turkey to settle in northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of Greek Cypriots.

At a time when the coalition nations are using UK bases in Cyprus for global security reasons it is important that powerful nations and international bodies act with integrity to stop Turkey from threatening and violating the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU state, a member of the UN and of the Commonwealth and is a democracy that provides stability, support and refuge in a volatile region.

The continued occupation of Cyprus by over 40,000 Turkish troops and over 200,000 settlers from Turkey violates human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice and the very principles at the heart of democracy. Turkey is in flagrant violation of international law and of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions including General Assembly Resolution 3212 (1974).  We believe that Turkey’s role as a NATO member should be reviewed and its progress towards EU membership should be frozen until it complies with international law and UN Resolutions. Turkey mistreats its minorities, violates freedom of speech, restricts the media and press; it is not a democracy and should not be allowed to exploit the current migration crisis in Europe to avoid complying with the standards that other NATO and EU nations uphold.

A negotiated solution for Cyprus should encompass:

  1. The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.
  2. The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.
  3. The repatriation to Turkey of over 200,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.
  4. The return of all properties to their lawful owners.
  5. The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.
  6. The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.
  7. The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

img_3069-elenis-table

 

img_3070-katinas-table

Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain Annual General Meeting 13th March 2016

20160313 AGM - Pres. vice Pres. Treas. SecreThe 42nd   Annual General Meeting (85th GM) of the Association of Rizokarpasso held in the hall of the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green, was well attended, and gave the opportunity for the members present to discuss the many challenges faced by Cyprus and the specific issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for 42 years and denied basic human rights.

Maria Karaolis, the President, presented a report of the Association’s activities since the last General Meeting. Andreas Gavrielides, the Treasurer, presented the Financial Report; and Pavlos Pavlou, the presented the Auditors report.  The members present said they would be exercising their democratic right to vote on Thursday 23rd June Referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. The meeting finished with all the members enjoying souvlakia, catching up on news and discussing their arrangements for the Association’s summer trip to Southend on Sunday 3rd July and Dinner & Dance of the Association on Saturday 5th November. All members present received a copy of the booklet by  Yianni Stavrinou Economide “History of Apostolos Andreas Monastery” written in Greek and originally published in 1967 and recently reprinted.

There was unanimous approval for the adoption of the Resolution to be sent to the UK Prime Minister, President of the USA, President of the European Parliament, President of the European Council, President of the European Union, UN Secretary General, Members of the UN Security Council, Commonwealth Secretary General, NATO Secretary General.

20160313 AGM - Eleni's Table

 RESOLUTION

 Adopted by the members of The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain at the AGM Sunday 13th March 2016

Rizokarpasso, in the occupied part of northern Cyprus, had approximately 4,000 Greek Cypriot inhabitants 42 years ago when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Only 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots, of whom 39 are school children, remain in Rizokarpasso.  On a daily basis, the enclaved are denied human rights and basic freedoms. The desecration of the cemetery in Rizokarpasso and the looting and destruction of most of the churches is part of the cultural destruction of the occupied areas which is Turkey’s deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing so that all traces of Greek Cypriot presence in northern Cyprus is eradicated.

Turkey violates the Fourth Geneva Convention which forbids an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies.  Over 200,000 Turkish national were transferred from Turkey to settle in northern Cyprus and take over the homes and properties of Greek Cypriots.

At a time when the coalition nations are using UK bases in Cyprus for global security reasons it is important that powerful nations and international bodies act with integrity to stop Turkey from threatening and violating the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU state, a member of the UN and of the Commonwealth and is a democracy that provides stability, support and refuge in a volatile region.

The continued occupation of Cyprus by over 40,000 Turkish troops and over 200,000 settlers from Turkey violates human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice and the very principles at the heart of democracy. Turkey is in flagrant violation of international law and of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions including General Assembly Resolution 3212 (1974).  We believe that Turkey’s role as a NATO member should be reviewed and its progress towards EU membership should be frozen until it complies with international law and UN Resolutions. Turkey mistreats its minorities, violates freedom of speech, restricts the media and press; it is not a democracy and should not be allowed to exploit the current migration crisis in Europe to avoid complying with the standards that other NATO and EU nations uphold.

A negotiated solution for Cyprus should encompass:

  1. a) The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.
  2. b) The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.
  3. c) The repatriation to Turkey of over 200,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.
  4. d) The return of all properties to their lawful owners.
  5. e) The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.
  6. f) The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.
  7. g) The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

 20160313 AGM - Katina's table