Category Archives: News

Model of St Andrews Monastery by Christakis Christodoulou from Rizokarpasso donated via The Association of Rizokarpasso to the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood

Christakis Christodoulou born in Rizokarpasso on 15th February 1945 and died in London on 1st January 2010.

Christakis came to England in 1958 and lived with his aunt. In January 1966 he returned to Cyprus to do his 18 months military service.  Whilst in Cyprus he met Maria, from Larnaca, and they married in October 1966.  In February 1968 Christakis, with his wife Maria and their baby son Nicholas came back to England. They then had three more children Georgios, Vakkis and Anna. Christakis  and Maria have 11 grandchildren.

Christakis worked as a painter and decorator was very conscientious and meticulous in his work always striving to produce an excellent outcome. Christakis built the model of St Andrew’s Monastery in 1992 in the living room of his home.  It took him 6 months to make and he decided to do this because he was unemployed at the time; it was a source of comfort and inspiration for him and it was built with loving care and precision.  In 2019 the model was donated by Takis’ family via the Association of Rizokarpasso for display at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood in North Finchley for people to see, admire and remember  our Church and Monastery on the tip of Cyprus near Rizokarpasso which is currently under Turkish occupation.

Association of Rizokarpasso takes Resolution to 10 Downing Street

On the 47th Anniversary of the tragic invasion of Cyprus by Turkey the President of the Association of Rizokarpasso Mary Karaolis and Committee Members Andreas Gavrielides, Nicki Elia and Maria Demetriou delivered the following Resolution to the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street:


Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP                                                                                          
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister

This month marks the 47th anniversary of the second phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus which resulted in Turkey increasing its occupied area following the first phase of the Turkish invasion on 20th July 1974 from 3% of the Republic of Cyprus (a narrow corridor between Kyrenia and Nicosia) to 36% with Turkish forces occupying the northern part of Cyprus which included Rizokarpasso.  Rizokarpasso had nearly 4,000 Greek Cypriots prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion, they have now been reduced to 250 enclaved Greek Cypriots, who on a daily basis are denied basic human rights, and the properties of the Rizokarpasso refugees or those killed have been occupied by settlers from Turkey. The illegal occupying regime still dictates what books can be used by the enclaved children in Rizokarpasso schools and which teachers can be sent by the Republic of Cyprus Ministry of Education to teach in the Rizokarpasso schools. Church services are now allowed but permission has still to be applied for beforehand.  These atrocities have been highlighted in the media as well as the recent Foreign Office Independent Review on Persecution of Christians. It is 47 years since Turkey signed the Third Vienna Agreement, 2nd August 1975, but Turkey has not only failed to abide and respect the Agreement but still violates its provisions.

The 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the continued occupation of Cyprus by over 40,000 Turkish troops and over 200,000 illegal settlers from Turkey violates human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice and the very principles at the heart of democracy. Turkey’s continued occupation 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.

The steady influx of illegal Turkish settlers imported from Turkey is designed to demographically change the character of the island. The gradual transformation of occupied Cyprus is quite obvious: all Greek street-names and symbols of Christianity including Hellenic landmarks are being desecrated; erased or renamed and replaced by Turkish artefacts. The steady cultural and religious changes are in fact causing distress and dismay to secular Turkish Cypriots. In the last year alone, we have seen 10,000 Turkish Cypriots demonstrating on the streets and recently a number of Turkish Cypriot political leaders refused to attend events during President Erdogan’s visit to the occupied part. After 47 years, most Turkish Cypriots, now feel they are forced to accept Islamic religious practices and to follow Erdogan’s theocratic obsession. They are afraid their cultural Cypriot roots as a secular EU Cypriot community, will soon vanish overwhelmed by Islamic fundamentalism.

Turkey time and again has interfered 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.  The latest announcement by the illegal regime backed by Turkey is to open Varosha, contrary to UN Security Council Resolutions. President Tayyip Erdogan has personally announced that a permanent base for Turkish unmanned drones at Lefkonico airport will open and that a naval base will be established by the Turkish Armed Forces in Famagusta.

UK bases in Cyprus have been used for global security reasons, therefore, 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 and has sovereign bases on the island: no other state has such vested historic, cultural, strategic and national interests in Cyprus. The UK also has historic treaty obligations to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. I quote from PM Margaret Thatcher’s telegram 305 of 15.11.1983 to Turkey’s President Kenan Evren, in response to the illegal regime’s UDI: “AS A GUARANTOR POWER UNDER THE 1960 TREATY OF GUARANTEE THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT DEPLOR THIS ACTION ON THE PART OF THE TURKISH CYPRIOT AUTHORITIES. IT IS CLEARLY INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE 1960 TREATY OF GUARANTEE. IT CAN ONLY COMPLICATE THE ALREADY DIFFICULT TASK OF REACHING A SETTLEMENT IN CYPRUS ACCEPTABLE TO THE PEOPLE OF BOTH COMMUNITIES AND THE ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL TO ACHIEVE SUCH A RESULT …….  AS PRESIDENT OF ONE OF THE SIGNATORY STATES OF THE TREATY OF GUARANTEE TO DO YOUR UTMOST TO SECURE A REVERSAL OF THIS ACTION”.  Therefore, we were appalled that Britain tried to water down the UN Security Council response to Turkey’s latest disregard of UN resolutions and international law regarding Varosha, as well as the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate. The UK Government has frequently talked about being a “force for good”. This is a laudable ambition, but if it is to mean anything, it must be translated into clear action – there must be clear condemnation of Turkey’s actions and continued occupation of the northern part of Cyprus; the UK must be willing to consider and apply all measures and actions to Turkey if they do not reverse their illegal actions, e.g. sanctions on Turkey or Turkish Government Officials. To be a force for good, the UK must be willing to stand up for, and defend, UN Resolutions and International Law. 

We believe that Turkey’s role as a NATO member should be reviewed. 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:

a)      The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus.

b)      The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.

c)      The repatriation to Turkey of over 200,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus.

d)      The return of all properties to their lawful owners.

e)      The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.

f)       The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.

g)      The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

Thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis  OBE   BEd(Hons)  MA   NPQH   FCollT

President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

on behalf of the Executive Committee and Members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain

Song about Rizokarpasso

Listen to this moving song by proud Rizokarpassiti Photis Louis Nasaris. 

This emotive song brings to live his, and our, vivid memories of our village. Although Rizokarpasso continues to be under Turkish occupation, our desire to return remains just as strong

https://www.facebook.com/RizokarpassoUK/videos/1181558485678892

Here’s a bit of background from Photi

I am a proud RIZOKARPASSITIS

My work takes me to Manchester UK, where I have spent all my years after the village that I grew up in since I was 6 years old was not accessible anymore, for the known reasons.

My family (wife and daughter) takes me to Athens.  We moved to Athens in 2009 and I commute to Manchester on a very regular basis.

My father is Louis Nasaris (RIP) the son of Ttooularas and Marikkou of the Leko district. My Mother is Niki Nasari an adopted Karpasitissa from Limnia Ammochostou, now living in Nicosia.

Both my parents were enclaved in Rizokarpaso until 1983. My father was the owner of LOUIS RESTAURANT/CAFÉ, a modern place for its time. The restaurant was built after my father’s return for good to his beloved village in1961 from the UK where he spent more than 30 years.

I have very fond memories of that time in Rizokarpaso.  As I grow older and hopes for a decent Cyprus solution seem to be far away, I often think of my young days in our beloved village Rizokarpaso. I do realise how important for me it was to have lived there, the place that made me, in my opinion, the person that I am today.

It seems to me that although we cannot return to it at the moment as free people I do, however, carry with me the warm memories of that time.  Feeling grateful to have been part of that community and still are, all of us Lucky People.

The musician who produced and wrote the music for my song and who visited and knows the history of our village is Tzimis Vatikiotis

The song I wrote and sing

Expresses how I feel about our village, Rizokarpaso

Enjoy….dedicated to all of you

Photis Louis Nasaris

Annual Dinner and Dance 25th November 2017

We would like to invite all our members, friends and family to our Annual Dinner and Dance  at the Grand Palace in Wood Green on  Saturday 25th November 2017.

It will be another wonderful, fundraising evening with plenty of good food, great music, raffle prizes and some really amazing company!!!!!!!!!!

Tickets can be obtained by calling: 07830 518245 or emailing: rizokarpasso@gmail.com

Rizokarpasso Association goes to Clacton on Sea

Members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain enjoyed a day trip to Clacton on Sea on a day which had fantastic weather, not too hot but sufficiently sunny for some members to put on sun screen lotion.  The group gathered and boarded their coach near the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green.  On arrival everyone was enthusiastic over the sandy beach, the calm sea and the beautiful gardens along the seafront which had an abundant display of flowers and plants. Lunchtime saw all the group going to the New Majestic Restaurant, opposite the pier, where they enjoyed the traditional seaside lunch of Fish & Chips. The service for our large group of 50 was quick and the food was delicious.  It was a pleasant summer’s day and many took the opportunity to walk or just relax by the seafront, on the beach or in the gardens.  The coach journey was made more enjoyable with members reciting poems, mainly about Rizokarpasso, and singing well known Greek songs.  As always the traditional Shinnopittes prepared by 91 year old Katina, for the outing, were enthusiastically received by all as were the loukmades made by Evathia.  Anastasis, who at 95 is our oldest Association member has a wealth of knowledge about our unforgettable Rizokarpasso and its families.  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 also 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.

The Association’s next opportunity for family and friends to meet will be at the Association’s Dinner and Dance on Saturday 25th November.

DINNER & DANCE – November 2016

m-dancing

The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain on November 5th held its annual Dinner and Dance at the Penridge Banqueting Suite. All age groups were represented, proud of their roots and not prepared to forget that Rizokarpasso belongs to them.  The music had people from all age groups on the dance floor including the toddler Raffaello and Katina, who is 90, in what was a joyful community atmosphere where people ate a delicious meal, danced and enjoyed the company of friends and relatives.

Present amongst the guests were the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in the UK, Ioannis Koukoularides, The Rt. Revd. Bishop Athanasios of Tropaeou, the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis and former MEP, Marina Yannakoudakis.  Two members of the Association were honoured at the dinner and were presented with plaques.  Anastasis Georgiou, aged 94, the eldest member of the Association was acknowledged for his long period of support for the Association and Michael Lidas, aged 85, was acknowledged for his continuous and significant service on the Committee since the Association was formed in 1975 and as President of the Association in 1986. Both Michael and Anastasis have continuously supported the Cyprus cause and always attend the July Rally for Cyprus and November Picket outside the Turkish Embassy, their advancing years have not prevented them from participating or dampened their desire to see a free united Cyprus and the return of their properties in Rizokarpasso.

 Maria Karaolis, the President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in her speech once again referred to the plight of the enclaved friends, relatives and compatriots in Rizokarpasso, who have sacrificed the last 42 years guarding their rights to their properties, denied the basic human rights and freedom that all other European citizens enjoy.  She said “they have suffered violence and intimidation, which has seen the Greek Cypriot population of Rizokarpasso reduced from around 4,000 people in 1974 to just 228 of whom 41 are schoolchildren.  Each child will once again this year be receiving a €50 Christmas present from our Association.”

She continued: “Turkey is considered by our Government and other Western nations to be an important NATO ally that holds the key to a number of really important issues in the Middle East. In reality Turkey has used both the Daesh threat and the migration crisis facing the EU for its own ends and to further its expansionist agenda; Iraq had good cause to tell Turkey it didn’t want it involved in the current battle for Mosul. Turkey already has troops in both Iraq and Syria without permission of either Government!  Turkey wants to join the EU yet muzzles democracy, imprisons journalists and Government critics, fails to abide by Agreements, ignores the Geneva Convention, ignores UN Resolutions, mistreats its religious and ethnic minorities; including 25% of Turkey’s population who are Kurds.  Turkey does not share our Western interests or European values.  Turkey insists on keeping its anachronistic Guarantor Power for Cyprus.  The Republic of Cyprus is an independent country and a member of the UN, the EU, the Commonwealth and is a valued, stable, reliable, democratic, ally in a very volatile region; it doesn’t need Guarantors. Turkey says that it wants the negotiations to be successful yet in September it continued to violate the Republic of Cyprus airspace and made illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships. ”

She concluded “Let us hope that the latest round of talks, which will continue next week in Switzerland, will have positive results and that Turkey will allow the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Akinci to genuinely negotiate with President Anastasiades in a manner that can lead to a just and viable solution that will reunify the island, terminate Turkey’s illegal actions, which are a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and against international law, and allow all  Cypriots to live together in a peaceful and safe Republic of Cyprus.  The enclaved in Rizokarpasso deserve an agreement that has Rizokarpasso and the Karpasia Peninsular under Greek Cypriot administration.”

Maria Karaolis thanked all the past Presidents, past and present Officers and Committee Members of the Association for their dedication and hard work.  She also thanked all the members, friends and advertisers in the brochure, and those who have donated prizes for the raffle, who have supported and sustained the Association since its formation in 1975.

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

Summer outing to Southend on Sea – Sunday 3rd July

Summer Outing to Southend-on-Sea

Sunday 3rd  July 2016

We would like to invite all our members to our annual summer outing. This year we will be visiting  Southend, and as always the trip includes the opportunity to get together with our fellow Karpasites, a chance to visit this lovely seaside resort and finished over with the traditional fish and chip meal.

if you would like to book your place please call on 07830518245 or email: rizokarpasso@gmail.com.

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