A so-called ‘northern Cyprus’ football team is set to play in the 2018 CONIFA World Cup (www.conifa.org), beginning in May.
Some of their matches are scheduled to be hosted at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane which is owned by Enfield Council. The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK have written a letter, attached, to Enfield Council to prevent Council-owned property from being used to promote an illegal occupation regime, encourage secessionist policies, and to insult Enfield’s significant Cypriot population – many of whom are refugees.
Stadiums owned by Southwark Council and Hounslow Council are also scheduled to host ‘northern Cyprus’ matches. The Federation have written letters to those councils too
See letter below
Mr Doug Taylor – Leader of Enfield Council
Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA
04 April 2018
Dear Mr Taylor,
The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK is the representative body and acknowledged voice of the Cypriot community in the UK. It is an umbrella organisation representing Cypriot community associations and groups across the UK and, as such, it leads and co-ordinates the activities of more than 300,000 Britons of Cypriot origin. The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK is working for a just and viable resolution of the Cyprus issue which will benefit all the legal citizens of Cyprus.
We were extremely disappointed to see that Enfield Council will allow the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium (a council-owned stadium) to host the football team self-described as “Northern Cyprus” as part of the CONIFA’s 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup to be held in London between 31 May and 9 June. The name of the team and their logo – which includes the flag of the unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – is deeply misleading as the team claims to represent an area of Cyprus that has been under illegal Turkish military occupation since 1974. As you know, Enfield is home to tens of thousands of refugees from Turkey’s illegal invasion and therefore allowing this team to play in the Borough, is deeply disrespectful, hurtful and insulting.
The illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus resulted in over 170000 thousands of refugees of whom many fled to the UK and over 1000 missing persons whose fates have yet to be determined. Since the invasion in 1974, Turkey has attempted to alter the demographics of the island of Cyprus through a policy of forced population settlement in the occupied area; at the same time, it has also pursued the destruction of the cultural heritage of the island through the desecration of churches and culturally significant places.
A series of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, as well as resolutions adopted by numerous other international organisations, reflect the universal condemnation of Turkey’s invasion and all subsequent acts of aggression against Cyprus. The resolutions demand, amongst other, the withdrawal of foreign troops, the return of refugees to their homes in safety and the ascertainment of the fate of the missing persons. Moreover, they call for the respect of the human rights of all Cypriots as well as for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus.
The Republic of Cyprus is the only legitimate and internationally recognised state on the island of Cyprus. United Nations Security Council resolution 541 declared the breakaway state of ‘Northern Cyprus’ to be “legally invalid” and resolution 550 strongly condemned secessionist activities in the occupied area of Cyprus. This is also the policy of the UK Government, which only recognises the Republic of Cyprus. The UK Government made its position very clear on the illegal Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1983 and at the time, the then Prime Minster, Mrs Thatcher, said the following to the President of Turkey:
“As a guarantor power under the treaty of guarantee the British government deplor [sic] 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.
“I should like to urge you, as President of one of the signatory states of the Treaty of Guarantee to do your utmost to secure the reversal of this action by the Turkish Cypriots and, meanwhile, not support the declaration which they have already made.”
Therefore, on behalf of the UK Cypriot community, I urge you both to intervene, as soon as possible, to prevent Enfield Council-owned property from being used to promote an illegal occupation regime and to insult Enfield’s significant Cypriot population.
I look forward to your response.
President, National Federation of Cypriots in the UK
cc. Ms Joanne Laban –Leader of the Opposition and the Conservative Group
Mr Ian Davies – Chief Executive of Enfield Council
High Commission for the Republic of Cyprus to the UK