The leader of the occupied by Turkey Northern part of Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, the so-called “president of the pseudo-state” of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”—recognised internationally only by Turkey—is reportedly arriving in Australia with Melbourne listed as his first stop.

In response, the Coordinating Committee for the Cyprus Struggle (SEKA) Victoria has sent a letter to State Premier Jacinta Allan, copied to Deputy Premier Ben Carroll and Greek-Australian “super minister” Steve Dimopoulos.

The letter, signed by SEKA Victoria President Pavlos Andronikos, states:

Dear Premier Allan,

It has been brought to our attention that Ersin Tatar, the so-called “President” of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” will be arriving in Australia on the 22nd of May. His first stop is Melbourne. The TRNC is not recognised by any country except Turkey.

We understand that the Australian government has assured the Republic of Cyprus that it will not give Tatar’s visit any legitimacy or substance, and that it has informed local governments and State Parliaments of Australia’s official position (non-recognition of the “TRNC”).

We congratulate the Prime Minister and his Government for expressing clearly and unequivocally Australia’s position.

It would also be totally inappropriate for any Victorian Minister or Government official to meet with Mr Tatar.

You will appreciate that Greek and Cypriot Australians are distressed by Mr Tatar’s visit. Many Cypriot Australians are refugees from the north of Cyprus where they lost homes, land, and all their belongings to the invading Turks. Some among them also lost loved ones, many of whom have been classified as missing since 1974.

We believe that the purpose of Mr Tatar’s visit is to push for recognition of the illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. I must explain how this entity was created nearly 50 years ago.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and divided the island by force. The invasion was a vicious military operation which targeted civilians as well as soldiers.

Numerous war crimes were committed by the Turkish army that have been internationally recognized as such. This included unlawful killings of captured soldiers and civilians as well as rapes of women. When it was over, 1,619 Greeks were unaccounted for: soldiers, civilians, children, women.

37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus fell to the Turkish military, and nearly one third of the population, some 164,000 Greek Cypriots, were forcibly uprooted from their homes and villages in an ethnic cleansing operation. In fact, more Greek Cypriots became refugees, than the total number of Turkish Cypriots on the island.

Five decades later, the Turkish Army is still there propping up the puppet government, despite UN resolutions calling for Turkey’s withdrawal. Turkey has also engaged in a huge and unlawful programme of colonisation and Turkification of the occupied territory. There are now more than 200,000 illegal Turkish settlers in Cyprus, in flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention.

It is this illegally captured and occupied territory which has been named the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, and which Ersin Tatar “governs” as “President”. No country other than Turkey recognises this “republic” as legitimate.

A statement from yourself making clear that your government will not engage with Mr Tatar and supporting the Federal Government’s position we believe is necessary, and would be much appreciated.

Yours Sincerely

Pavlos Andronikos,

President, ΣEKA Victoria

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