Letter: Nadir and the north Cyprus anomaly

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Sir: John Torode ('How to get our hands on Mr Asil Nadir', 8 June) seems to be oblivious of the recent history of Cyprus, when he advises the British government to follow in the footsteps of the Greeks and impose an embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

He needs to be reminded that it was not the Turkish Cypriots who were shooting the British on the island a few decades ago, but the Greek Cypriot extremists. Nor did the Turkish Cypriots initiate the genocidal movement in Cyprus that had turned the island into a Bosnia- like inferno.

As for the presence of the Turkish army in north Cyprus, Mr Torode needs to consult the International Treaty of Guarantee, signed between Britain, Turkey and Greece in 1960, authorising the signatories, collectively or individually, to intervene in the event of external threat to the territorial integrity of Cyprus. That threat materialised in 1974 when Greece tried to annex Cyprus. Hence the Turkish army is there under international obligation, to keep peace and order, just as the UN and British forces are supposed to be in Cyprus for similar reasons. To call this an invasion or occupation is a distortion of facts.

The TRNC is a democratic state, with its own constitution, administration and independent judiciary. If only Turkey has recognised it, this is not the fault of the TRNC. It exists, and it has de facto links with many countries.

It is high time Britain recognised the TRNC, whose people kept their loyalty to the British Crown until relinquished in August 1960. This recognition will certainly solve many of the existing anomalies in the relationship between the UK and the TRNC.

Yours faithfully


Cyprus Turkish Association

London W1

8 June