Letter: Tourists in the usurped hotels of northern Cyprus

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was with disappointment and surprise that we read the article "Inaccessible due to the Turkish occupation: Well, up to a point" (25 May) by Simon Calder.

Since the illegal Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, 37 per cent of the island is under Turkish military occupation. As a result of the invasion, 82 per cent of the Cypriot population, particularly Greek Cypriots, were evicted from their homes and properties and made refugees in their own country.

The international community, and the United Nations Security Council in particular, has strongly condemned the secessionist entity which Turkey has set up there.

The majority of hotels operating in this area belong to Greek Cypriots who were forced to abandon their properties in 1974 and which have been usurped and are utilised without the consent of their legitimate owners.

Mr Calder mentions the non-recognition of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", as well as the fact that Ercan airport is an illegal point of entry into the island. Why encourage people to visit it then? Furthermore, in his piece below the Cyprus article where he refers to Burma, he makes the statement "how can we possibly justify running travel stories on other countries where human rights abuses have taken place: Guatemala, China and - on this very page - North Cyprus?" How indeed?


Cyprus High Commission Tourist Office

London W1