Cypriot expats in UK condemn media outlets for glorifying Northern Cyprus

Published:  10 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Cyprus, England
Protest letters have been sent to two major UK media outlets over an article recommending holidays in Cyprus’s Turkish-held north.

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is as popular with holidaymakers as it is with British retirees – or at least the southern part of the island is. Since 1974, the northern region has remained in Turkish hands, with the major city of Nicosia literally cut in half by the border between the two sectors. Cypriot expats living and working in the UK are, perhaps understandably, up in arms about two tourism advertorials in the Mail Online and the Sunday Telegraph promoting tourism in the north.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, an umbrella organisation representing expatriate groups and community associations, stated its displeasure that an ‘illegally occupied’ region of Cyprus was presented as the perfect holiday destination. The statement also held an appeal to Brits planning to holiday on Cyprus to choose destinations in the southern, Greek part of the island.

The federation is especially furious about the Sunday Telegraph’s description of the Turkish-held area as the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ in a reference to the beachside port resort of Kyrenia. The letter points out that, according to a United Nations Security Council resolution, the Turkish sector is run by an illegal regime and is itself legally invalid. A description of Cyprus as ‘divided into Turkish Cypriot and Greek zones’ also rattled nationalistic cages as regards Nicosia’s unique status as ‘the last divided city’ on the planet.
The town according to the letter, is not divided along ethnic lines and is only zoned as a result of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation.

The most controversial error made by the two publications seems to have been in reference to a description of the Karpas peninsula and the town of Rizokarpaso. Whilst referring to the area correctly as being spectacularly beautiful, the advertorials failed to make clear the town is a deliberately isolated enclave for former Greek Cypriot residents in the north which is forced to rely on food shipments from the United Nations to get by. Many Greek Cypriot expatriates now living and working in the UK were originally refugees from the north of the island, forced from their homes by the Turks.
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