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Volunteers - We Need You 20 Jul 2023
Are you interested in meeting new people?
Do you have a few hours per week to commit to the BRS?
Are you competent in using a computer?
Are you reliable with a positive attitude?
If you answered YES! to these questions we would be very interested in hearing from YOU ……
We would especially like to hear from you if you have experience with events organising or public relations.
The British Residents Society are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to assist in promoting, advertising & supporting the BRS with our popular Membership Clinics (after initial training) in the Girne, Famagusta, Catalkoy, Iskele, Alsancak, Bogaz, Esentepe & Lapta regions, by providing holiday cover or additional support for those clinics around your local region.
To be a good listener, offering guidance, advice & guidance to our members.
Please contact us via our website contact page https://brstrnc.com/contact.asp for the attention of the chair (Julian Mawdesley) detailing contact information, experience & why you feel you could be the perfect fit for the BRS team.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Results of the BRS Lobbying Campaign Ranking Survey for Phase 2 19 Jul 2023
Below is a snapshot of the main findings of the ranking survey carried out as part of the Phase 2 lobbying campaign:
|Category||Ranking 1 (most important)|
|Duty of Care||19%|
|Category||Ranking 5 (least important)|
|Duty of Care||14%|
Other key findings:
- Duty of Care rankings were evenly spread for Ranking 1-4 but Ranking 5 was low at 14% indicating that not many people felt it was the least important
- Flights - 80% of all respondents put flights in Rank 1-3, signifying a clear and obvious issue that is important to those who took part
- Medical – This category had the highest 2nd ranking (28%) despite a significantly low 1st ranking
- Trade – 36% of respondents had trade in their top 3 rankings, indicating that the large majority felt it was the least important category
- Discrimination – the rankings were evenly spread over all 5 rankings
BRS Lobbying Campaign 9 Jul 2023
The BRS view
As you will be aware there have been a number of news articles and social media posts regarding the BHC meeting with the British in the TRNC on 27 June 2023. As the lobbying campaign arm of the BRS we felt it right that we put forward our position and thoughts on the matters at hand in the attached statement. We would like to reassure you all that we are working hard on bringing about change based on humanitarian grounds. As a thanks to your continuing support for us, we attach a small flavour of the appreciation we receive from our stakeholders in the UK.
Click here to see our official statement.
Urgent Blood Donation Required 16 Jun 2023
A menber urgently needs 3 units of A+ blood at Near East hospital in Lefkosa. Their blood bank is empty so this is not to replace blood already used.
Please note that A+ can receive donations from A+ A- O+ & O-. The TRNC should take donations from individuals up to the age of 67 for first time donors and 68 for regular donors
If you or any friends can help, please go to the hospital and say it is for Karen McAllister.
UK Government - Discrimination towards British Nationals and Turkish Cypriots 2 Jun 2023
We are excited to announce that the next stage of our lobbying campaign, Phase 2, is now live. This is open to all British Nationals wherever you live. Phase 2 has two parts, the first being a very short survey asking you to rank 5 statements in order of importance to you and the second part is for those who are registered to vote in the UK, which will send a new letter to your MP requesting them to ask questions in the House of Commons. It should take no more than 5 minutes of your time to complete both. It is not necessary to have sent the first letter in order to be able to send this new letter for Phase 2.
The results of the survey will be collated to form the basis for further communication between the BRS and senior ministers in government. Letters sent to MPs will again significantly raise the profile of the Cyprus issue in relation to British Nationals residing or visiting the TRNC.
We are hoping large numbers of British Nationals will take part because the more that do, the stronger our voice, so we also urge you to ask family, friends and any other contacts you may have to also take part.
IF WE DO NOTHING – NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!
To take part, go to the BRS homepage at brstrnc.com
Coronation 6 May 2023
Be part of the big event!!!
We have been contacted by a production company in London who have been commissioned by the BBC to make a documentary covering the King and Queen's Coronation. They are aware of our celebration at the Colony Hotel on 6th May and would like to use material from our event as part of this project.
Be quick to make sure that you are part of this historic event as there are limited spaces available.
The event is priced at £30 to include open buffet and commemorative mug. Tickets are available to purchase at the RBL stall Lambousa market, Saturday morning, BRS Clinic, Park Palace hotel Girne Saturday 10-12 and RBL representative at The Road House Alsencak, Tuesday 10-12.
For further information on where you can obtain a ticket contact Jean Bradley on Kyrenia.Chairman@RBLCommunity or 0542 884 8999
Coronation 6 May 2023
This historical event is open to members and non members with access via tickets purchased at selected locations.
Tickets are limited and available to purchase at the RBL stall Lambousa and the BRS clinic Park Palace Girne, both on a Saturday morning. Please check relevant sites for more information.
More ticket sale locations will be announced shortly.
UK Parliamentary visit 14 Feb 2023
BRS meet UK Parliamentarians in historic visit
The TRNC was recently visited by five UK Cross party politicians (CPP) on a fact-finding mission that was arranged and supported by the Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus campaign UK. (FFNC).
Tessa Vosper (Baroness Blackstone), Dennis David (Lord Rogan) Paul Bristow, Stephen Metcalfe, and Brendan Clarke-Smith were visiting during parliament recess to research how life is in North Cyprus.
During this historic visit, the group is meeting with the TRNC President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Secretary and asked to meet with representatives of the British Residents Society and confirmed that two of the visiting MPs had received BRS lobbying letters from their constituents.
A meeting was held at the Arkin Colony Hotel Girne, on Monday 13th February, between the CPP, FFNC, and BRS representatives, Julian Mawdesley (Chair), Peter Wilkins (President), Mike Diplock (Dep Chair) and Hakan Redif (Gov. liaison).
All parties were able to talk openly and frankly about day-to-day living in the TRNC as well as the impact of the embargoes and isolation on the community. The restriction on direct travel was discussed as to how it impacted the tourist industry as well as residents of all nationalities.
The BRS also raised the issue of health care, as well as the lack of Social care and end-of-life care for ex-pats.
The BRS highlighted the overwhelming feeling of lack of support from the UK Government and British High Commission for UK citizens living in the North.
There was also a discussion concerning the lack of respect for military veterans living in the North and in particular at the Remembrance Day service held annually in the TRNC which is overlooked by politicians, but dignitaries attend services in the Republic of Cyprus and lay wreaths to the Greeks who have fallen during the island's conflict.
It appeared that the CPP listened intently and seemed to understand the problems of ex-pats living in this area. Interestingly, it emerged that although the visit had been kept generally secret, it came out that one of the MP's was traveling to the TRNC. That MP has received a number of threats and intimidation from Greek nationals living within his constituency.
Although this trip will not change how the TRNC is viewed by the UK Government overnight, it must be seen as a positive building block for more cooperation and negotiations in the future.
The importance of the BRS letter-writing lobbying campaign cannot be underestimated and we continue to urge members and non-members to send the lobbying letters to their local MP and/or the UK's Foreign Office. It seems the word is getting around.
UPDATE - 23rd February 2023
Earthquake Update 9 Feb 2023
The TRNC is currently in an official mourning period due to the tragic events in Turkiye. As you may or may or not be aware, around 20 school children from the TRNC along with their teachers are trapped under the rubble of the hotel they were staying at. Unfortunately, it is anticipated that the sad news will continue to flow through over the coming hours and days.
Please be mindful as you go about your daily lives that emotions amongst the TRNC community may be very raw over the next few days and weeks and we thank you for your continued compassion.
DISASTER RELIEF FOR TURKEY 8 Feb 2023
This post is for those members currently in the TRNC.
We have been given the following information by the TRNC Government
An agreement has been reached between the TRNC Post Office and PTT in Turkey, to transport packages FREE OF CHARGE to the following address in Turkey, which will be a central distribution point.
Sosyal Yardımlaşma Vakfı
Packages will be accepted at the following Central Post Offices only, Famagusta, Girne, and the Kaymakli Branch in Lefkosa. Packages up to 20 kilos maximum weight may be submitted at these Post Offices during normal working hours between Monday to Friday.
The essential items needed urgently are as follows,
Electric Heaters – All Types
All kinds of Clothes for Adults and Children, including Underwear.
All kinds of Personal Hygiene Products
Infant Formula & Baby Food
Duvets, Pillows, Blankets, and Sleeping Bags
Tea, Coffee, Canned Food, Dry Food (Rice, Pasta, Beans etc)
Disposable Plates, Glasses, Cutlery – Knives, Forks, Spoons
Please may we ask all of our members to please send parcels, clearly very much is needed, very urgently.
Turkiye earthquake 6 Feb 2023
Following the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey in the early hours of this morning (Monday 6th) which caused many deaths, injuries and severe damage to buildings, we send our thoughts and condolences to the families, friends and communities of all those affected.
LOBBYING CAMPAIGN - GOES LIVE! 3 Dec 2022
Great news! The lobbying campaign is now LIVE!
This means that all our members can now go to the website https://brstrnc.com, choose the letter you would prefer to send and then complete the required details on the form and your letter will be sent to either
- Your MP, if you are currently registered to vote in the UK, and a copy will be sent to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, or
- To the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, if you are NOT currently registered to vote in the UK
Full instructions and information can be found on our website home page.
[Hard copies will be available in the New Year to avoid Christmas postage issues].
This campaign is open to ALL British citizens, not just our members, so please ask friends, family and contacts here and in the UK to join the campaign to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots and all other residents of the TRNC.
We are working in partnership with numerous UK based Turkish Cypriot groups as well as other groups and press outlets, both here in the TRNC and the UK to maximise the impact of this Campaign.
Make no mistake, a concerted campaign using large numbers of UK citizens can have an impact, so we are asking for your support.
This campaign is for all those who are passionate and wanting your voice to be heard in ending the systematic discrimination against all who reside or visit the TRNC.
Please join our Campaign.
END ISOLATION CAMPAIGN 23 Nov 2022
I recently circulated a news item regarding the lobbying of the UK Government in relation to ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, and given the response of the survey we subsequently carried out, we knew we had a mandate to proceed.
I would like to reiterate, that despite reservations expressed by some members, what we are trying to achieve is not in any way political. This campaign is purely for humanitarian reasons, we are not aligned to any TRNC governmental ideology nor are we advocating any particular future resolution, but we are seeking to 'End the Isolation' of the TRNC by hoping to persuade the UK government to listen to reason and act fairly. Ultimately this will benefit ALL inhabitants of the TRNC, and hopefully improve living standards for all.
We continue to meet with various stakeholder groups, both in the TRNC and from the UK. It is apparent that what we thought would be something we could complete within weeks is realistically going to be a long-term project.
It should also be mentioned that there will be costs to complete this project, but these costs will be met by private sponsors and not by using BRS funds OR from the TRNC government.
We have recognised that our primary goal is to make ALL UK citizens aware of what we are doing, not just our members, so we will be enlisting the help of newspapers, online magazines, social media and TV stations to announce the 'End the Isolation' campaign.
We will be announcing a launch date of the letter sending campaign and at the same time announcing the locations of pre-prepared letters which can be signed and sent to the Foreign Office and members/non-members MPs.
We have developed an automated email system, which negates the need to post letters to the UK, unless that is your preference.
If you go to the website homepage (https://brstrnc.com) you will see the information regarding the Lobbying Campaign. This has been designed to be available to non-members as well, as we want to ask as many people as possible to support our campaign.
The system can deal with the following categories:
- Members who have a UK address and are registered to vote
- Members who have a UK address but are not registered to vote
- Members who do not have a UK address or are not registered to vote
- Non members who have a UK address and are registered to vote
- Non members who have a UK address but are not registered to vote, and
- Non members who do not have a UK address.
There are two different versions of the letter, one diplomatic and one which is more heartfelt.
For those persons who are registered to vote, the system will allow you to enter your UK postcode and will automatically identify your MP and insert the MP's email address into an email containing the chosen version of the letter.
The email will also be ‘cc'd' to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
For those persons who are not registered to vote or do not have a UK address the system will automatically send your email containing your chosen letter to the FCDO.
If you do not have a UK address your passport number will confirm that you are a UK citizen.
For those persons who wish to send the letter with a hand-written header and signature, the two versions of the letter can be downloaded from the website and posted, dropped off or completed at a BRS clinic to be sent to the UK.
Initially we had spoken of a petition being available to be signed at various locations, but we felt that it would be better if this is done subsequently to ensure momentum of the campaign is preserved and keep the pressure on the UK Government.
I will provide further updates when necessary.
Lobbying of the UK Parliament to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots 6 Nov 2022
Our lobbying campaign is kicking off by sending letters to your constituent MP. The BRS has written two letters on your behalf for you to choose which one to send. One letter has a more diplomatic tone and the other a bit more heartfelt, but the purpose of both is to show your feelings towards the discrimination against Turkish Cypriots.
To see the 2 letters, please click here. They will open in a new tab.
To facilitate matters, the BRS has created a system where by inputting your personal information, a pre-populated letter can be automatically sent to your MP by email. Please note that this should be from only one person at a time, so as to maximise the impact of the campaign. You can also ask us to send the letters by visiting a clinic.
Please share this on social media, with your friends and family, both here in the TRNC and especially those in the UK. Please note the lobby campaign is open to all British Citizens - you do not have to be resident here or be a BRS member, and a solution would help those that just wish to visit this beautiful country.
To participate in the lobbying please click here
- Personal data input is required in order to complete your email. Personal data will not be used for any other purposes other than sending the letter to your MP and keeping you informed. If you are not a member, your data will be deleted at the end of the campaign.
- If you do not have a registered postcode in the UK or you are not on an electoral register (and therefore by implication, do not have an MP that represents you), you can still complete the form and your letter will be sent to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for their attention (who have the right and responsibility to represent you as a British passport holder). You must therefore enter your passport number.
- There are a few MPs in the UK parliament that do not have an email address or do not allow their email address to be published. If your MP is one of these, your letter will be automatically sent to the FCDO and you will also be shown a copy addressed to the MP that you can print out, sign and take to one of our clinics to be forwarded.
- When your email is sent, it is likely that you will receive an automated email response, probably saying something along the lines of ‘Thank you for your email, we are incredibly busy, we will endeavour to respond....'. MPs do have a duty of responsibility to respond.
- The BRS can monitor the number of letters sent and to which MPs but as this will be a personalised email from you, any responses will go to you and we will have no record of them. In order to make our lobbying campaign as effective as possible, we are asking you to forward the responses you receive to us for collation and analysis purposes (not the automated response email) by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News update 14 Sep 2022
Coverage of the State funeral
On Monday 19th September 2022, The Colony Hotel, Girne, in association with the Royal British Legion & British Residents Society will be showing the complete funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on a large screen in the hotel function room.
Doors to the Colony function room will open at 10.30am.
Entry will be free and open to everyone.
Refreshments can be purchased from the hotel during proceedings and waiters will be on hand in the room for any orders. These will be paid for at the time.
We ask that you dress respectfully and fitting of the occasion.
The room is situated on the 4th floor and for those with mobility issues there is a lift directly to this room which can be accessed via liaison with the hotel reception.
Click See More to see the full details.
Televised coverage at the Colony Hotel will commence just before 11am.
Times are per TRNC. (UK in brackets).
11am (9am): (TV) Big Ben will strike
12md (10am) Presentation of the RBL Kyrenia branch Standards followed by the National anthem.
There will then be a short address by Sir Michael Graydon.
12.30pm (10.30am): (TV) The Queen's coffin will be moved onto the state gun carriage which will be outside the north door of Westminster Hall. From there, it will be pulled by naval ratings using ropes instead of horses from the Hall to Westminster Abbey.
1pm (11am): (TV) The Queen's coffin is carried to the High Altar
1pm – 2pm (11am-12pm): (TV) The state funeral, Westminster Abbey.
The state funeral will be led by the Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
2pm (12pm): (TV) At the end of the service, the Last Post and Reveille will be played.
2pm-3pm (12pm-1pm): (TV) Queen's coffin is carried to Wellington Arch via The Mall
The Queen's coffin will then be placed back on the state gun carriage, before the royal funeral procession will solemnly move through Parliament Square, Whitehall, Constitution Hill and The Mall, past Buckingham Palace, to arrive at Wellington Arch at 3pm (1pm).
3pm-6pm (1pm-4pm): (TV) The coffin will be transported to Windsor, to her final resting place at St George's Chapel via the Long Walk.
6pm (4pm): This will conclude the televised coverage of the funeral at the Colony hotel.
News update 13 Sep 2022
As a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, the BRS clinics at Credit West Catalkoy and the Eagles Nest, Kukuk Eronkoy, Esentepe will be closed on Monday 19th September 2022 due to this being the date of her state funeral. Clinics will resume as normal from Tuesday 20th September.
LETTER FROM PRESIDENT TATAR TO KING CHARLES 10 Sep 2022
This is the letter which was sent to King Charles from President Tatar
It is with deep sadness and heartfelt sorrow that I have learned of the passing of your Mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
I respectfully extend to Your Majesty in your bereavement and to all members of the Royal Family our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot People.
Having lived and studied in the UK for many years, I have special love and affection for Her Majesty. She devoted her entire life courageously to the service of the British people and to helping and supporting charities and different communities. Her reign was indeed a source of inspiration and strength, and she will always be remembered for representing the very best of the United Kingdom.
May God grant you the strength to continue the good work of Her Majesty in continuing the steadfast role in reaching global peace and stability, through cooperation and equal respect of all Peoples in our world.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Your Majesty, the Royal family and the British people at this time of mourning. May Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in eternal peace and may God bless your reign.
Please accept, Your Majesty, the assurances of my highest consideration.
New BRS Membership Clinic for 2022 2 Jan 2022
Introducing the new BRS Membership Clinic location for the Iskele & Famagusta regions.
In Remembrance 11 Nov 2021
On Behalf of the British Residents Society.
The British Residents Society Needs You! 11 Nov 2021
The BRS wishes to expand the services that it would like to offer at it's various Membership Clinics, particularly in the Famagusta, Iskele & Bogaz areas.
Membership Clinics are held at various locations, usually for no more than two hours at a time, twice a month, mainly at branches of CreditWest Bank.
There is no minimum requirement to run a set number of membership clinics in any month.
If you would like to volunteer to assist with the smooth running of membership clinics, be trained on the BRS Membership database, to process membership renewals and new member applications, while the clinic is in operation acting as a conduit for individual membership enquiries.
For more information please contact Mike Diplock the Deputy Chairman.
Email Contact: email@example.com
Telephone: 0533 855 5381
INFORMATION SHARING REGULATIONS 13 Aug 2021
BRS INFORMATION SHARING RULES
As the way the British Residents' Society (referred to henceforth as the BRS) shares its information has changed radically over the past year, we find ourselves having to consider protecting our members from unauthorised copying of this information, for which they pay a membership subscription.
We are aware of members copying information from our Facebook Group page and the Members section of the website as well as BRS email communication then sharing this data with non-members to the purposeful detriment of those who have continued to subscribe to the BRS.
Any information which is published on the ‘MEMBERS' section of the BRS website or on the Facebook Group page, entitled British Residents' Society – Official or communicated by way of members email remains the intellectual property of the BRS and cannot be copied, shared or pasted on any other media to the benefit of non-members.
Members who undertake in any such activity will have their access to both the Facebook Group page (British Residents' Society – Official) and the BRS website (https:brstrnc.com) Members area withdrawn, and all email communications ceased.
Should a member wish to assist friends or family by sharing the above-mentioned communications please use the ‘Contact Us' tab on the website to ask permission from our webmaster, and give details of who and why.
We hope that you will understand our reasons for having to put these regulations into force, and they do not affect your support for the BRS.
The BRS Committee reserves the right to remove access from any or all of its communication channels at any time, for any member and their spouse and or partner, for any member who also holds a position (i.e. Committee Member, Administrator, Moderator, Group Expert) in any other organisations which could use information that the BRS makes available, to the benefit of that organisation, or that organisation's own members, particularly when the BRS does not have the ability to monitor the way that its information may be used, within that organisation.
EMAIL SECURITY - HOTMAIL especially and now FACEBOOK 8 Jul 2021
We have recently been made aware that a member of our Facebook Group might have had their Facebook account hacked. If you receive any Messengers that include a link to a bogus Facebook Login page, DO NOT enter any details and report it immediately to Facebook. If you cannot access your FB account, please use our secure contact page to let us know.
We are aware of a number of members using Microsoft email addresses, especially Hotmail, that have been hacked. If you are one of these, we will try to reach you by Whatsapp or phone. We may also suspend newsletters to you but the damage will already have been done.
We recommend that you should always change your passwords regularly, at least every 3 months, and always use a very secure one.
If you cannot access your email it is likely that the hacker has changed your password, so first please contact Microsoft directly to complain (good luck with that!), then create a new account elsewhere and then use our secure contact page to let us know your new address.
You will still be able to see the news by logging into our site, where you should also look at "My Details" and let us know of any changes needed.
If you have a Yahoo account, they recently changed their terms so if you do not login to your account for 6 months, it will be deactivated.
BRS RECEIVE COMMENDATION FROM PRESIDENT TATAR 18 Jun 2021
National Blood Donation Day 14 June
This week the British Residents Society were invited to the TRNC Presidency building on National Blood Donation Day to receive a certificate of appreciation from President Tatar for the work undertaken on organising blood donor days at the State Hospital.
The certificate was received by Julian Mawdesley, the BRS Health & Welfare Secretary. Mr Tatar thanked the British expats, not only for their blood donations but for their continued support of the TRNC and community spirit.
Julian said this award was received on behalf of the BRS donor team past and present who give their time freely to organise and help run the donor days.
After the ceremony a tour was arranged of one of the fully equipped mobile blood donation units by the North Cyprus Red Crescent Society.
Further photographs and information will appear on the BRS website Health page soon.
BRS OFFER THEIR CONDOLENCES 25 Apr 2021
It was with much sadness that we learnt yesterday of the passing of Rustem Tatar, the father of the President, Ersin Tatar.
We would like to take this opportunity to offer the heartfelt condolences from both the Committee and Members of the British Residents' Society to Mr Tatar and his family at this sad time.
New Covid-19 Vaccination Call Center Launched 29 Mar 2021
NEW COVID-19 VACCINATION CALL CENTER LAUNCHED
The new Covid-19 Vaccination Call Center has been launched today, for residents who have been unable to register for vaccination Appointments via the online application, that was launched recently.
The Telephone Number is 0546 990 1313.
This number has been confirmed by the Health Ministry as being the correct number to use, after initial confusion about what the correct number was.
This number will be available Monday through to Fridays, during normal government working hours.
The Call Center can handle 5 calls simultaneously with a further 10 calls queuing. Calls made in either English or Turkish languages can be handled.
MEETING WITH FOREIGN MINISTER 22 Mar 2021
BRITISH RESIDENTS SOCIETY MEETS WITH MR TAHSIN ERTUGRULOGLU - TRNC FOREIGN MINISTER
Peter Wilkins and Mike Diplock met with the TRNC Foreign Minister Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu recently and took the opportunity to welcome Mr Ertugruloglu back into the same Ministerial position that he had occupied previously.
A discussion then followed which consisted of the following items,
1. Difficulties being experienced by Property Owners and Residency Permit holders, who found themselves outside of the TRNC, without the appropriate documentation to return, yet had complied with all of the procedures necessary to ensure that they held the correct status to reside in the TRNC.
Minister Ertugruloglu agreed that this was an area that needed looking into, and would be looking into the feasibility, of having some sort of verification procedure, where a traveller’s eligibility to return to the TRNC could be checked electronically, rather than having to produce documentation.
2. Repeating a meet, the government ministries opportunity, similar to that held in 2018 at the Acapulco Hotel for BRS members to meet with ask questions and raise concerns with senior officials across a number of different Ministries, that have an impact on an Ex-Pats life in the TRNC.
Minister Ertugruloglu who had previously been instrumental in the setting up of the previous event, agreed that this should be looked at.
3. Allowing all Ex-Pats who are Property Owners, holding Residency Permits to have an entitlement to vote in local elections.
Minister Ertugruloglu felt very strongly that it was essential that ex-pats were given this entitlement and agreed that he would give this proposal his fullest support.
4. Minister Ertugruloglu brought to our attention information that had come into his possession, that outlines potential changes that are being implemented, specifically for holders of third part national passports, i.e., British Passport holders, when crossing into the TRNC from the Republic of Cyprus, when using either of the two border crossing points that are located within the British Sovereign Base areas.
While the changes that were highlighted are due for implementation on the 1st of April, this is currently negated by the inability to fly into the Republic of Cyprus, to return to the TRNC, until possibly the 1st of May at the earliest.
Following receipt of the details of the changes, we have immediately requested a meeting with the British High Commissioner and are expecting to meet with him w/c 22nd March, to discuss the situation with him further. We will report back on that meeting as soon as it has taken place.
BRS TALK WITH PRESIDENT 6 Feb 2021
President Ersin Tatar speaks to British Residents’ Society officials following the visit of British Secretary of State Dominic Raab
President Ersin Tatar stated that he values expats living in the TRNC because he appreciates their love and support in this country, and has emphasised that a fresh approach can be taken in relation to direct trade and travel between the TRNC and the UK, following the conclusion of the Brexit transition process on January 1, 2021.
The President made the remarks during a virtual meeting which was hosted by the Presidency on Friday evening, with British Residents’ Society (BRS) Chairman Peter Wilkins, Deputy Chairman Mike Diplock and Presidential Foreign Press officer Kerem Haser as the participants.
“I do not see our expat residents as being any different to the citizens of this country, because I know how passionately they love and support the TRNC,” President Tatar said.
The President said that during the discussions with Mr Raab, he had made specific references to the 10,000-plus expats living in the TRNC – although he said the number of British subjects was much higher - as well as the 300,000-plus Turkish Cypriots living in the UK, when explaining the inhumane isolation and its negative impacts on the country.
He said he wanted to exchange views with BRS officials following his “excellent meeting” with Mr Raab “which was held in a sincere and cordial atmosphere.”
President Tatar said that he had asked Mr Raab to look into the prospect of the UK forwarding Turkish Cypriots their share of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, so that it could be used for the benefit of expats living in the TRNC. He said Mr Raab had reciprocated by stating that he would give instructions to the relevant authorities to look into the matter.
The President added: “Turkish Cypriots are also endeavouring to acquire vaccines. Motherland Turkey has so far given the TRNC a total of 40,000 dosages of the vaccine, which means that a total of 20,000 people will be inoculated as there is a requirement for each person to have two shots. . .the EU has also sent us some vaccine dosages which are not enough as we actually need at least 500,000 dosages.”
Indicating that he appreciates the concerns of the BRS officials over the ‘lack of clarity’ relating to a vaccination programme, the President stated that this is due to the fact that “we still have not had enough vaccines dosages imported to the TRNC. We are doing everything we can to speed up the process and are exploring all avenues to get more vaccine dosages to the country, to benefit all residents.”
Cyprus Issue and the Turkish Cypriot stance
Stating that it was the first time Mr Raab has visited Cyprus, the President said that he visited both sides of the island, as a five-plus-UN informal meeting is being planned to be held in March that would be attended by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides and the three guarantor states – Turkey, Greece and the UK. Mr Tatar stated that he intends to put forward a new vision “for peace and stability for a sustainable settlement on the island that is based on sovereign equality and the existence of two States that coexist side-by-side which are in cooperation with each other”.
He said he had shown photographs of North Cyprus to Mr Raab showing the substantial investments and developments and asked: “How can all of this be undone? The TRNC is as sovereign as the State in the South, because we have all the attributes of a State, from having our elections and laws, to having our own territory, population and state organs.”
President Tatar said he explained to Mr Raab that countless negotiations to achieve a settlement based on a federal model failed time after time over half-a-century, “because of the hegemonic mentality of the Greek Cypriot side in not wanting to share power and the natural resources of the island with the Turkish Cypriots – who are in fact a sovereign people and co-owners with a right to self-determination” and reiterated that “we will insist on the survival of our State.”
Travel and trade with the UK post Brexit
President Tatar stated that they had also discussed the completion of Brexit during the meeting. “I stated my conviction that the UK can take a fresh approach to direct trade and direct flights with the TRNC because it is not bound by the rules of the EU,” he said.
The disembarkation issue for passengers travelling from Ercan airport to the UK during their touch down in Turkey was also discussed between the two officials which President Tatar said was a priority. President Tatar said that he had asked for the British official to look into how this could be reversed back to the old system where passengers could remain in the aircraft without having to undergo a re-screening procedure. Mr Tatar said he had advised Mr Raab that they have reports which showed that Ercan airport complied with international standards and is suitable like any other airport. He said Mr Raab promised to look into this issue.