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21 April, 2024
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British MPs push 'Free Occupied Cyprus' campaign

UN envoy dispatched as London-Ankara ties solidify

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

The intricate semiotics behind the synchronized messages conveyed by British MPs during their visit to the Occupied Territories, coinciding with a British tabloid's reference to Varosha in connection with King Charles, add layers to the evolving narrative as the United Kingdom and Turkey ink their inaugural memorandum of cooperation on a bilateral level.

Captured in a snapshot, British Conservative MP Giles Watling, representing Essex, shares the platform with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, sparking discourse among observers. This unfolds as a delegation of British MPs embarks on the "Freedom and Justice for Northern Cyprus" campaign, with notable members including Heather Wheeler, Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, Pauline Lathan, David Reed, Rikki Williams, and Çetin Ramadan, the latter being a co-founder of the platform and a respected advocate for the UK's Turkish Cypriot community.

Dispelling recent conjecture, well-informed sources rebuff a recent report by the British tabloid "Daily Express" linking land developments in Famagusta's enclosed city to King Charles of England. The narrative highlights Varosha's transformation into the "Las Vegas of the Mediterranean," spotlighting the surge in hotel and casino developments. Journalist David Maddox's strategic timing coincides with the British parliamentarians' visit to the Occupied Territories. Maddox, known for his coverage of the illegal Tumos airport and advocacy for the Turkish Cypriot community in the UK, finds his piece countered by sources within the British monarchy, denying any connection between Charles and Varosha, especially regarding hotel ownership.

The orchestrated communication strategy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, anchored on the longstanding Tatar narrative of sovereign equality and a two-state solution, unfolds with calculated precision. Political maneuvering through London seeks to leverage the resolute stance of select British MPs on the Cyprus problem and UN mobilization efforts, including the dispatch of the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Mr. Olgin, to address the deadlock. The broader landscape of the situation also hinges on the elevated trajectory of London-Ankara relations, formalized with the inaugural bilateral agreement.

At the diplomatic forefront, the UK's ambassador to Turkey, Jill Morris, formalizes a memorandum of understanding between the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Turkish state Tika, marking the genesis of a "formal partnership" between the UK and Turkey under chairman Serkan Kayalar's stewardship. The agreement, fostering intimate bilateral cooperation on international development aid matters, underscores Tika's pivotal role as a Turkish state-run Development Cooperation Organization, spearheading global development projects and shaping Turkey's foreign policy narrative, particularly on issues of political Islam, with a significant footprint in Africa, the Middle East, and Turkish-speaking states.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  UN  |  Turkish  |  Tatar  |  politics  |  diplomacy

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