Lobby in Girne and Vienna against Unjust Embargoes
The following is taken from Avrupa Gazete [original story is here]
Lobby in Girne and Vienna against unjust embargoes
Embargoed! delegates had a busy week of lobbying presenting at both the Second World Turkish Foundation Congress in Girne and the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Conference in Vienna.
The World Turkish Cypriot Foundation Congress spanned three days and brought Turkish Cypriots from around the world together to share ideas and experiences. The event built upon its previous success as it held sessions on various topics including an economic workshop and political strategic discussion.
Following the 2011 Embargoed! ‘Saints and Sinners’ Campaign, Fevzi Hussein was invited to present in the session on voting rights and rights of elections of Turkish Cypriots abroad. Mr Hussein considered the different arguments on granting Turkish Cypriots living abroad the right to vote and informed the group of the views that were collated in a survey conducted on the Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad forum. It was the first time that this information was collated from Turkish Cypriots living in the UK, Australia, America, Canada, Turkey and China.
Embargoed! Treasurer Fahri Zihni gave a presentation introducing the group to the other delegates and explained the importance of our community getting behind organised lobbying initiatives. Both the speeches of John Oakes, ex-Lib Dem councillor and Lord Maginnis highlighted the need for the TRNC to present its message to the world more actively and professionally.
The Congress is designed to invite Turkish Cypriots living abroad to share their experiences and ideas on how we can better promote North Cyprus. Some delegates commented that they felt the Turkish Cypriots authorities failed to engage fully in all of the sessions or to seek the views of the delegates present. Their lack of involvement was noted and many delegates were left asking the question of whether our views will actually be listened to by those with the political power to implement them.
In the same week Embargoed! was represented at the OSCE Conference Against Racism in Sport by former British Ambassador, Alp Mehmet, MVO. Mr Mehmet drew attention to the denial of opportunity to Turkish Cypriots to participate in sporting events such as the Olympic Games in London or to invite football and other sports teams to play in Cyprus other than on Greek Cypriot terms or as part of Turkey’s team. He further said that this was symptomatic of the wider embargoes and isolation imposed on Turkish Cypriots by the Greek Cypriot-run Republic of Cyprus government. “Turkish Cypriots’ said Mr Mehmet, ‘would love to take part in sporting events that could be a valuable means of promoting peace and equality. But sadly, Turkish Cypriots are repeatedly denied the opportunity to do so or to follow through with invitations”. Embargoed! again called for sporting bodies to adopt a determined attitude towards racism and intolerance in sport.
Embargoed Chairperson Emel Djevdet said “it’s been a gruelling few days for the Embargoed! team. Those involved in Vienna and Girne have all done us proud. We continue to draw attention to the unjust embargoes and increasing intolerance faced by Turkish Cypriots within the sporting arena.”
Released on 25/04/2012