Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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To: Financial Times
18 March 2013
Cyprus is no stranger to betrayal and morally unconscionable acts

I agree wholeheartedly with your editorial comment that the “haircut” affecting the Cypriot deposits “unforgivably betrays those with the most to lose and the least to answer for.” Another of your articles today describes this as “morally unconscionable”. Cyprus is no stranger to betrayal, morally unconscionable acts and violations of human rights. It is an easy target as the first of the EU Member States to suffer the “haircuts”; no doubt there will be more of this to come in Europe and why not make Cyprus the example? 

After all, what is a “haircut” compared to the suffering Cyprus endured as a result of the illegal invasion and occupation by Turkey in 1974. Those deposits held by pensioners have been saved penny by penny by many who were made refugees in their own country in 1974 and were forced out of their homes in the north of the island with the clothes they were wearing. They were lucky to escape with their lives, others were not so fortunate.  Having escaped they then had to rebuild their lives from scratch, moving from refugee camps to work hard in the free south of the island. They had to earn enough money to feed their children, rent or buy and furnish another home and if they were lucky, to save some money for their old age.

They have never been able to return to their homes – they are still waiting for Turkey to remove its troops and allow them to return. To add insult to injury, they will now have their pensions slashed by a tax on hard earned deposits. Can you blame them if they shrug and say “we have seen worse, tell the EU we will accept their conditions and take a haircut but let the EU make Turkey’s accession conditional upon the return of our stolen land and homes.”