Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2006

07 July 2006
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 7 July 2006.
Welcome action by EU parliament on cultural heritage
THE European Parliament this week took a long-overdue step by denouncing Turkey's deliberate destruction of the Christian cultural heritage in the Turkish-occupied north of the island.

"THE European Parliament this week took a long-overdue step by denouncing Turkey's deliberate destruction of the Christian cultural heritage in the Turkish-occupied north of the island.

What is more important, the parliament also called on the EU Council and the EU Commission to take the necessary action to ensure that Turkey respects the relevant EU Treaty for the protection of Cultural Heritage and restores the more than 200 pillaged and desecrated Christian churches "to their original Greek Orthodox status."

This is a significant development since Turkey's failure to comply with its demands may result in blocking its accession negotiations with the EU.

The desecration and transformation of more than 200 churches into stables, night clubs, warehouses and garages, coupled to the equally-deliberate sacrilegious destruction of Christian cemeteries that followed the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot population of the north, have been overlooked for far too long by the rest of the world.

Cyprus is grateful to the European Parliamentarians for adopting such a resolution, and thus admitting, even at this late hour, that Turkey is guilty of a continuous criminal action and uncivilised behaviour that hardly makes it eligible as a prospective member of the EU.

Indeed, one would have expected that the EU governments, as well as the EU Commission and Council, would have made it clear to Turkey many years ago that it simply has no chance of being considered as a prospective member of the Union if it continued to operate in such an uncivilised and un-European manner in Cyprus by showing no respect whatsoever for the country's cultural and Christian heritage.

It is equally surprising in this respect that countries like the United States and Britain, which present themselves as staunch defenders of Cultural Heritage worldwide, not only completely ignore Turkey's guilt in connection with Cyprus, but lean over backwards to justify and legitimise its illegal, imposed division of the island as well as its deliberate policy to destroy every vestige of Greco-Christian heritage and culture in the occupied north of the island.

Mr Gambari, please note

IT IS indeed fortunate that the action of the EU parliament to condemn Turkey, and to demand that it respects the Greek Orthodox heritage of the occupied north, coincided with the visit to the island by Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

It is hoped he will take note of this development which tends to stress only too clearly the prevailing situation on the island, something that is regretfully blatantly ignored by the various well-wishers anxious to impose settlements like the Annan Plan, that only tend to legitimise Turkey's criminal actions"