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BTCA calls for David Burrowes MP to resign as APPG Chairperson for Cyprus

BTCA calls for David Burrowes MP to resign as APPG Chairperson for CyprusJoint British Turkish Cypriot NGO Action Group calls for David Burrowes MP to resign as APPG Chairperson for Cyprus

The British Turkish Cypriot Association (BTCA) in conjunction with over 55 British Turkish and British Turkish Cypriot non-government & civil society organizations have collectively undersigned this statement as listed in Addendum A.  They are requesting the resignation of David Burrowes as the Chairperson of The British All Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus (“APPG”).

To all members of the Cyprus All Party Parliamentary Group

House for Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Dear APPG Member,

RE: DAVID BURROWES

Over 55 British Turkish and British Turkish Cypriot non-government & civil society organizations have collectively undersigned this statement as listed in Addendum A.  We are requesting the resignation of David Burrowes as the Chairperson of The British All Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus (“APPG”).

Turkish Cypriots living in the UK have lost confidence in David Burrowes as an impartial guardian for the APPG.  We feel that his representation of Cypriot affairs in particular to the House of Commons is far from balanced and contrary to HMG policy.  He has consistently ignored the views of the overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriots living in the UK.

As Chairperson of the APPG, and in accordance with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association principles, his actions should be impartial.  It is incumbent upon him to represent the views of ALL Cypriots.  Openly and without any reasonable justification dismissing British Turkish Cypriot NGO groups simply as “extremists” is incorrect and inappropriate behaviour on the part of Mr Burrowes.  Moreover, his selective refusal to communicate with British Turkish Cypriot NGO groups shows an absolute bias and a closed mindset.

He has failed to exemplify any genuine intentions of using his position to re-connect the two communities and allowing a fair and equitable solution because his door is not open to ALL the Cypriot people and the APPG is not an impartial interlocutor as it is claimed.  David Burrowes has consistently expressed a one-sided attitude in relation to handling British Turkish Cypriot concerns.

By far the worse illustration of his bias is his purposeful omission and demeaning of the destruction of the Turkish Cypriot National Heritage in the south.  More than 25% of the mosques left under the jurisdiction of the “Republic of Cyprus“ have been destroyed.  In contrast, less than 4% of the churches left in the north under Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ jurisdiction have been destroyed.  However, Mr. Burrowes’ commentary on this matter leads others to believe that the problem only exists in Northern Cyprus.

David Burrowes conveniently chooses to ignore the facts and unashamedly misleads the House of Commons with false accusations and incorrect statements.  This deliberate and manipulative strategy is unacceptable behaviour from a person who is meant to be impartial.  His polarised views are harming the negotiation process because his actions entrench positions on all sides and he undermines any confidence building measures of the UN and/or the International Community at large.

Turkish and Turkish Cypriots in the UK & Cyprus will no longer tolerate his bias and insulting views.  As the Chairperson of the APPG Mr Burrowes cannot continue to claim to represent both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities if he is consistently singing the virtues of one over the other.  This renders his position untenable.

We therefore request that David Burrowes should be requested to resign from his position as Chairperson of the APPG with immediate effect and appoint a person who is unprejudiced, unbiased and non-partisan.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Cetin Ramadan
Chairman
British Turkish Cypriot Association
Joint UK Coordinator
34-35 D`Arblay Street, London W1F 8EY, United Kingdom

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