London protest on 4th October 2010

Listen to me.The first disappointment for the Protesters came when they realised their date coincided with a ‘strike’ on the underground system in Central London making travel extremely difficult for those who wished to attend the Protest. Among those who found travel impossible were some well known London Turkish Cypriots. However a lot of the Protesters and most importantly the organisers, took the precaution of travelling up to London on the previous day and staying overnight in hotels near to the venue. Ipek Ozerim who had intended to support the protest sent her apologies.

This Protest became necessary as so many Brits have invested their money earned through years of hard work with a dream in view. That dream to own a holiday home in the sun and in many cases a permanent home in the sun. The home in which they could relax, kick back and enjoy their last years in peace and harmony, at one with nature and their neighbours. Deceit, greed and fraud put an end to their dreams and turned them into nightmares. One of the biggest rogues turned out to be a fellow Brit, Gary John Robb, who is enjoying free board and lodgings in one her Majesty’s prisons.  I think the general concensus of opinion of the AGA victims would be, may he rot there.  ABAG (Aga Development Buyers Group) organised this protest but it was not just for them, it was for any and every victim of the Property Scams perpetrated over the year on unsuspecting and trusting victims. Many nationalities are involved, many Turkish Cypriots too, let us not forget that sad day at the auction of Baris apartments in Girne. Let us not forget the public promise made by Tutuska that the mortgage would be sorted. He seems to have forgotten his promise, we however have not. The occupants of Baris apartments are now waiting for another auction date, thanks to a man without honour.

So the intrepid Protesters unfurled their banners, proudly strutted their stuff and despite the inclement weather, did what they came for – made their point.  They did what we Brits do so well, conducted themselves with dignity, drank from their flasks of tea and displayed their commitment and courage.

At 2.00 p.m. a delegation of the Protesters were invited into the Turkish Embassy where they met with Mr. Uygar Sertel (Counsellor) and Ms. Ozden Sav (Legal Counsellor). The meeting was extremely cordial and the delegation were treated with the utmost respect. They were served with Turkish tea and coffee and the discussions began. Mr. Sertel had a message for them from his Ambassador who was in Ankara on official business. The Ambassador’s message was that in future the delegation did not need to stand outside protesting in the cold and rain, that there were now new channels of communication open to them. It was further stated that Ankara and the Ambassador were sympathetic to their problems, that their problems were Humanitarian, Economic and Legal and that if they wanted to discuss their issues, to please come to the Embassy from now on. Their new lines of communication were now headed by officials in Ankara, Ambassadors in both Lefkosa and London and Lord Maginnis. Each member of the delegation were given the opportunity to to speak directly on their particular problem and the problems they all face after purchasing property in North Cyprus. The meeting was calm and civilised. The delegation left with the promise that all the questions and concerns would be looked at and another meeting would be scheduled with the Ambassador when he returned from Ankara. They all look forward to the next meeting.

The Protesters then travelled to the TRNC offices in Bedford Square where they handed in the same list of questions to Serap Destegul. There was no discussion.  The protest ended as it began peacefully at 5.00 p.m.

Let me reassure the Government of the TRNC that the Vigil there, if they allow it, will be held in the same peaceful and respectful mannner, but there will be no banners just one candle per attendee.

Pauline Read

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