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Property Justice Silent Peaceful Candlelit Vigil in Lefkoşa on 14th November 2010

There are 1400 plus other expatriates, Turkish Cypriots and Turkish origin TRNC citizens potentially facing the same fate as Kulaksiz 5. Kulaksiz 5 residents range in age from 60 to 88 years old and I am one of them. My name is Pauline Read and you may remember reading about my proposed Vigil which did not go ahead because as a foreigner I needed Government permission which was refused.

We are ordinary people who have worked hard and saved hard for our entire lives to realise a dream, the dream of a safe haven, a home in the sun where we could live the rest of our lives quietly, happily and in peace. These dreams have been cruelly shattered through no fault of ours by the greed of man. Gentle, frail elderly pensioners are now being tortured by fear that every strange car that turns into their street and that a knock on the door will bring a bailiff accompanied by a policeman serving the dreaded summons that heralds the start of the eviction procedure. Fear that when they are evicted they will have nowhere to go. They are old; they cannot work and save again to rebuild their lives. All their money is gone, spent on the home they believed was theirs, spent on improving their home and now spent on the escalating legal fees they are forced to pay to try to make the legal system see the unfairness of the old archaic laws that have allowed this to happen to them. They committed no crime, yet they are treated like criminals.

Many of you will have watched me on GAK TV on the 5th June this year, the eve of the auction. I made an impassioned plea to the President, I made an emotional plea to the owners of the bank, Akfinans Bank Limited, to show mercy and stop the auction. To no avail, the auction went ahead and Akfinans bought the site they had given a mortgage on back in 2005 A mortgage of approximately 104,000 TL that had grown to 2,077,000 TL in less than five years. A mortgage was taken out by Abdurrahman Guney, of Kulaksiz Construction Limited, and guaranteed by the landowner, Yuksel Yilmaz, using OUR land as security entirely without our knowledge or consent. An anomaly in the law here allows this abomination to happen.

On Wednesday of this week, we all read in the English language newspaper that the TRNC Government says it cannot help Kulaksiz 5 which means it cannot help any of the victims regardless of their property plight, regardless of their nationality. In effect we have been ’robbed’ lawfully. Laws that hurt people so badly are not GOOD laws. Laws are made to protect people, how can hurting those same people be right?

Whether Muslim or Christian, we are all taught that God does not condone USURY; yet Akfinans Bank Limited charged 80% quarterly compound interest ‘oh you who believe you shall not take usury compounded over and over, observe God that you may succeed’ (Al- ‘Imran 3:130)

We ask you, the people of the TRNC, to show us the mercy your Government and Akfinans Bank have failed to show us. I was refused permission for a Vigil so it will be lead by Ismet, a Turkish Cypriot who does not need the permission I would have needed. We know you recognise the injustice being done to us, your guests. So please show your support by joining us.

The Property Justice Silent Peaceful Candlelit Vigil will take place on Sunday 14th November between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m. on the roundabout (Şehitler Abilesi) at the end of the road that houses both the Parliament and the Turkish Embassy in Bedrettin Demirel Caddesi, Lefkoşa.

This is symbolic and so the day prior to Republic Day (so special for Turkish Cypriots) is appropriate. The 16th November is so special too, the beginning of Kurban Bayram when believers sacrifice the Ram and give thanks to God for their blessings, their food, their homes. Kulaksiz 5 are about to loose their homes so I beg you, recognise the injustice being done to your guests at this most Holy of Holy times.

This is a Silent Peaceful Vigil, so please no placards, no banners, just you and your candle or maybe a torch. Many TRNC legal experts and academics have spoken out against my being refused permission to hold the original Vigil and point out there is nothing in the Constitution that denies foreigners the right of protest. I respect the decision of a legally elected Government. For this reason I will not be leading it. I trust, as an expatriate it, will be in order for me to OBSERVE the Vigil. It is best that non-citizens come to OBSERVE and not to participate.

This Vigil is for victims of Property Injustice which takes the number of affected people into the thousands. We all have one thing in common with the Turkish Cypriot citizens. We love the TRNC, we love the people, we ask that you love us back, even if only a little.

There are 1400 plus other expatriates, Turkish Cypriots and Turkish origin TRNC citizens potentially facing the same fate as Kulaksiz 5. Kulaksiz 5 residents range in age from 60 to 88 years old and I am one of them. My name is Pauline Read and you may remember reading about my proposed Vigil which did not go ahead because as a foreigner I needed Government permission which was refused.We are ordinary people who have worked hard and saved hard for our entire lives to realise a dream, the dream of a safe haven, a home in the sun where we could live the rest of our lives quietly, happily and in peace. These dreams have been cruelly shattered through no fault of ours by the greed of man. Gentle, frail elderly pensioners are now being tortured by fear that every strange car that turns into their street and that a knock on the door will bring a bailiff accompanied by a policeman serving the dreaded summons that heralds the start of the eviction procedure. Fear that when they are evicted they will have nowhere to go. They are old; they cannot work and save again to rebuild their lives. All their money is gone, spent on the home they believed was theirs, spent on improving their home and now spent on the escalating legal fees they are forced to pay to try to make the legal system see the unfairness of the old archaic laws that have allowed this to happen to them. They committed no crime, yet they are treated like criminals.

Many of you will have watched me on GAK TV on the 5th June this year, the eve of the auction. I made an impassioned plea to the President, I made an emotional plea to the owners of the bank, Akfinans Bank Limited, to show mercy and stop the auction. To no avail, the auction went ahead and Akfinans bought the site they had given a mortgage on back in 2005 A mortgage of approximately 104,000 TL that had grown to 2,077,000 TL in less than five years. A mortgage was taken out by Abdurrahman Guney, of Kulaksiz Construction Limited, and guaranteed by the landowner, Yuksel Yilmaz, using OUR land as security entirely without our knowledge or consent. An anomaly in the law here allows this abomination to happen.

On Wednesday of this week, we all read in the English language newspaper that the TRNC Government says it cannot help Kulaksiz 5 which means it cannot help any of the victims regardless of their property plight, regardless of their nationality. In effect we have been ’robbed’ lawfully. Laws that hurt people so badly are not GOOD laws. Laws are made to protect people, how can hurting those same people be right?

Whether Muslim or Christian, we are all taught that God does not condone USURY; yet Akfinans Bank Limited charged 80% quarterly compound interest ‘oh you who believe you shall not take usury compounded over and over, observe God that you may succeed’ (Al- ‘Imran 3:130)

We ask you, the people of the TRNC, to show us the mercy your Government and Akfinans Bank have failed to show us. I was refused permission for a Vigil so it will be lead by Ismet, a Turkish Cypriot who does not need the permission I would have needed. We know you recognise the injustice being done to us, your guests. So please show your support by joining us.

The Property Justice Silent Peaceful Candlelit Vigil will take place on Sunday 14th November between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m. on the roundabout (Şehitler Abilesi) at the end of the road that houses both the Parliament and the Turkish Embassy in Bedrettin Demirel Caddesi, Lefkoşa.

This is symbolic and so the day prior to Republic Day (so special for Turkish Cypriots) is appropriate. The 16th November is so special too, the beginning of Kurban Bayram when believers sacrifice the Ram and give thanks to God for their blessings, their food, their homes. Kulaksiz 5 are about to loose their homes so I beg you, recognise the injustice being done to your guests at this most Holy of Holy times.

This is a Silent Peaceful Vigil, so please no placards, no banners, just you and your candle or maybe a torch. Many TRNC legal experts and academics have spoken out against my being refused permission to hold the original Vigil and point out there is nothing in the Constitution that denies foreigners the right of protest. I respect the decision of a legally elected Government. For this reason I will not be leading it. I trust, as an expatriate it, will be in order for me to OBSERVE the Vigil.

This Vigil is for victims of Property Injustice which takes the number of affected people into the thousands. We all have one thing in common with the Turkish Cypriot citizens. We love the TRNC, we love the people, we ask that you love us back, even if only a little.

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