London Against Injustice – the story of Guner Salih

Who is Guner Salih? Guner was born in Limassol before the island was divided. He would claim to have lived a petty ordinary life as a boy and during his teen years. He met his future wife Helen, a British subject, in 1967. He was a an outstanding athlete and a very good dancer in his native Limassol. Guner was also a drummer in a band called Kareler (squares). Everything most of us as teenagers can relate to.

In 1972 Helen and Guner were married in Limassol Cyprus with the same dreams and aspirations all young couples have. To have a good life, to start a family, to live a quiet and peaceful life.

Due to the troubles, in 1974 with their young baby Karen in Helen’s arms, they were forced to flee their homeland and migrate to Britain. So many Turkish Cypriots had taken this route, especially those living in the south, their lives threatened, their homes taken, forced to live in ghettos. Guner, Helen and young Karen were air lifted out of Cyprus on a British plane to start a new life in Britain

Initially Guner worked in his father-in-law’s factory making belts and buckles. Guner then set up his own business in Whitechapel as an outdoor market trader. Come rain, hail or shine, Guner would be found selling suitcases from his tent in the outdoor market. Guner did this for 30 years and indeed would still be doing this if it had not been for the death of his father-in-law. At the time of his death his father-in-law had an ‘Army and Navy’ type of shop in Bethnal Green. The shop stocked and sold suitcases, hunting knives, air guns and fake handguns. Naturally it was his father-in-law’s wish that the shop stayed in the family, so Guner gave up his market stall and took over the shop in Bethnal Green.

This is where Guner’s life story takes a sinister twist and rather than try to explain exactly what happened, I am attaching the following link which tells of the way Guner’s life has changed, but I do hope not irrevocably:

Guner is now 66 years old in extremely poor health and still has considerable prison time to serve. I make no judgements. I have read the link and cannot disagree with its conclusions.

Guner has a family who totally believe in his innocence. His wife Helen, his son Aron, his daughter Karen firmly believe in his innocence. His sisters, one in North Cyprus and one in London, they are convinced of his innocence. His sister in London visits him every two weeks, her life is dessimated and she feels helpless with grief. His aged mother, although living in North Cyprus still takes the trip to Britain to visit him. He has grandchildren  and yet he cannot watch their milestones, enjoy the moments of their younger years.

Lastly, I want to mention Guner’s brother Gunay who brought this to my attention. I was particularly moved by his words ‘My brother is and always will be my hero. He didn’t know how to say no to anybody. He helped everybody in need without thinking of himself first. He would not hurt a fly. He is a gentle soul.’

So now you know who Guner Salih is. Now you know the agony his family are suffering on a day by day basis. It seems that injustice can happen just about anywhere. Certainly London Against Injustice seems to believe it has happened to Guner Salih. His family most certainly believe he is innocent.

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