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21-06-2018 09:59 | Read 1098 times

Former Conservative MP: UK govt should allow direct flights between UK and North Cyprus

The British government should allow direct flights between the UK and North Cyprus, former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said at the festival, as a new petition on the matter aims to garner 10,000 signatures.

Former Conservative MP: UK govt should allow direct flights between UK and North Cyprus

By Kerem Hasan

Mr Duncan Smith, who spoke of the “huge privilege” of hosting last year’s inaugural Turkish Cypriot Culture Festival in his north-east London constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green, said he would keep up the pressure on senior party colleagues – Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – to end the ban on direct flights.

“In the last 12 months . . . I have tried incredibly hard, [having] spoken to the Foreign Secretary, Transport Secretary and other members of the government,” he told the crowd.

“I have urged them to use their best endeavours to [resolve] what is essentially a remarkable problem: that our British citizens, who also happen to be of Turkish Cypriot origin . . . find it really, really, difficult to go and see [their] families in North Cyprus . . ."

Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) launched the petition in the second annual Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival, organized by the Council of the Turkish Cypriot Associations of the UK, on Sunday, 17 June 2018.

KTTO Chairman Turgay Deniz and Board Member Serhan Kombos expressed their support for Mr Duncan Smith’s initiative to promote direct flights from the UK to the TRNC.

Speaking at a press conference at the festival, Mr Deniz noted that the UK is one of the guarantor countries of Cyprus, and underlined that the Turkish Cypriots have consistently supported the solution and voted “Yes” for the Annan Plan in 2004.

He added that promises were given to lift the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people, but the EU has not kept its promises.

For more see Cyprus Today... In shops or on PressReader.

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