North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has today (Monday 19th December) tabled a written parliamentary question challenging this government’s position in relation to stolen land in Cyprus.
The question, for answer on the day the House returns after the Christmas recess (9th January 2006) asks the Foreign Office to re-affirm the attitude of the British Government towards the purchase and development, by British citizens, of stolen land located in the northern (occupied) part of Cyprus.
The question follows reports that the Prime Minister`s wife, Cherie Booth, QC. has taken a brief to defend the human rights of two British subjects who have acquired property built on land stolen by the occupying force following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Gale, who is Conservative Vice-Chairman of the All Party Friends of Cyprus Group, says:
"For twenty two years in the House of Commons I have been working to secure the return, to my constituent George Gerolemou, of his villa in the Northern part of the Island. George Gerolemou, who is now nearly 94 years old, built his home a couple of years before the invasion and spent just two summers there with his wife, now deceased.
We have recently visited the property, now illegally occupied buy a Turkish family, and found that the new "owners" have added a swimming pool to George`s garden!
He does not have many summers left to him and we want his property back. These are the human rights that the British Government, and those with close connections to it, should be defending - not the interests of those who have knowingly or otherwise invested in property that was not for sale.
It seems as though the F&CO is giving one advice on its website while tacitly recognizing the illegal regime and its works in the occupied North and very many Cypriot nationals, now resident and working in the United Kingdom, feel very strongly, as I do representing them, that this unacceptable."