British Politicians Call For Direct Flights

UK Houses of Parliament

A group of 50 influential politicians has urged Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron to lift the UK’s “punitive and unfair ban” on direct flights to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), BRTK reports.

This appeal, supported by Labour’s Lord Straw and Conservative Sir Iain Duncan Smith, was made in a letter to Lord Cameron before Parliament dissolves for the general election.

According to British daily, ‘The Independent’, the parliamentarians expressed concerns about the treatment of the TRNC and called for direct flights from the UK to Ercan International Airport. They argued that the UK’s policy on Ercan is among the most restrictive in Europe and questioned why Northern Cyprus is treated differently from non-UN member states like Kosovo and unrecognised countries like Taiwan.

Ercan - new terminal building pg

They stressed that Ercan Airport meets international aviation security standards and safely handles hundreds of thousands of passengers annually. The letter warned that ignoring the TRNC could allow Russia and Iran to increase their influence in the region, undermining the UK’s strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean.

The appeal coincides with a new general election and follows calls from the 300,000-strong Turkish Cypriot diaspora for action. TRNC President Ersin Tatar, advocating for a two-state solution, has led this campaign.

Chet Ramadan, founder of Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus, stated that the UK should fulfil its 20-year-old promise to lift the flight ban. With 300,000 Turkish Cypriots in the UK and 15,000 British expatriates in North Cyprus, the restrictive policies impose significant hardships on travel.

However, lifting the ban may face strong opposition from the Republic of Cyprus in the south, potentially straining the UK-EU relationship. The origins of the conflict are still disputed, with Turkish Cypriots accusing Greek Cypriots of initiating violence in a 1974 coup and subsequent ethnic cleansing attempts.


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