Monday, 07 February, 2022.
The Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations (UK) has announced that British Turkish Cypriots will hold a second protest against City Council Leader Grace Williams in front of the Waltham Forest Municipality building on Thursday, 3 March, BRT reported.
In a statement from the council, it was noted that the protest focused on Mayor Williams’ decision to target the British Turkish Cypriot community after it raised the TRNC flag on 15 November, 2021 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the declaration of TRNC, on 15 November 1983, after a sanctioned ceremony outside the Waltham Forest Municipality building. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the area.
The statement said the following:
“Three years ago, a Turkish City Council member, like other local community groups, requested that the Turkish Cypriot flag be hoisted in Waltham Forest Municipality. On November 15, 2021, it was decided by the City Council to raise the flag. This ceremony was a proud ceremony attended by 50 Turkish Cypriots. However, two hours later, upon the Greek Cypriot High Commissioner’s complaint, Grace Williams took it upon herself to make this a political issue. Then she ordered the flag to be lowered and also stated that the TRNC flag and its people are a community not recognised by the British government, and apologised to the Greek Cypriot community for allowing the flag to be raised and upsetting them. The removal of the flag, which is considered sacred in Turkish culture, is extremely disrespectful and humiliating”.
The statement went on to say that Grace Williams still had not apologised for the insult to the Turkish Cypriot community, that the racist expression against Turkish Cypriots on the Waltham Forest Council website has not been removed, and that there is still no transparent investigation into the events before and after the flag was removed on November 15, 2021.