Thursday, 22 December 2022
The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 394 complaints about an advertisement placed by the Northern Cyprus Tourism Board (NCTB), Kibris Postasi reports.
According to the TRNC Ministry of Tourism, the National Federation of [Greek] Cypriots, established in the UK after 1974, the federation complained that the advert was “misleading” because it “presented “Northern Cyprus as a holiday destination during the so-called Turkish occupation“.
The ASA said that it had received criticism that the advert was “neglecting to inform viewers about the dangers of vacationing in a place they believe is volatile and unsafe“.
ASA Rejects Complaint
The ASA responded by stating that the advert had broken no rules and no further investigation into the complaints was needed.
The Advertising Standards Authority also pointed out that the British government had no travel warning against travelling to North Cyprus in place.
Ban on Advertising Overturned in 2005
The National Federation of [Greek] Cypriots was instrumental in another campaign in 2005 banning Northern Cyprus travel advertisements on London’s public transport network. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots took to the streets in April 2005 to protest the ban. Britain’s leading TRNC tour operator Cyprus Paradise won the lawsuit filed at the High Court regarding the ban. It was emphasised in the decision that “freedom of expression” had been restricted.
Fikri Ataoğlu, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Environment, who spoke to the London Gazette, said that North Cyprus had a legal right to advertise itself as a holiday destination.
He also said that it was regrettable that the rigid mindset of the Greek Cypriots did not even permit tourism advertising.
“We are pleased that the British Advertising Standards Authority made a pertinent statement on the complaints made, without ignoring a court decision won by the Turkish Cypriots in 2005. Despite those who try to put stones on the promotional activities of Northern Cyprus, we take our promotional activities to the top by making steps from those stones. It has been a pleasing situation for Northern Cyprus tourism that the tourism sector, which is one of the biggest income sources of the country’s economy, exhibited a rising graphic especially this year after the pandemic”, Ataoğlu said.
He went on to say that his department was working in cooperation with Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, adding that, “The promotional advertisements for the TRNC will continue to be published”.
Minister Ataoğlu also noted that there is a sizeable number of Turkish Cypriots living in England. Small communities always stand together, he said and therefore, the government is working to strengthen the bonds of affection.
It is important they stand together, Ataoğlu said.