Münir Tatar: “We are not Londoners, we are Turkish Cypriots”

News: Nafiya Horozoğlu

 

ENGLAND’S leading successful expert accountant and chartered accountant Münir Tatar, Spoke with Londra Gazete looking and evaluated the relations between Northern Cyprus and UK.

Tatar, who is well known in the Turkish-speaking community, spoke beyond economic issues and voiced the common concerns of the Turkish Cypriots living in across the UK.

Speaking to Londra Gazete, Tatar evaluated the migration adventure and assimilation process of Turkish Cypriots, saying:

“From the 1950s onwards, Turkish Cypriots started to immigrate to Australia, Canada and especially to England. The Turkish Cypriot diaspora took place intensely during these years. These citizens, like my family and myself, had to adapt to the foreign countries to which they migrated. In the first place, they learned the language of these countries, established businesses and somehow achieved individual success. However, the process of assimilation of the Turkish Cypriots had thus begun. They have adopted the culture, laws and conditions of the country they live in. However, assimilation could not prevent patriotism. Many of these citizens lived with the dream of returning to Cyprus one day.

“Nobody knows the number of Turkish Cypriots living in England. However, in my opinion, our population here is over 100 thousand. Different figures are given according to different data, but as a pessimistic estimate, we can say 100 thousand. Turkish Cypriots, who came to England in the 1950s, are now getting older and many of them want to return to Cyprus. In short, they want to live the dream they have been wanting for many years. The most fundamental problem starts here, the reason for this is; in the TRNC, nobody pays attention, cares and rather does not regard Turkish Cypriots living abroad.

“Those who live here are subjected to many injustices when they go to the TRNC. The current Prime Minister, Ersin Tatar, has shown the most positive approach to this issue among the governments of the past.”

Expressing that Turkish Cypriots living in the UK were pushed away from the TRNC for various reasons, Tatar summarized the requests of citizens living in the UK explainng:

“First of all, facilities should be provided for investments in Cyprus, the laws should be transparent and an under secretariat or a ministry should be given to Turkish Cypriots living in the UK. We emphasized this since 1983, on the initiative of my late father, a Foreign Cypriot Ministry should be appointed. Alternatively, this can be done within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is a very rare and unique situation whereby, more Turkish Cypriots are living in England than in TRNC. Citizens living here are in a financially strong position, if the necessary guarantee and interest are given to these citizens, a tremendous contribution will be made to the TRNC economy. NO CUSTOMS FEE

“Citizens who want to return to Northern Cyprus should not pay customs from a car and their belongings. Prime Minister Ersin Tatar welcomed my suggestions and brought it up at the conference. Another issue that concerns everyone is that we are provided with the right to vote, not to be elected. We have continued our work on this subject for many years. Because if I’ve done my military service and I have a TRNC identity card, I should also have the right to vote. My wife is an Italian citizen and although my children live in England, ballot papers are sent to them in every election. Therefore, if we also have the right to choose, we will have the same rights as the citizens living in the TRNC. Democracy and human rights also point to this. There is another issue that saddens us very much, some local newspapers in the TRNC address Turkish Cypriots living in the UK jointly as “people of London”. This is a very exclusionary and hurtful discourse. We are not Londoners, we are Turkish Cypriots.”

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