The British Residents Society “one of the largest and oldest legally recognised expatriate organisations” in North Cyprus has sent a letter this month to President Mustafa Akinci requesting a meeting to discuss concerns arising from the reunification talks.
The letter says that “…the possible direction that the current Cyprus talks are taking is causing widespread concern amongst our membership about the long term security of our interests here.”
The BRS, formed in 1974, is particularly concerned about the new property commission to be set up as agreed recently by the two leaders.
“In particular, the structure and role of the proposed property commission is of great concern to the expat community and is, if the rumours are true, likely to lead to considerable unrest and discontent,”the letter warned.
The BRS said that expats have been recognised as major contributors to the revenues of the TRNC and its economy in general.
The society said it wanted to discuss whether their title deeds would be honoured and whether the rights of those holding them would be protected in the talks.
“Can your Excellency explain how the security of such title deeds can be honoured if all inter-communal property disputes in a reunited Cyprus were subject to the judgements of a new island wide Property Commission?”
The BRS is also asking whether current citizens of the “unrecognised TRNC” would become citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and the EU and that consequently all expats resident in the North, or who have bought property there, would have to be treated in law and practice as equal to Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
They also want to know what protection would be afforded to Turkish Lira account holders in case of a settlement and adoption of the euro.
“Given the level of expatriate investment in both property and currency holdings in the TRNC does your Excellency recognise the significant direct interest we have in any Cyprus solution?’” the BRS said. It asked Akinci what he planned in doing to protect those interests for expats and Turkish Cypriots alike, by ensuring that reunification and adoption of the euro were phased programmes “allowing for genuine convergence of the two Cyprus economies involved and allowing for the continuing disastrous economic conditions that are still engulfing the south.”
The expats also wanted to know what Akinci intended to do regarding the role of the guarantor powers and Turkish army.
Edited from Cyprus Mail