In June, addressing a Turkish Cypriot cultural festival in Enfield, North London, Conservative MP for Chingford Iain Duncan Smith, asked for support for a petition demanding direct flights between the UK and North Cyprus and described the obstacles put in place to prevent direct flights to and from Ercan Airport as “meaningless” and serving no purpose.
The Conservative MP in his speech, urged the UK to support the petition for the launch of direct charter flights to Northern Cyprus, saying:
“We have been in contact with the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding direct flights and have stressed that direct charter flights are essential to Northern Cyprus. We are aware that both British and Turkish Cypriot citizens are very much affected in this regard, and many of them are having serious difficulties just to go and see their families in Northern Cyprus. For this reason I will try to do the best I can, and especially the international community will try to reflect the seriousness and importance of this matter. In this context, you should support the signing campaign and reach the target, and this issue will be moved to parliament. But this can only be achieved through your unity and solidarity”.
On Thursday 5 July, in the British parliament, Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers put a question to UK Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, she asked:
“Will the Secretary of State confirm that the Government have no intention of allowing direct flights between the United Kingdom and the northern part of Cyprus?”
Chris Grayling responded by saying:
“Let me be clear: all Members of the House would like to see a long-term solution to the issues on the island of Cyprus. This country will continue to work with our friends in Cyprus to try to achieve that goal, but our policies on flights have not changed”.
Halkin Sesi, Hansard,