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STOP BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY'S TRIP TO OCCUPIED CYPRUS
Closed on Jun 13, 2012
The Centre for Scientific Dialogue and Research would like to thank all those that have signed and supported this electronic petition against the illegal trip of BAS in occupied Cyprus. We value your support from all around the world, which empowers the fight against this illegitimacy.
The Centre would also like to thank the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and the Association of Cypriot Archaeologists; it was on their behalf that this petition was originally published and we sincerely thank them for their cooperation in this effort. We believe that our united voice was even more strongly heard and will exert greater pressure towards the authorities, local and foreign, to take real action on this issue.
Again, thank you all for signing; for every single sign was important to our cause.
RESULTS OF OUR PETITION
During the petition signing days,
1. A number of television and radio shows in Cyprus presented the subject.
2. A number of newspapers in Cyprus and abroad (including Washington Post) presented the subject.
3. A Press Release was issued by The Academy of Athens condemning the BAS action.
4. A Press Release was issued by The Neapolis University of Cyprus condemning the BAS action.
5. A severe Press Release was issued by The Church of Cyprus questioning the motives behind the BAS trip.
6. An extremely harsh Press Release was issued by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus pronouncing the BAS visitors not wanted to Cyprus.
7. A number of other institutions and organizations, both in Cyprus and abroad, followed in condemning the BAS trip.
8. On 11th June 2012 The Centre for Scientific Dialogue and Research handed the petition signatures list to The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists.
9. On 11th June The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists attempted to submit a letter of protest for the illegal BAS trip, along with the 2 500 signatures that our online petition had at that time gathered, to the Embassy of the United States of America in Nicosia. The Embassy declined to accept the letter.
10. On 12th June a protest was organized by The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus, The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists and students from the University of Cyprus at Paphos, near the Column of St Paul, a landmark that the BAS was planning to visit on that day. Especially prepared banners read: 1. Sailing with Attila instead of Paul and 2. Sailing against human rights: 200 000 refugees thank you and 3. Shame to BAS, presenting photos of numerous churches in the occupied part of Cyprus brutally destroyed by the occupation army.
11. In the following days The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists are planning to submit a letter of protest for the illegal BAS trip along with the signatures to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus with the request that they take diplomatic action.
12. The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists are also planning to send a letter of protest to the BAS, along with the signatures.
The Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus and The Association of Cypriot Archaeologists will continue their combined efforts to protect the antiquities of Cyprus and to fight against such illegitimate actions.
The Centre for Scientific Dialogue and Research will drastically continue its campaign to inform the public, both in Cyprus and abroad, regarding the illegal state of the so-called Ercan International Airport at the occupied part of Cyprus.
The petition and the dynamic it created will remain a useful tool for our efforts.
Petition Background (Preamble):
It appears from the documentation that we have seen that you may not be aware of certain facts that are important to bring to your attention. The reference to “Northern Cyprus” constitutes, in fact, the area of Cyprus under Turkish military occupation since 1974. It is recalled that the secessionist entity in the occupied areas of Cyprus was condemned by the United Nations Security Council, in its resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), as “legally invalid” and is not recognized by any international organization or country, other than Turkey which is the occupying power.
Furthermore, we wish to respectfully bring to your attention that the airport through which you intend to arrive in Cyprus has been declared by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as an illegal point of entry into and exit from the Republic. The legal points of entry into the Republic of Cyprus to which visitors should use are Larnaka and Paphos airports and the ports of Larnaka and Lemesos.
Moreover, this illegal airport is not recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its illegal operation causes serious risks to flight safety in the region.
It is also important to stress that this illegal airport is located on property belonging to a significant number of Greek Cypriot refugees who were forcibly expelled from the property by the invasion forces in 1974.
These refugees remain the legal owners of their properties, as it has been confirmed by numerous relevant Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and have not consented to the construction of the illegal airport.
Furthermore, the organization of such a trip by an archaeological society is particularly offensive to the local and international community of archaeologists working in Cyprus, due to the destructive consequences that the Turkish occupation has caused to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the island.
In the occupied area, archaeological sites and monuments, including churches, have suffered severe destruction and violation, museums have been looted and destroyed, and antiquities continue to be illegally exported.
We sincerely hope that with the explanations outlined in this letter you will reconsider your planned visit to the occupied areas and arrival into Cyprus through the illegal ports of entry.
We also hope that you will show greater sensitivity toward issues that have such legal and ethical ramifications.
If your decision is still to proceed with your visit, we would ask that you enter the island through the international and recognized airports of the Republic of Cyprus.
The STOP BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY'S TRIP TO OCCUPIED CYPRUS petition to Biblical Archaeology Society was written by Centre For Scientific Dialogue and Research and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: cyprus, human rights, occupied, cultural, heritage