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Contact the Biblical Archeology Society to convey severe effects of travel program's entry into Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry in Turkish-occupied area
TO: AHI Chapter Presidents, Members and Friends
FROM: Nick Larigakis, AHI President
DATE: May 11, 2012
Re: CONTACT THE BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGY SOCIETY TO CONVEY SEVERE EFFECTS OF TRAVEL PROGRAM’S ENTRY INTO REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS VIA ILLEGAL PORTS OF ENTRY IN TURKISH-OCCUPIED AREA

BACKGROUND

The Biblical Archeology Society (BAS) supports a travel program that will enter the Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry located in the illegally Turkish-occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The specific travel program in question is “Sailing with Paul in the Mediterranean” which takes place June 1-15, 2012.  The tour will travel from Antalya Airport in Turkey to the Turkish-occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus, continue its route to the areas under the control of the Government of Cyprus, and return back to the occupied territory before departing for Turkey.

The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaca and Paphos and the ports of Larnaca, Limassol, Latsi and Paphos, which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

STATUS

To date, BAS continues to support the travel program “Sailing with Paul in the Mediterranean” and its current travel itinerary which has the tour entering the Republic of Cyprus via illegal ports of entry.

ACTION

We urge you to contact Mr. Hershel Shanks, founder, Biblical Archeology Society, to convey the severe effects that this kind of illegal activity can bring to the overriding goal of reunification and respect of international law.

CONTACT BY PHONE

Place a concise and courteous phone call to BAS Founder Hershel Shanks at 202-364-3300 utilizing the talking points listed below.

CONTACT BY MAIL OR FAX

Mr. Hershel Shanks
Founder
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street NW
Washington, DC 20016
FAX: 202-364-2636

TALKING POINTS

  • Cyprus has been illegally divided and occupied since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island in violation of international law, including the U.N. Charter.
  • The invasion and continuing occupation of 37% of the northern part of Cyprus’ sovereign territory by a force of 43,000 Turkish troops has resulted in:
    • the mass violation of the human rights of the Cypriot people;
    • the forcible expulsion of approximately 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes; massive colonization through the illegal implantation of more than 300,000 Turkish mainland settlers in the occupied areas of Cyprus;
    • trespassing and illegal exploitation of property belonging to Greek Cypriot refugees;
    • cultural destruction and religious desecration;
    • suffering of a great number of families whose relatives remain missing since 1974 and whose fate is still unknown; and
    • forcible ethnic segregation and division of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
  • No country other than Turkey recognizes the so-called illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
  • A trip conducted in this illegal manner undermines the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and disrespects international law and relevant UN Resolutions instead of highlighting the archaeological significance of the region.
  • The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaca and Paphos and the ports of Larnaca, Limassol, Latsi and Paphos, which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) designated Turkey a “country of particular concern” in its 2012 annual report due in part to the restriction of religious freedom and religious and cultural destruction that has occurred in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.
  • An estimated 500 churches and religious sites belonging to Christian and Jewish communities have been desecrated, pillaged, looted and destroyed in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.

QUESTIONS?

For further information or questions, please contact AHI, (202) 785-8430, or email [email protected].

THANK YOU!