Lord Sharkey calls for direct flights to TRNC
Date Added: 23 November 2023

Lord Sharkey, Vice Chairman of the UK Parliament’s TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) Friendship Group, called for direct flights from the UK to Northern Cyprus in the House of Lords.

The issue was raised in the House of Lords following President Ersin Tatar’s recent intensive diplomatic efforts and media conferences in London.

Speaking in the House of Lords in the UK, Lord Sharkey, Vice Chairman of the UK Parliament’s TRNC Friendship Group, Lord Sharkey referred to the two-state solution in Cyprus and raised the issue of the embargoes and international isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.

He pointed out that the island of Cyprus has been divided for the last 60 years, with the north of the island under embargoes all this time.

“The people of Northern Cyprus, without any fault of their own, suffered and continue to suffer from being excluded from the international community and the embargoes on their trade,” Sharkey said.

He also mentioned that numerous attempts for reunification based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation have been made in the past half-century, all of which have failed.

The deputy chair said that it was not surprising that Turkish Cypriots have completely rejected this model and instead proposed a two-state solution, accepting the existing situation.

Highlighting that the two sides of the island seem more separated than ever, with the north becoming impoverished, remaining under embargoes, and isolated from world trade and finance, Lord Sharkey emphasized that the TRNC’s economy is largely dependent on subsidies from Türkiye, and the inflation rate in Türkiye, which is around 65%, has a negative impact on the North’s economy.

Addressing the UK government, Lord Sharkey advised that by allowing direct flights to Northern Cyprus and by eliminating the requirement for passengers to disembark in Istanbul for an additional security check with their entire luggage, they could assist in the economically crucial flow of tourists from the UK to Northern Cyprus.

He noted that this was possible until a few years ago, and added that the UK and many other countries allow direct flights to Taiwan despite the fact it is not an internationally recognized country.