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''Civil Servant'' fired for expressing sympathy to G/C, Kurds, Armenians
2005-01-26 10:37:52

By Kyriakos Tsioupras

London, Jan 26 (CNA) -- The violation of the right to freedom of expression in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus was brought before British Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane in the House of Commons.

In a question tabled at the House of Commons by MP Andrew Dismore, MacShane was asked what discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on the case of Turkish Cypriot so called ''civil servant Mr. (Pinar) Gokce, who has been dismissed from his post for private comments he made sympathising with the Kurds and the suffering of the Armenians in the 1915 genocide, and criticising the treatment of Greek Cypriots during the invasion of 1974''.

MacShane said the Foreign Office was not aware of the details of this case but noted his willingness to investigate further if additional information were provided.

In a letter to the MP, the wife of the so-called civil servant Pinar Gokce notes that a few months ago, her husband, made remarks to his colleagues over a discussion during lunch that he sympathised with the plight of the Kurds and the 1915-1917 suffering of the Armenians of Turkey.

''My husband, who is not afraid to voice his views, also critisised the treatment of the Greek-Cypriots during the so-called peace operation in 1974, in order to make others see things from a different angle'', she added.

As a result of this ''by the end of the week he had been fired from his job. His Turkish manager from Ankara called him an 'ungrateful Cypriot traitor'. He still has not received his last pay packet. We are now planning to leave the country to join relatives in the United States. So much for human rights in Cyprus!''

Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

Thousands of people were killed, many have been missing since then while 200.000 Greek Cypriots, making one third of the island's population, have been uprooted from their homes and properties.

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