For 47 years, Cyprus is de facto divided as a result of Turkey’s military invasion and-ever since-occupation of the northern part of the island that comprises 37% of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus. In 1983 the Turkish Cypriots, supported by Turkey, made a unilateral declaration of independence. UN Security Council considers the attempt to create a “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) invalid. According to UN Security Council Resolution 541 (November 1983), the purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus is deplored. The declaration referred above is considered legally invalid. The Security Council calls upon all states not to recognize any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus. UN Security Council Resolution 550 (May 1984), “calls upon all states not to recognize the purported State of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” set up by secessionist acts and calls upon them not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity.”
“TRNC” is not recognized. All states respect UN Resolutions and align their foreign and economic policies with their provisions. The same applies with local and international companies who respect international law. Only Turkey supports and sponsors that secessionist entity in Cyprus. Turkey illegally maintains some 40.000 troops on the island. The UN Security Council deplored in many occasion Turkey’s/Turkish Cypriot leadership attempt to sustain this secessionist entity.
The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. The EU and its member states recognize the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and fully respect the UN Security Council resolutions. Cyprus was admitted to the EU with all its territory, including the territory under the military occupation of Turkey. According to Protocol 10 of Cyprus’ Treaty of Accession, for as long as this situation continues, “the application of the acquis (of EU law) shall be suspended in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.”
These facts ascertain the level of corporate responsibility for companies and any other entity operating in Cyprus and/or wishes to establish commercial operations in Cyprus. The PRESTIGE GROUP is committed not to have any kind of cooperation with Turkey’s sensationist entity known “TRNC” and/or with any proxies of that entity.
Transparency and Professional Ethics Interlinked with Turkish Occupation in Cyprus
For many years, we are witnessing sincere efforts aiming to create honest and transparent business activities in Cyprus. There are a lot of success stories to refer to: young entrepreneurs acting with prudence, courage and perseverance invest in innovative and high quality technologies that break new paths in the country’s business environment. There is also consistent focus on corporate ethical codes and a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Yet, the political situation on the island, as a result of Turkey’s military invasion in 1974 and the ongoing illegal occupation of the northern part of the island, presents challenges in sustaining these ethical codes and develop a comprehensive system of corporate responsibility.
In the broader sectors of services, companies need to provide their clientele and the public with proper information in relation to the situation on the island. Companies are responsible to properly inform about the illegitimate situation in the occupied areas in Cyprus and the risks relating to the business sector there. They also have the responsibility to protect their clients. For example, there are some risks that emanate from the crossing of people to the areas under the control of Turkey and its secessionist entity. Lack of proper information or worse disinformation entail risks.
Tourism industry is particularly vulnerable. Prestige Group of Companies invests resources for keeping companies, entrepreneurs and visitors constantly updated. Our concern is with the safety of our clients, the business community and the people who visit Cyprus. Traveling to the occupied areas and/or doing any kind of business there without the consent of the government of Cyprus is in defiance with UN resolutions, international law, domestic legislation and decisions by international organizations. The ongoing problem of military occupation and the systematic violation of human rights by Turkey must be always taken into account.
Misleading advertisements, for example promotions for “cheap holidays” or “investment opportunities” in the north, involve uncalculated risks. Turkey’s secessionist entity has no reliable legal system, which leaves entrepreneurs and individuals highly exposed.
To the extent that Prestige VIP Services is concerned, we strongly urge our clients to avoid using our rental cars or other assets of our Group in the areas not under the effective control of the government of Cyprus. In case an individual is involved in any unfortunate circumstance (e.g. a car accident), they will not be able to receive the same legal and practical support they are entitled to by the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. In case a client is involved in any accident or other event that results in damage to the Group’s assets, this may often result in a personal responsibility of the client.
To our best knowledge and experience, these are just some examples of challenges faced by companies and individuals. Our Group and its companies lead the way for protecting individual and corporate activities in Cyprus. As a Group with a general strategy guideline in acting for the interest of entrepreneurs and individuals we urge for caution and prudence in relation with risks that emanate from the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus. We hope that this situation will be settled soon to the interest of Cypriots, the economy and the interest of the business community.