World Poker Tour (WPT) Event in Northern Cyprus Sept 2009 Please think twice before entering any WPT events, as WPT clearly (for the reasons below)lack moral integrity. This important issue has been raise and I am trying to help spread the word. This is what the member of my forum said: Re: World Poker Tour (WPT) Event in Northern Cyprus Sept 2009 Having recently arrived in Las Vegas, I was eagerly anticipating playing in the $25k buy in WPT championship event. In fact I have played in many WPT events over the years and to date have never missed the main April Bellagio event but suddenly found myself faced with a moral dilemma that will most likely lead to my being unable to support any future WPT events. Not a great loss to the WPT I must say but nonetheless it makes me question their lack of moral integrity. The reason for this is basically down to my Cypriot ethnic origins as I was both surprised and shocked to discover that a WPT sanctioned event is scheduled for Northern Cyprus sometime in September later this year. Whilst I feel it is admirable that The WPT wish to spread their brand name to overseas venues I felt I had to write to them in order to ask why they have chosen to hold an event (or sanction an event) that is going to be held in Northern Cyprus which is currently deemed illegal internationally, not officially recognized and containing an occupying force of some 40000 foreign Turkish troops. I also felt strongly that I had to make the general poker public aware of this morally unjustifiable decision of The WPT so am posting this to various poker forums. You may or may not know some of the history behind the island but for background information I will include a brief outline below. In 1974 after a suspected coup attempting to unify Cyprus with Greece, Turkey invaded Cyprus (to give you an idea of how one-sided this invasion was it would be rather like the USA invading Hawaii). They took over approximately 40% of the island of Cyprus and thousands of Cypriots died in the conflict not to mention the hundreds of thousands that were displaced having their homes and lands illegally seized. To this day 40% of the island still remains under illegal occupation. In 1983 this separated section of Cyprus unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the island and is now known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This republic is NOT recognized by ANY country ANYWHERE in the world except for Turkey and as such means that it is heavily dependent on Turkey for economic support. (There are numerous United Nations Resolutions concerning Cyprus and condemnations of Turkey and the illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus but I shall not cite them here). In Addition the only direct/non-stop flights that exist to Northern Cyprus come from Turkey so any flights from anywhere else in the world must first land or touch-down in Turkey before going on to Northern Cyprus. Visitors to The Northern Part of Cyprus must also acknowledge the falsely claimed sovereignty of the Northern Territory as part of the entry visa requirements. Subsequent to the invasion Turkey still maintains an army of approximately 40000 troops on the island and still occupies approximately 40% of the island which rightfully belongs to the (Southern) Republic of Cyprus which is globally recognized as the legal and rightful ruler of the whole island as it has the official sovereignty over the whole island. By holding a WPT event or lending the brand name to an event in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus the WPT is giving credibility to the continuing illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus and legitimising an illegal regime and republic that has stolen property and land belonging to others (incidentally the place at which the event is due to take place was illegally seized from the original owners and renamed from the original Zephyros). Because the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not recognized internationally you will also find that trade is severely restricted with that part of the island and that the North is relatively poor and under developed when compared to the more prosperous South. There is also a greater incidence of crime, disease and poor health in The North when compared to The South and grossly inferior medical facilities not to mention the numerous human rights abuses. As such I find it both incredible and surprising that The WPT would even consider holding a WPT event there never mind actually having one take place later this year. To do so would be very much like the WPT holding charity poker tournaments in order to raise funding for known terrorist organizations such as Hamas and The Taliban. I also wrote to Full Tilt Poker asking why they are running online qualifiers for this event and I eagerly await both organizations responses along with their explanations and justifications for their actions and why they feel the need to support an event in an illegal republic that continues to occupy a land that belongs to others. By supporting such an event they are legitimizing and giving credibility to an illegal occupation of a country and supporting their economy. I am not and have never been one to dictate to others what they should or should not do because I strongly believe individuals should have freedom of choice but just wanted to make as many in the poker community aware of my and others deep feelings that exist surrounding this forthcoming tournament. This post is not intended for discussion and I am sure the Cypriot Government via it’s US embassy will be addressing this issue directly with the organizations concerned but as I said above just wanted to give some background to all this and express my dissatisfaction with The WPT’s moral bankruptcy in the hope that they can be persuaded to dissociate themselves from this event. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Please spread this word and think twice before regestering to Full Tilt and WPT Event. Thank you.