is a small island in the eastern part of the Mediterranean sea.
It has about the same size as the state of Connecticut with 730,000
inhabitants. The population of the island consists of: Greek-Cypriots
78%, Turkish-Cypriots 18%, Armenian, Maronite and Latin-Cypriots
and Greek Cypriots lived together on the island for almost five
centuries. Dispersed all over the island, mosques and churches can
still be found side by side and members of one community very amicably
worked in the business of each other.
invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. As an explanation to this brutal
act, Turkey offered the restoration of the constitutional structure
of the Republic of Cyprus that was damaged by a coup, and the protection
of an 18% Turkish-Cypriot minority on the island. Just like the
Nazis in 1939 when they invaded Czechoslovakia, proclaiming themselves
"protectors" of the "oppressed" German minority.
international community strongly condemned the military invasion
and rejected Turkey's explanations. In Resolution 353 that was adopted
on the day of the invasion, the United Nations (UN) Security Council
"equally concerned about the necessity to restore the constitutional
structure of the Republic of Cyprus" calls upon all States to "respect
the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus"
and demands "an immediate end to foreign military intervention in
the Republic of Cyprus". Turkey not only ignored the international
community but launched a second offensive in August, 1974 and managed
to seize more than one third of the territory of the Republic of
Cyprus. Moreover the Turkish army in order to "protect" the Turkish-Cypriot
minority on the island, employed deliberate means of terror and
indiscriminate cruelty against the Greek-Cypriots.
goal was the ethnic-cleansing, 17 years before the term was even
coined, of the occupied northern part of the island. When one reads
the report, adopted on July 10, 1976, after months of investigation
by the European Commission of Human Rights, one understands why
thousands of Greek Cypriots fled their homes at the approach of
the Turkish army. The Commission accepted that there were "very
strong indications" of killings "committed on a substantial scale."
The atrocities of the Turkish army included wholesale and repeated
rapes of women of all ages, systematic torture, savage and humiliating
treatment of hundreds of people, including children, women and pensioners
during their detention by the Turkish forces, as well as looting
and robbery on an extensive scale, by Turkish troops and Turkish
of Greek-Cypriots lost their lives, 1619 are still missing, 200,000
Cypriots fled their homes leaving behind their belongings (the 200,000
refugees in terms of percentage to the population of Cyprus correspond
to 110,000,000 in the USA).
if all this were not enough, the Turkish-Cypriots later declared
the occupied part of the island "a Federated Turkish State". The
reaction of the international community is strongly negative. The
UN Security Council in Resolution 367/1975 "regrets the unilateral
decision of 13 February 1975 declaring a part of the Republic of
Cyprus would become a Federated Turkish State". Turkey, once again
showing its disrespect to international law and order, is the only
country in the whole world that has recognized this pseudo-state!
is important to realize that Turkey has always planned the invasion
of Cyprus and events prior to 1974 just served as a pretext. Taxim,
(partition in Turkish) of the island was always in Turkey's plans.
In 1956 the Turkish Cypriot leader F. Kutchuck submitted on a map
Taxim proposals dividing Cyprus to North and South. In 1974 the
Turkish troops divided the island to North and South deviating from
the 1956 plan only in minor details. It is therefore clear that
the 1974 invasion was a part of a plan and not the result of any
actions of the Greek-Cypriots. The current Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktash agreed when he stated: "Even
if the Turkish-Cypriots did not exist, Turkey would not have left
Cyprus to Greece" ( Turkish newspaper "Milliyet" 7/23/1985).
26 years later, 30,000 Turkish troops are stationed on the occupied
part of the island making it "one of the most highly militarized
areas in the world", according to the June 1994 report of the UN
Secretary General to the Security Council. The island is thus still
divided, the refugees still away from their homes, the whereabouts
of the missing still unknown. The Turkish-Cypriots are also victims
of this invasion and imposed separation. More than 110,000 Turkish
settlers have been transported to the occupied areas, in an attempt
to change the demographic character of the island. These settlers,
while Turks, they are completely different culturally from the Turkish-Cypriots
whose culture is very similar to their Greek counterparts.
Turkish-Cypriots are becoming a minority in the occupied areas and
are migrating to other western countries. On the other hand their
leaders, under Turkey's direction, continue to bring the negotiations
in the UN to a deadlock. The reason is simple: they are satisfied
with the status quo.
goal of the reunification of the island is the only acceptable solution
to the Cyprus problem
by the international community. The UN Security Council in Resolution
939/1994 clearly "reiterates that the maintenance of the status
quo is unacceptable" and "reaffirms its position that a Cyprus settlement
must be based on a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and
international personality and a single citizenship". It recommends
that this state should comprise "two politically equal communities"
"in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, and such a settlement
must exclude union in whole or in part with any other country or
any form of partition or secession".
The European Union and the Cyprus Problem
European Union has repeatedly stated that it recognizes the Government
of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole legitimate government with
jurisdiction over the whole territory of the island and its people.
Twelve Heads of State and Government reaffirmed during their meeting
in Dublin on 25th and 26th June 1990 their support to the efforts
of the secretary-general of the United Nations for the promotion
of a just and viable solution to the question of Cyprus, a settlement
that will safeguard the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Cyprus in accordance with the relevant resolutions
of the U.N. The European Parliament has also adopted several resolutions
in favor of a just and lasting solution of the Cyprus problem.
Ministries of Cyprus