The Turkish Invasion

In July 1974 the then ruling Junta of Greece organised a coup d' etat against President Makarios, who was following a policy of an independent and non-aligned Cyprus in which Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would agree upon new constitutional arrangements. The coup presented Turkey with the pretext she had long sought. Alleging a right of unilateral military intervention as guarantor of the 1960 Constitution, Turkey 5 days later invaded Cyprus. In a Government communiquŽ of 20 July 1974, she declared: 'The purpose of our peaceful action is to eliminate the danger directed against the very existence of the Republic of Cyprus and the rights of all Cypriots as a whole and to restore the independence, territorial integrity and security and the order established by the basic Articles of the Constitution. Turkey, in the action she undertook as the Guarantor Power shall act with the sincere desire of co-operation with the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force in the Island in the restoration of conditions of security. On the other hand, because of the above-mentioned aim of the action, those Greek Cypriots who are wholeheartedly attached to the independence of Cyprus and to the rule of democracy in the Island, need not be concerned. Turkey's aim is to restore security and human rights without any discrimination whatsoever among the Communities. Once in Cyprus, instead of restoring the state of affairs under the 1960 Constitution and protecting the human rights of all the people of Cyprus, as was her duty and alleged justification, Turkey, despite the coup having collapsed and democratic government having been restored in Greece, on 14 August 1974 massively extended her invasion to occupy 36.4% of Cyprus, driving out well over 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and moving her army to the aptly named 'Attila line. That Turkey committed atrocities in the course of her invasion is scarcely surprising in view of her record in the Balkans, in Syria, in Armenia and in Anatolia and her long-standing policies of population expulsion and transfer and of discrimination against non-Turkish ethnic groups.7


[an error occurred while processing this directive] Last modified: Sat Aug 17 23:12:06 EDT 1996