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Cyprus PIO: "TRNC", an illegal entity, 96-11-15

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Statements and Announcements in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>


Cyprus Press and Information Office

"TRNC", an illegal entity

Thirteen years ago, on 15 November 1983, the part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus which was occupied by Turkey in 1974 when its army invaded the island, unilaterally declared itself independent.

The "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", as it called itself is an unrecognised and illegal entity. It owes its existence to the military and economic support it receives from Turkey, the aggressor in Cyprus. It was condemned by the UN Security Council (Resolution 541 and 550), which declared it legally invalid, called for its immediate withdrawal and urged all states not to recognise it. No country in the world except Turkey has done so.

The Turkish invasion and occupation forcibly divided the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus, a sovereign and independent state, with a mixed population of nearly three quarters of a million consisting of 82% Greek Cypriots (including Maronites, Armenians and Latins) and 18% Turkish Cypriots, and forcibly segregated its people.

Previously the two communities had lived together harmoniously for more than 300 years. In a blatant policy of ethnic cleansing, almost two decades before the term was coined, the invading troops forced the local Greek Cypriots out of their homes, turning a third of the population into refugees. The Turkish army still prevents these people from returning to their homes. The occupation regime then gave these homes to the Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers illegally transferred from the mainland.

Thus, through force of arms, a minority community has come to control almost 40% of the territory of the island. The dividing line which cuts across the country not only divides the land but its people.

Over the years the regime set up in the occupied area gradually erased all things Christian or Hellenistic. Greek place names, that had survived Ottoman rule, were given Turkish substitutes. Churches were destroyed or turned into mosques or stables, ancient monuments were left unprotected and artefacts were illegally removed and sold on the international black art market. Nowadays the occupied area has taken on the character of a province in Turkey.

As for the Turkish Cypriots, they are becoming a minority. Unemployment and unbearable living conditions forces many of them to leave the island. It is estimated that since 1974 at least a third of the Turkish Cypriot community has emigrated. With the importation of about 85.000 settlers from Turkey and an additional 35.000-strong Turkish army, Turkish Cypriots are now outnumbered.

The unilateral declaration of independence of the occupied part of Cyprus is part of Turkey's long held expansionist designs over the island aimed at establishing a separate Turkish state here and creating a homogeneous foothold under Turkey's control.

From the invasion of Cyprus, through the declaration of independence, it seems that the next step Turkey and its puppet state are planning is recognition of the de facto partition of the island.

Although they pay lip service to the process of negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, in actual fact their actions speak louder than words.

Recent events during which the Turkish army and extremist groups imported from Turkey killed several Greek Cypriots in separate incidents in the buffer zone have made it more than obvious that the Turkish side is trying to make it look as if the two communities of Cyprus cannot live together and so should not be reunited in a federation, towards which the Cyprus government is working and which all relevant UN resolutions call for.

Their ultimate objective is to make the partition of Cyprus into two ethnically homogeneous "mini states", in the words of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the only viable option.

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities of Cyprus have proved that they can live peacefully together, as they have done so for centuries. The dividing line separating the two communities is an artificial one, imposed by the presence of the Turkish occupation forces. Urgent and substantive measures must now be taken to bring an end to this anachronism, which is the division of Cyprus, and terminate the occupation.


Cyprus Press and Information Office: Statements and Announcements in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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