|The 1974 invasion of Turkey in Cyprus is undoubtedly the most tragic event in the history of the island. Turkey, using as pretext the coup against the lawful President of the Republic of Cyprus on 15 July 1974, invaded the island on 20 July 1974. A second advance followed on 16 August 1974.|
The consequences of Turkey's actions were, and still are, profound.
- Almost 37% of the territory is occupied by the Turkish military forces, with nearly one third of the population forcibly expelled from their homes and properties, becoming refugees in their own country.
- Thousands were killed and hundreds went missing.
- Over 160.000 Turkish settlers have been moved to the occupied area, currently outnumbering the Turkish Cypriots by two to one.
- The 20.000 Greek Cypriots who had remained in the occupied area after the invasion, have gradually been driven out, with less than 500 enclaved Greek Cypriots remaining there today, living in difficult conditions and being deprived of fundamental rights such as the right to education, religion and economic activity.
- The cultural heritage of Cyprus - a possession of all Cypriots - has been systematically destroyed, with churches and places of religious worship having been pillaged and looted.
- Moreover, Turkey has rendered the occupied part of Cyprus one of the most militarised regions in the world, illegally stationing there more than 43,000 troops.
In November 1983, Turkey instigated and endorsed a "unilateral declaration of independence" in the occupied area. The so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC") is not recognised by any country in the world, other than Turkey, which exercises virtual control over it. UN Security Council resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984) categorically condemned this unilateral action, declared it invalid and called on all UN member states not to recognise this illegal entity. For all legal and political purposes, the international community, including the EU, recognises only the Government of Cyprus as the only legitimate government on the island.
Efforts for reunification
President Nicos Anastasiades repeatedly expressed his strong commitment and will to exert every effort aiming at a viable, just, and functional solution that will reunify Cyprus.
The framework of this solution is a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as described in the relevant UN resolutions, with a single sovereignty, single citinzenship and a single international personality. The solution must be based on the UN resolutions on Cyprus and the basic principles of international and European law.
For this solution to be viable it must free Cyprus from occupation and resolve the issue of colonization of the island by Turkey. The solution should reunify the state, the people, the institutions, and the economy. It must safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, and must be within the framework created by the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004.
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