Cyprus Still Occupied 1974-2017, By Philip Christopher

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, FILE)

The struggle of the Cypriot people for Freedom and Justice which began on July 20, 1974 continues.

On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus in violation of the UN Charter and the Fundamental Principles of International Law.

For 43 years, Cyprus and its people remain artificially divided by force.

37% of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus is still under illegal occupation by Turkey with the presence of 40,000 heavily armed Turkish troops.

200,000 Greek Cypriots, who were forcibly expelled from the occupied northern part are still deprived the right to return to their homes and properes.

10,020 persons are still missing and the Turkish military refuses to cooperate in ascertaining their fate. Mass settlers have been illegally transferred to the occupied areas with an express intention to change the demographics.

500 Greek Orthodox churches have been destroyed and priceless archaeological icons and treasures have been sold on the black market.

Usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties continues through illegal construction on Greek Cypriot land.

A series of UN resolutions and other international organizations condemning the Turkish invasion and calling for the withdrawal of the occupied troops have been ignored by Turkey.

We overseas Hellenes have spared neither effort, time, nor money trying to assist the Greek Cypriot people in their just struggle for freedom.

As we commemorate the 43rd anniversary of this tragic invasion, our prayers are with the families who lost loved ones during the invasion and with the families of the missing.

Our journey which began July 20, 1974, continues and our destination remains the same! Although we have many obstacles and have experienced broken promises, our hope endures and the dream of returning to Kyrenia will never die!

Philip Christopher- President, PSEKA.