WASHINGTON, DC – On July 20, in commemoration of the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of the Republic of Cyprus and following Turkish President Erdogan’s move to illegally reopen Varosha Beach in violation of international law, Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01) issued the following statement:
“Nearly five decades have passed since Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus. Turkish forces uprooted tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots from their homes, destroyed religious and cultural sites, and families that were forcibly removed from their communities were denied the chance to bury their loved ones whose remains were lost in the chaos. Turkey’s continued illegal occupation of the northern third of the island still stands in the way of reunification.
“Turkey must unilaterally withdraw its troops and end its illegal occupation of Cyprus, and the United States cannot stand by while President Erdogan pursues further development in Varosha. His decision to proceed is the unfortunate and inevitable result of the United States’ failure to hold Turkey accountable through meaningful, tangible repercussions. The Biden Administration must publicly reassert our commitment to a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. It’s long past time that we uphold our commitment to Cyprus and her people by putting Turkey on notice.
“A stable and reunified Cyprus benefits the United States, the entire Eastern Mediterranean, and most of all Cypriots themselves. As a Greek-American I am committed to strengthening and defending the United States’ alliance with Cyprus, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and my friends in the community toward our common goal – a Cyprus that is united, at peace, and free.”