LONDON – The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK released a statement to mark the 46th grim anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The full statement follows:
On July 20, 1974, Turkey launched its pre-planned illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus. The first wave of the invasion began in the early hours of July 20 and the second wave came just weeks later on August 14. Forty-six years later, Turkey continues to occupy over 36% of Cyprus, dividing the island and its people. The invasion came just days after an illegal coup d'etat by the military junta of Greece and EOKA-B on July 15. Cypriots still suffer the consequences of the invasion, including:
200,000 Cypriots became refugees, unable to return to their homes, 1,000 people are still missing, with their relatives still denied the right to know their fate, and enclaved Cypriots living in occupied area are denied basic human rights on a daily basis.
Federation President Christos Karaolis reflecting on this sad occasion said:
"As another tragic year passes, I assure you that we will never give up our campaign for a free, united Cyprus and the end of Turkey's occupation. For 46 years, Turkey has violated international law, countless United Nations resolutions, the human rights of Cypriots, and the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey's intransigence continues to hamper efforts towards a solution and Turkey's most recent behaviour, in Cyprus' EEZ and on Hagia Sophia, has shown the world that it is a negative influence. It is, therefore, clear that Turkey can have no role in a post-solution Cyprus and Turkey's demands to maintain a permanent troop presence and guarantor status are not acceptable.
As we have done for 46 years, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK will continue to lead the UK Cypriot community's united campaign for the reunification of Cyprus and the end of Turkey's occupation."
The Federation written to the Prime Minister on this tragic anniversary calling on the UK Government to exercise “proactively and constructively” the power he has to “make a lasting difference” in relation to Cyprus. In addition, the letter also raised concerns about Turkey’s “increasingly authoritarian and aggressive policies towards Cyprus.”
The full letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson is available here: https://cypriotfederation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/UK-Cypriot-Federation-writes-to-PM-on-anniversary-of-Turkish-invasion.pdf.