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PASEKA Condemns Illegal Turkish occupation
20 July 2022
The Pan-Australian Justice for Cyprus Coordinating Committee (PASEKA)
commemorates the 48th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion and ongoing
occupation of Cyprus.
In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus, and since then has systematically displaced
200,000 Greek Cypriots and other minorities from the northern 37% of the
island. Turkey’s actions indicated that their goal had actually been ethnic
cleansing and colonization. Until the 1974 invasion, the northern part of Cyprus,
like the rest of the island, had been majority Greek. The Turkish invasion forcibly
changed that. Today, more than 40,000 Turkish troops are illegally stationed in
the occupied area and the indigenous Greek Cypriot residents have never been
allowed to return and reclaim their homes and properties.
Meanwhile, the ancient culture and history of the occupied north are being
wiped out to perpetrate the myth that the area is Turkish. Geographical names
have been Turkified and many Christian churches and monasteries have been
destroyed or converted to mosques or stables.
Several archaeological places that were famous and recognised throughout the
world have been destroyed or illegally excavated, while a great number of
antiquities have been smuggled and remain unfound to this day.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine as they endure a brutal
and violent invasion. However, the terrifying world changes started in 1974
when the free world accepted the illegal invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. It is
difficult to witness the destruction of Ukraine and not be reminded of Turkey’s
violation of European and International law when it illegally invaded the
Republic of Cyprus.
The United Nations resolutions on the Question of Cyprus since 1974, have
demanded respect for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, unity
and the non-aligned status of the Republic of Cyprus, the immediate and
unconditional withdrawal of all occupation troops, the return of the refugees to
their homes in safety, as well as respect of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of all Cypriots. These resolutions, which have been systematically
violated and disregarded by Turkey, remain to this date unimplemented.
The Cypriots of Australia express the hope that the new situation shaping
internationally would lead to the creation of a climate in which other Security
Council resolutions, including those on Cyprus, would also be implemented so
that justice and peace might be restored in Cyprus as well.
We take this opportunity to ask the Australian Government and the people of
Australia, to continue their support for the territorial integrity of the Republic of
Cyprus, to reject Turkish aggression in the region, and to support the pursuit of a
settlement to the Cyprus issue for a reunified state, free from Turkish troops
with a single sovereignty and international personality, as defined by relevant
Security Council resolutions.
President PASEKA (Pan-Australian Justice for Cyprus committee)
Australia & New Zealand
Adelaide, South Australia