Today is the 43rd anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which truncated the territory of Cyprus, left behind numerous victims, caused the humanitarian tragedy of the missing, led to the uprooting of 200,000 Cypriots who were forced to become refugees, and resulted in mass violations of human rights and the despoilment of the Greek and Orthodox Christian historical and cultural wealth of Cyprus, with the crime of Turkish settlement continuing even today.
Since then, we have witnessed nearly half a century of ongoing and flagrant Turkish violations of the resolutions of the United Nations, which call on all states to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, demand the termination of the Turkish occupation and the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus, and condemn the illegal entity in occupied Cyprus, calling on all states not to recognise or facilitate this entity in any way.
On this day, we ask the whole of the international community to call to mind the criminal repercussions of the illegal Turkish invasion and the ongoing tragedy in Cyprus.
Nevertheless, today’s sad anniversary of the brutal Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which marked one of the most tragic pages in the history of Hellenism, coincides with a ray of hope. Not hope for an immediate resolution of the Cyprus problem, as this is unfortunately not yet possible due to Turkey’s continuing intransigence, but hope because the international community now appears to realise what is obvious, which is set down in the resolutions of the United Nations; that is, that the reunited Cyprus must be a normal modern state, fully sovereign, fully independent and with territorial integrity.
In such a state, there is no place for occupation troops nor for anachronistic subjections of the past, such as the “guarantor” role of third countries, which provided the pretext for Turkey to invade Cyprus and, since then, occupy 37% of the country’s territory with military forces.
The Hellenic and Cypriot Republics will continue their common titanic struggle for the rights of Hellenism, Cyprus and the Cypriot people, and for the restoration of the freedom, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Cypriot state. They will continue to strive to free Cyprus of the Turkish troops, to restore the rights of the refugees, and to make it possible for the Turkish Cypriots to live in a democratic state, free from the boot of Turkish forces.
We owe this as a debt of honour to our fallen Cypriot and Greek brothers and to all of the heroic defenders of Cyprus who faced the forces of the Turkish invader in the harsh and uneven clash of 1974.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic