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Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-TRNC

The Facts About Cyprus

Did You Know ...

That Cyprus is only 40 miles from the southern coast of Turkey, but 600 miles from mainland Greece?

That Turkish Cypriots have lived in Cyprus for over 400 years?

That Cyprus was never a "Hellenic island," but was in fact a Turkish island for nearly 350 years up until 1914?

That Cyprus became an independent state in 1960, under a Constitution that provided for a bi-communal government with shared and equal political status for both the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots?

That the parties in Cyprus and the governments of the United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey ratified a Treaty of Guarantee in 1960 that also provided for the security of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots?

That the conflict in Cyprus began in 1963, when the then-president of the republic, Archbishop Makarios III launched an all-out attack on the Turkish Cypriot population, unilaterally dismissed all Turkish Cypriot officials from the government and declared the constitution "dead and buried".

That the inter-communal violence in Cyprus was a veritable ethnic-cleansing campaign and was directed against the Turkish Cypriot community, forcing Turkish Cypriots into ghetto-like enclaves on 3% of the island?

That the violence in Cyprus prompted the introduction of a United Nations peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) in March 1964, which is still in place?

That the U.S. special envoy during the 1963-64 Cypriot crisis, Under Secretary of State George W. Ball, stated in his memoirs that "Makarios' central interest was to block off Turkish intervention so that he and his Greek Cypriots could go on ... massacring Turkish Cypriots"?

That the present division of Cyprus has its origins in that violence culminating in the coup d'etat against Archbishop Makarios and his government on July 15, 1974, which was carried out with the active support of the then-government in Greece?

That entire Turkish Cypriot villages were razed and their inhabitants slaughtered by Greek Cypriots in the days following the coup d'etat?

That, under the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960, these developments required collective or individual intervention by the governments of the United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey?

That Turkey addressed the issue of intervention with the United Kingdom, but when the U.K. did not take action Turkey was compelled to intervene on its own, on July 20, 1974, to stop the bloodshed and provide for the safety of Turkish Cypriots?

That Turkey's decision to intervene in Cyprus, under Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960, was endorsed by a resolution #573 adopted on July 29, 1974 by the Council of Europe's Standing Committee of the Consultative Assembly?

That an "Exchange of Populations Agreement," providing for the voluntary relocation of population groups, was concluded by the official representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides (Messrs. Denkta_ and Clerides) on August 2, 1975, and was implemented by UNFICYP?

That the Turkish intervention in Cyprus effectively ended the ethnic-cleansing and inter-communal violence which, between December 1963 and July 1974, had taken the lives of thousands of Turkish Cypriots?

That the Turkish Cypriot people desire only a new partnership and equal political status between the two sides?

That, despite Greek Cypriot allegations of "intransigence," it is the Turkish Cypriot side that has initiated, accepted, or supported numerous initiatives for a settlement --- in 1972, 1977, 1979, 1985-86, 1992, 1993-94, and at this very moment?

That the parties in Cyprus came close to a settlement in 1992, through the "set of ideas" proposed by the then United Nations Secretary-General, which were in major part approved by the Turkish Cypriots but ultimately rejected by the Greek Cypriots once their membership bid for the European Union began moving forward?

That, 39 years after its Constitutionally-guaranteed political status was unilaterally and illegally revoked, the Turkish Cypriots still suffer under unjust discrimination, in the form of an all-out economic, political and cultural embargo?

That confidence is undermined and progress toward a settlement in Cyprus is compromised by the determination to make Cyprus a Greek-dominated island, by the continuing embargo of Turkish Cypriots, and by threats from Athens to block the European Union enlargement process if "Cyprus" is not admitted?

A Quotation to Ponder

"Both before and after the events of December 1963, the Makarios government continued to advocate the cause of ENOSIS [political union with Greece] and actively pursued the amendment of the Constitution and the related treaties to facilitate this ultimate objective...There is little doubt that much of the violence which the Turkish Cypriots claim led to the total or partial destruction of 103 Turkish villages and the displacement of about a quarter of the total Turkish Cypriot population was either directly inspired or certainly connived at by the Greek Cypriot leadership."

Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, British House of Commons
Unanimous report, June 2, 1987.

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