1974: The terrible Turkish invasions of Cyprus

Turkish invasion of Cyprus 1974
The bombing of Nicosia by Turkey in 1974

On 20 July 2017 Lobby for Cyprus marked the black anniversary of the first of the terrible Turkish invasions of Cyprus in 1974. Turkey invaded under the spurious and entirely untrue pretext that it was “restoring constitutional order” following a short-lived coup to overthrow President Makarios. 

The Turkish invasions and occupation had absolutely nothing to do with “constitutional order” or “re-establishing the state of affairs” in Cyprus. Nor have Turkey’s unlawful actions, as politicians in Turkey have brazenly admitted numerous times, been for the sake of the Turkish Cypriot minority.

Turkey’s invasions, gross human rights abuses and occupation took place in order to realise longstanding plans to partition the island and to Turkify the area that was conquered by the Turkish military in the summer of 1974. The de-facto partition of the country resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and more than 1,000 enforced disappearances. Approximately 200,000 people became refugees who were forced by Turkish troops to flee from their homes and lands.

Turkey’s ethnic cleansing of non-Turkish Cypriots, its establishment of a subservient regime in the territory it captured, its colonisation of the occupied area with Turkish nationals and the cultural destruction that has almost eradicated all trace of Greek and Christian heritage, demonstrate Ankara’s true motives in Cyprus.

Perhaps Turkey’s greatest ‘success’ therefore is in getting the rest of the world to swallow its narrative for 43 years and to believe in some kind of justification for Turkey’s illegal presence in Cyprus.

Let us be clear. There can be no justification for Turkey’s continued occupation of one third of the Republic of Cyprus. And the island can never become a truly unitary state until Turkish troops are removed, Turkey’s illegal colonists are repatriated and the refugees are allowed their right to return.

Say no to segregation and apartheid in Cyprus. Demand democracy.

Stick to principles. Stick to the 3Rs.

Eλευθερία στην Κύπρο
Freedom for Cyprus


icon-camera-13 In 1974 Turkish troops invaded the Republic of Cyprus, in order to establish an ethnically cleansed northern zone. Approximately 200,000 people became refugees or internally displaced. They are still denied their right to return by Turkey. (Click on photos to enlarge and for captions.)