Greek Cypriot diaspora organisations in Australia and the U.S. have released messages of condemnation regarding Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on its 49th anniversary.
By Neos Kosmos,
In Australia, the visiting Deputy Government Spokesperson of Cyprus, Doxa Komodromou, represented the Republic of Cyprus at various events across Australia, commemorating the July 20 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974. On Sunday in Melbourne, she also condemned the junta organised by Athens and EOKA B for providing an excuse to the Turks to invade in 1974. She also denounced the continued and illegal occupation of the north of Cyprus.
Komodromou was the main speaker at anti-occupation events organized by the Justice for Cyprus Coordinating Committee of Victoria (SEKA). She will hold meetings with leaders of community organizations, as well as Australian parliamentarians.
SEKA Victoria released a statement, stating that the Turkish invasion in 1974 “constitutes a violation of human rights and international law.” “The Cypriot people have endured continuous struggle, pain, and injustice, with the sole determination to reunify their island. This invasion traumatized and displaced thousands of Cypriots, forcing many families to become refugees in other countries, including Australia,” Kyriakou said.
In the United States, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released a statement on Thursday to mark the 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and called for an end to the occupation. AHI condemned proposals for a “two-state solution” for the island as well as Turkey’s reopening of the beach at Varosha.
“Erdogan’s position contravenes the positions of the United Nations and the U.S. government. The United States must condemn Erdogan’s support for illegally re-opening the beach in Varosha and overt promotion of irredentist policies,” SEKA Victoria said.
AHI and SEKA both called for the removal of all Turkish troops from the Republic of Cyprus and underscored that Turkey disregards United Nations resolutions. It is estimated that the Turkish invasion resulted in the displacement of over 165,000 Greek Cypriots, who were subsequently replaced by 160,000 settlers from Turkey. This illegal colonization has altered the demographic character of the island, violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from deporting or transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
AHI specifically that Turkey has also contravened United States law as a NATO nation by “transferring American-made weapons from mainland Turkey to Turkish-occupied Cyprus.”
“The United States government must send a strong message to President Erdogan that Turkish troops and settlers must be removed from Cyprus,” it noted, while stating that “in addition, The Treaty of Guarantee, which would allow for future Turkish military invasions and occupations of Cyprus, must be abandoned.”
On July 23, Deputy Government Spokesperson of Cyprus, Doxa Komodromou will attend the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Theotokos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, where a memorial service will be held for the fallen heroes and a prayer for the discovery of the missing.