Turkey's Continued International Violations
In an attempt to change the demographic structure of the occupied area, Turkey has transferred from the mainland more than 80,000 settlers, to whom the homes and lands of the evicted Greek Cypriots were illegally distributed.
Over 400 Greek Cypriots remain enclaved in the Karpass Peninsula as well as 160 Maronites, whose most basic human rights and freedoms are continuously violated through inhuman treatment, harassment and intimidation. This is in flagrant violation of a humanitarian agreement (known as the Vienna III Agreement) reached in 1975, which was intended to guarantee these rights and to allow the enclaved to live a normal life.
Cyprus’ rich 10,000 year-old cultural and religious heritage in the occupied area has not escaped unscathed and archaeological sites, Byzantine churches and other places of worship have been destroyed or plundered.
These flagrant human rights violations perpetrated by Turkey in Cyprus have been the subject of four interstate applications that the Republic of Cyprus has lodged against Turkey in the Commission and the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe. The European Commission of Human Rights which examined the fourth application, issued a report in June 1999 by which, as it did in the previous cases, it found Turkey responsible for continuing violations of several articles of the European Convention of Human Rights relating to the issues of the missing persons, the living conditions of the enclaved, the rights of the displaced persons, etc.
Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights has also issued a milestone judgment (December 1996) on an individual application by a Greek Cypriot displaced person, Titina Loizidou, lodged against Turkey, for violations of certain provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights relating to the Applicant’s property rights in the occupied area of Cyprus. The Court found, inter alia, that the so called ‘TRNC’, which is not recognized by the international community and is an illegal secessionist entity as far as international law is concerned, could not and did not deprive the Applicant of her property, which still belongs to her. It further held that the Turkish Army and, consequently, Turkey, was directly responsible for not allowing the Applicant to enjoy her property and ordered Turkey to pay damages to the Applicant. Turkey has yet to comply with this ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.
In 1983, in flagrant violation of international law and the Treaties establishing the Republic of Cyprus and guaranteeing its independence and territorial integrity, Ankara promoted a “unilateral declaration of independence” in the area under its military occupation. The UN Security Council, including the US Government, condemned this declaration and the attempted secession as legally invalid and, called for its withdrawal. The Security Council also called on all States not to recognize the purported state of the ‘TRNC’ and not to facilitate or in any way assist the secessionist entity (UNSC Res.541 and 550).
To-date, no other country in the world recognizes the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, except Turkey.