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Welcoming Address by the Minister of Defence, Mr Costas Papacostas,

on the Occasion of the Opening of the XX International U.E.P. Congress


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends of the Parachutists Family,

I am most pleased to welcome you in Cyprus and address the opening of the XX U.E.P. Congress which unites National Associations of Veteran Military Parachutists and Para Commandos from the member states.

It is comforting to see that some of the common values and objectives that the U.E.P. espouses are closely aligned with those of our aspirations in promoting unity, solidarity, mutual assistance, duty and honour as well as maintaining the ideal and spirit common to military parachutists.

Qualities such as bravery, courage, endurance and determination are fundamental to any effort made by countries such as ours when striving for justice, reunification and peace.

Since the 1974 coup d' état and the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, we are working for a solution which will respect every Cypriot, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, his rights and his fundamental freedoms. We realize that we do not have the right to leave the future generations exposed to the dangers created by the illegal presence of Turkish troops which is taking place in the last 36 years.

The solution of the Cyprus problem is a difficult aim to reach. It is however a necessity as it is the only viable option we have for a secure future of our country and our people. We strive for a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant UN resolutions, for a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international identity; a state which will secure the unity of the area, the people, the institutions and the economy.

We are determined to work hard for the reunification of Cyprus despite the obstacles and difficulties we come across on our way to the solution. We face these obstacles and difficulties with hope and optimism. It is our commitment to find a solution based on fundamental rights and principles.

Once again, I welcome you to our island and I hope that you will enjoy your stay here and take back home special memories of Cyprus.


Costas Papacostas

Minister of Defence

Allocution de bienvenue par le ministre de la Défense, Monsieur Costas Papacostas,  à l'occasion de l'ouverture du vingtième (XX) Congrès International de l'UEP. (Union Européenne des Parachutistes)

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Chers amis de la famille parachutistes

Je suis très heureux de vous accueillir à Chypre pour l’ouverture du vingtième Congrès de l’UEP qui réunit les associations nationales d’anciens combattants parachutistes militaires et para commandos des États membres.

Il est réconfortant de voir que des valeurs et des objectifs communs que l'UEP adopte, sont étroitement alignés sur ceux de nos aspirations dans la promotion de l’unité, de la solidarité, de l’entraide, du devoir et de l’honneur ainsi que du maintien de l’idéal et de l’esprit commun aux parachutistes militaires.

Des qualités telles que la bravoure, le courage, l’endurance et la détermination sont essentielles pour tous les pays, surtout pour le nôtre où nous luttons pour la justice, la réunification de l'île et la paix.

Depuis le coup d’État de 1974 et l’invasion de la Turquie à Chypre, nous travaillons pour trouver une solution qui respecte tous les chypriotes, grecs et turcs, leurs droits et leurs libertés fondamentales. Nous sommes conscients que nous n’avons pas le droit d'abandonner les générations futures exposées aux dangers créés par la présence illégale de troupes turques  depuis ces 36 dernières années.

La solution du problème de Chypre est un objectif difficile à atteindre. C'est cependant une nécessité, car c’est la seule option viable pour un avenir sûr de notre pays et de notre peuple. Nous aspirons à une solution fondée sur une fédération bizonale et bicommunautaire avec une égalité politique, telle que définie dans les résolutions pertinentes des Nations Unies, c'est à dire un seul État doté d’une souveraineté unique, d'une citoyenneté unique et d'une seule identité internationale, un État qui garantira l’unité de la région, les habitants, les institutions et l’économie.

Nous sommes déterminés à travailler durement pour la réunification de Chypre en dépit des difficultés et des obstacles mais avec espoir et optimisme. Il est de notre engagement de trouver une solution fondée sur les droits et les principes humains fondamentaux.

Encore une fois, je vous souhaite la bienvenue sur notre île et j’espère que vous apprécierez votre séjour ici et que vous repartirez avec des souvenirs particuliers de Chypre.

Costas Papacostas

Ministre de la Défense






AUGUST 25TH 2010


Dear Colleagues

Ladies and Gentlemen


It is with great pleasure that I address my greetings, on the opening of the 20th congress of European Union Parachutists.


The congress will give the opportunity to the members of the Special Forces Clubs, to enhance to a further strengthening of the relation among them, as this is growing through the training within the Special Forces, as well as to tighten the relations between the colleagues in the European Union, improving this way also the standard of the European Military Capabilities.

The Special Forces constitutes the “pick” of each army. With the courage, and the will that distinguishes them, they undertake missions, that only them can bring to an end and this is the reason they are considered as the “key” for the success of any kind of operation during peace or war.

Your continuous actuation helps you remain fit for combat and proves in the best way, the devoutness and the “esprit de corps” – the spirit of commando, that it possesses you. The experiences and the capabilities  that you have, which were build up through the high level of training in the Special Forces, combined with the physical fitness and the up keeping of training, makes you a precious tool in any kind of mission, as well as help, rescue, even firefighting. Your contribution toward the society is invaluable.

On behalf of the personnel of the National Guard, I would like to express their and my wishes for peace, security and prosperity as well as all the best and success during the works of the congress.


Lt. General Petros Tsalikidis

Chief of the National Guard


Welcoming Address by the Executive President of the European Parachutist Union (UEP) and President of Pagyprios Syndesmos Efedron Katadromeon (PSEK) Mattheos Economides on the Occasion of the XX UEP Congress (ZENON) and the X UEP Parachuting Contest (KATSANIS)


Dear friends

Comrades of the Paratrooper Family


With sincere feelings of pride, pleasure and encouragement I welcome you in Cyprus, addressing on the occasion of the XX UEP Congress (ZENON) and X Parachuting Contest (KATSANIS).

Being the Executive President of UEP and National President of PSEK I have the honor and responsibility to act on behalf of 10 UEP members such as the Bund Deutscher Fallschirmjäger (BDF) from Germany, Amicale Nationale Para – Commando Vereniging (ANPCV) from Belgium, Pagyprios Syndesmos Efedron Katadromeon (PSEK) from Cyprus, Federation Nacional de Asociacones de Veteranos Paracaidistas de Espana (FENASPE) from Spain, Union Nationale de Parachutistes (UNP) from France, Panellinia Omospondia Eidikon Dynameon (POED) from Greece, Magyar Ejtoernyosok Bajtarsi Szovetsege (MEBS) from Hungary, Associazione Nazionale Paracadutisti d’Italia (ANPd’I) from Italy, Zwiazek Polskish Spadochroniarzy (ZPS) from Poland and Uniao Portugesa de Paraquedistas (UPP) from Portugal.

We do not work for ephemeral ends, but for a resplendent tomorrow, sharing common principles: principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings; to be able to choose the right path, not just the easy one; to make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant. Our Union appears to have in it the flower of youth. Goethe inserts in his Faust, ‘‘des Pudels Kern’’ i.e. that the real nature or deeper meaning of that was not evident before. Divine assistance has clearly shown itself to us. With it nothing and nobody shall vanquish us. If we fought hard on our crusade in the past, we would fight even harder if a new danger should threaten us in the future. The most basic definition of security, however, is to lower the risks. We should carefully review our experience, keep on doing what is right, correct what is wrong and make up for what is inadequate. In short, we should learn from the past and look to the future. Today’s world is not yesterday’s world. Luis Vaz de Camões, in his epic poem The Luciads would rather say:  ‘‘Que quem quis sempre pôde… E nesta Ilha de Vénus recebidos.’’

I took up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say: ‘‘Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength, because of our unbreakable ties, our everlasting friendship and intimate association. This peculiar kind of self – sacrifice involved in our relation will be cheerfully or at least patiently endured: All in good heart and all in good friendship. If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided, all will fail. Count Richard Coudenhove – Kalergi’s maxim between the two world wars is a well – timed remark: ‘‘A divided Europe leads to war, oppression and hardship; a united Europe leads to peace and prosperity’’. The Twentieth century began with the Balkans in war and it was ended, sadly, with the Balkans in war. At the Bucharest Summit, in April 2008, US Permanent Representative to NATO Victoria Nuland asserted that the key to strengthening NATO was to build a stronger European Union.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected and if the best arrangements are made as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our noble causes: If necessary for years, if necessary alone. We have to fight superstition, bigotry and ignorance. Voltaire used to say ‘‘Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them’’. At any rate that is what we are going to try to do. This is the will of our Union. We shall go on to the end. Dangers and difficulties have not deterred us in the past and they will not frighten us now. Samuel Huntington argued that: ‘‘The European Community, if it were to become politically cohesive, would have the population, resources, economic wealth, technology and actual and potential military strength to be the prominent power of the twenty – first century.’’

There is however one direction in which we can see a little more clearly ahead. We have to think not only for ourselves but for the lasting security of the cause and principles for which we are fighting and of the long future of the European Union of Parachutists. To strengthen our solidarity, is our fundamental policy, this is where our basic interests lie. United we shall not stand alone. Rainer Maria Rilke, in one of his famous poems remarks: ‘‘I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough; I am much too small in this world yet not small enough to be to you just object and thing…’’

Let us then address ourselves to our task, not in any way underrating its tremendous difficulties and perils, but in good heart and sober confidence, resolved that, whatever the cost, whatever the suffering, we shall stand by one another, true and faithful comrades and do our duty, God helping us, to the end. The stated aim is to complete the process started, with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of our Union and to improving the coherence of its action. We are obliged to march ahead, whatever the conditions. Let us remember the answer of Frédéric Chopin to Eugène Delacroix: ‘‘What if I find nothing but moonlight?’’

The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, but it is the one most consistent with our character and our commitment to all our members. Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right, not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and prosperity and justice around the world; until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, asserts Plato in his Republic. Today, the European Union is more nearly capable of implementing the principles embodied in its Charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as being more truly empowered to support causes of peace and justice. It is imperative that we should support the people in their struggles in the furtherance of their rightful causes, in the attainment of their human rights.

This is the case of my country, suffering for thirty six years, since 1974, the Turkish occupation. I am completely convinced that the promotion of Human Rights and the protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus is not a matter for the people of Cyprus alone. It is also a matter affecting the entire international community. For all those refugees being in exile, I always remember the words of il Sommo Poeta Dante: ‘‘Se mai continga…’’

Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean are of great importance to the European post – Cold War security system. This implies that, security and stability in Cyprus is vital to European security and prosperity. The European Union, therefore, will have to take a stance on whether Cyprus will continue to remain under the strategic control of Turkey or whether it will become an integral part of the European security system. That is why I take the opportunity to propose the signing of a Solidarity Protocol, the principles of which your countries have politely signed and bravely ratified. We dare to dream and work towards making our common causes a reality. It reminds me of one of Ezra Pound´s Cantos: ‘‘… with stretched sail we went over sea till day´s end… came we then to the bounds of deepest water to the Kimmerian lands…’’

The members of the Associations, belonging to UEP are dedicated to upholding their parachute traditions and military custom. They are well – known for their bravery, their courage, their humility, their comradeship and determination. Nevertheless, we all approach other cultures and views with tolerance and indulgence. These are our guiding principles all these years, leading our actions both at the national and international level. And we intend to promote them to others as well. There is a scripture in the Christian Bible (Matthew 5:15) that states: ‘‘a burning light is not covered, but put on the table; so that its rays may shine on all who are in the house’’.

I therefore introduce my unflinching belief that because of our size and interests, because of our history and values, we are obliged to absorb our share of responsibilities in this global age. We could, in theory, walk away from these responsibilities but we could not escape the consequences of doing so. Allow me then to disagree with Oswald Spengler’s prophecy, that the Western Civilization has already entered the orbit of its sunset.

The main topic of this year is ‘‘UEP: Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: An Overall Assessment’’. In addition, this year, for the first time we tried to have at the same time our parachuting contest, so that participants of the Congress and athletes meet in this special for all of us annual event, sticking together, combining our efforts.

I wish you fruitful discussions during the Congress, to revive and strengthen the ties within the paratrooper family. I also wish for the competition to pass off smoothly, with all of you taking advantage of the perfect climatic conditions, enjoying the sky and the sea in this adventurous corner of the Mediterranean.

I hope that you will also enjoy our social and cultural programs, sightseeing and you return to your countries with good memories of Cyprus and its people. I express my gratitude for your presence in my country. Accompanied by my fellow PSEK friends, I will do anything appropriate to make your short stay here as pleasant as possible. Besides, as Pedro Calderón de la Barca claims: ‘‘… Que toda la vida es sueño…’’

I will conclude, dearest comrades, expressing my sincere thanks to the Minister of Defense Mr. Costas Papacostas, the Chief of Staff of the National Guard Lt. General Petros Tsalikides, the Head of the Police Department Mr. Michael Papageorgiou, the President of Cyprus Sport Organization Dr. Nikos Kartakoullis, the Head of the Air Force Maj. Gen. Anastasios Katsimbras, the Head of Special Forces Col. Yiangos Yiangou, our sponsors MEGA Channel, Phileleftheros newspaper and Lanitis Bros.


Dear and noble friends, I welcome you to the island of Venus.

Mattheos Economides

UEP Executive President

National President of PSEK

THE HISTORY OF CYPRUS, Speech by Mattheos Economides




Cyprus is the largest island of Eastern Mediterranean and one of the most popular tourist destinations, attracting almost 3 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it became an independent republic in 1960. The Republic of Cyprus is one of the advanced economies in the region and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.

During the Late Bronze Age, in the thirteenth century BC, the Mycenaean Greeks started settling in Cyprus, introducing the Greek language and culture, which have been preserved to this day. From the 9th century BC, Cyprus was successively conquered by various foreign powers which included the Phoenicians, the Persians and the Romans. When the Roman Empire split into an eastern (Byzantine) and a western part, Cyprus was included in the eastern part, thus entering, from 395 AD, the long Byzantine period of its history. After brief spells of being ruled by King Richard Coeur de Lion and the Knights Templar in 1191, the island passed, in 1192, to the Frankish Lusignan family. It was taken over by the Venetians in 1489 and remained part of the Republic of Venice until 1571 when it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

Cyprus remained part of the Ottoman Empire, as did the Greek mainland and most Greek islands, for centuries. It is to this period that the Turkish – Cypriot minority community, made up of descendants of soldiers of the Ottoman army and of converted Greeks, is traced. Many Greek Cypriots participated in the Greek War of Independence, which started in 1821 and after 1830, as the various parts of Greece were gradually liberated the issue of the unification of Cyprus with Greece was raised. Cyprus, however, remained under Ottoman rule until 1878 when, under a defense alliance between Britain and Turkey, the island was ceded to Britain, which promised to help Turkey in the event of an attack by Russia. Turkish claims to Cyprus were renounced under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the island was declared a British Crown colony in 1925. Not for the first time in Cyprus’ history, decisions about Cyprus were taken by powers outside the island.

Throughout its long history of foreign rule, Cyprus retained its predominantly Hellenic identity. The majority of the population, approximately 80% is Greeks who belong to the Greek Orthodox Church and feel strong ethnic ties to the Greeks of the Greek mainland.

Kourion’s Greco-Roman Theatre

Cypriots had fought with the allies in World War II as members of either the Greek or the British forces. Expecting that after the war they would be granted the right of self determination, they were shocked to hear the then British Colonial Minister Henry Hopkinson tell the House of Commons in 1954 that some Commonwealth territories including Cyprus could ‘‘never’’ expect to be fully independent. This statement may have shocked the Cypriots but it has unfortunately turned out to be true, at least so far. Indeed, to this day Cyprus has not been able to achieve full independence.

In 1955 the Greek Cypriots started a liberation struggle against the British with the aim of enosis, i.e. uniting Cyprus with Greece. The British government exploited the presence of the Turkish Cypriot minority community in Cyprus and sought the involvement of Turkey, something which did not require much effort. The Greek Cypriot struggle against the British ended in 1959, not with the union of Cyprus with Greece but with the fettered independence of Cyprus under agreements reached between Britain, Greece and Turkey, which assumed the role of guarantor powers. It was in fact a ‘‘sham independence’’ with an imposed and unworkable constitution, which contained the seeds of discord and division. So essentially in 1960 a ‘‘reluctant republic’’ was created whose future was not very promising.

The Greek Junta sought to remove President Makarios by engineering a coup against him on 15 July 1974. This gave Turkey a pretext to invade Cyprus five days later, on 20 July 1974, ostensibly to re – establish the constitutional order and to protect the Turkish minority community on the island. Turkey occupied 37% of the island’s territory creating conditions for the separation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Throughout the centuries Cyprus has been a place of settlement for various ethnic groups. The arrival of different cultural elements from all parts of the known world contributed to the enrichment of the cultural values of the Cypriot society. Today, Cyprus once again constitutes a pole of attraction for people from all over the globe.

Cyprus, despite its small size, has always played a vital position and crucial role in the international affairs. Its geostrategic position in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, at the crossroads of three continents, provides the Island with a significant advantage that can be used constructively to promote peace, security and stability in the region.

Tombs of the Kings, Pafos

L’ile de Chypre est situé à l’est de la mer méditerranée  est c’est une de destinations touristiques les plus populaires. La république de Chypre actuelle obtient son indépendance du Royaume-Uni en 1960 et est un pays membre de l’Union Européenne depuis 2004.

En 1974 la Turquie utilisant comme excuse son statut de pays garant, a envahi Chypre, sous prétexte de restituer l’ordre constitutionnel. Au lieu de cela, elle a occupé à peu prés 37% du territoire nord de l’ile et presque un quart de la population de l’ile ont été chassés de force des régions occupées dans la partie nord. De plus, plus 1 619 ont été portés disparus pendant l’invasion et plus de 4 000 ont été tués.

Le conseil de l’ Europe a trouvé la Turquie coupable de violations graves de la convention européenne de l’homme dans la partie nord de l’ile occupée par cette dernière. En outre, en 2001,  la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe a trouvé la Turquie coupable de violations en masse de droits de l’homme à Chypre occasionnées par l’invasion turque de 1974. Dans une décision adoptée par 16 voix contre une-celle de la Turquie- la Cour de Strasbourg a décidé que la Turquie violait 14 articles de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme concernant entre autres, les conditions de vie des Chypriotes grecs enclavés dans les régions occupées de l’ile, le refus de la Turquie de mener une enquête sur le sort des personnes portées disparues et le droit de retour de réfugiés dans leurs foyers ancestraux.

Chypre est représentée dans l’Union Européenne par un Commissaire et six membres au Parlement européen. Elle participe aussi à la Force de réaction rapide de l’Union Européenne, aux capacités militaires européennes ; en cours de formation. De plus, Chypre participe à « HELBROC » elle a obtenu la présidence de CHEN et elle participe aussi à l’OSCE.




Invasion, Continuing Occupation and Human Rights Violations

Ethnic Cleansing

Refugees and Displaced

Separation of Families

Disrespect for the Home, Homelife and Deprivation of Possessions

Rape and Forced Prostitution

Torture - Inhuman Treatment - Assault and Battery - Murder and Killings

Deprivation of Liberty and False Detention

The Missing

The Enclaved

Property Usurpation

The Settlers

The Destruction of Cultural Heritage

In Conclusion




This treatise contains substantive information on the documented and continuing violations of internationally protected human rights committed by Turkey in Cyprus. These violations are the direct outcome of Turkey’s unlawful 1974 invasion of the Republic of Cyprus, of the continuing occupation of nearly 37% of its sovereign territory, and the systematic ethnic cleansing that occurred in the area of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.


The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the EU, while Turkey is engaged in accession talks with the EU. The material on which this analysis is based comes from reports, investigations and decisions by NGO’s, the European Commission of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament among others. These independent sources fully document Turkey’s violations of contemporary international and European human rights laws and treaties that Turkey has also signed and ratified. This presents a major legal and political challenge to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights espoused in article VI of the Founding Treaty of the EU, and which are the foundations of the post-Cold War European order.


The human rights violations presented in this treatise have been and continue to be directed against Greek Cypriots because of their ethnicity, religion and language. Such discrimination is explicitly prohibited under both the European Convention of Human Rights (article 14) and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (article 21). It is our fundamental position that the restoration of human rights will provide the foundation of a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.




Evidence of the gross and continuing violations of human rights by Turkey in Cyprus, among others, results from:


  • Eyewitness accounts


  • NGOs investigations


  • Various international investigations


  • The European Commission of Human Rights


  • The European Court of Human Rights


  • Reports by international media


These violations are even more striking considering the small size of Cyprus and its population. There is hardly anyone who has not been affected by these violations which have been exclusively directed at Greek, Maronite and Armenian Cypriots because of their ethnicity, language and religion. Such discrimination is explicitly prohibited by both the European Convention (article 14) and by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (article 21).


“… The Commission has found… that the acts violating the Convention were exclusively directed against members of… the Greek Cypriot community… Turkey has failed to secure the rights and freedoms set forth in these articles without discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, race and religion as required by article 14 of the Convention…”

(Council of Europe, European Commission of Human Rights, Application Nos. 6780/74 and 6950/75, Cyprus v. Turkey, par. 503)

Despite claims to the contrary and attempts by Turkey to shift responsibility to its Turkish Cypriot surrogates and avoid the application of the European Convention for its actions outside Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights has explicitly declared these violations to be imputable to Turkey.


“… the responsibility of Contracting States can be involved by acts and omissions of their authorities which produce effects outside their own territory… the responsibility… could also arise when as a consequence of military action… it exercises effective control outside its national territory… whether it be exercised directly, through its armed forces, or through a subordinate local administration…”

(Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus v. Turkey, Application No. 25781/94, Judgment, 10 May 2001, par. 76)




Following the unprecedented ferocity of its two phase invasion of Cyprus, Turkey proceeded with the systematic and deliberate ethnic cleansing of the areas of Cyprus under its occupation. The Nuremberg and Tokyo indictments at the end of WWII and the indictment of Serbian leaders in July 1995 by the United Nations specifically condemn ethnic cleansing. Turkey also created a puppet state in occupied Cyprus in violation of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention (articles 2 and 49 among others), which Turkey has also signed and ratified.


The ethnic cleansing of occupied Cyprus affected nearly 28% of the Greek Cypriot population, and about 70% of the population of the areas that came under Turkish occupation, more than 170 000 Greek Cypriots. These persons have not been allowed to voluntarily return to their habitual homes and properties in peace and safety since 1974. The techniques utilized by the occupation authorities to bring about this ethnic cleansing include but are not limited to:


Forcible eviction, deportation across the ceasefire line, forced evacuation and transportation to other sections of occupied Cyprus, intimidation, looting, indiscriminate bombing, murdering of civilians in cold blood, separation of families, illegal detention, terror, torture, assault and battery and forced labor.



In a very short time period following the Turkish invasion some 170 000 Greek Cypriots were involuntarily displaced from their habitual homes and properties. Most were expelled by the occupation forces, while others fled to the safety of the government controlled areas having witnessed the brutality of the occupation forces. This created a dramatic economic and social dislocation requiring emergency measures for the health, welfare, the housing, education and employment of the displaced. The government of Cyprus made a humanitarian decision not to “Palestinianize” the problem, of the displaced. Within five years after the invasion the Cypriot economic recovery was a fact which, unfortunately, has been used by Turkey and its apologists to justify the continuing division of the island Republic.


Turkey’s systematic and deliberate ethnic cleansing policy had one clear objective, the partition of Cyprus through the creation of two homogeneous and ethnically cleansed areas on the island. This was achieved in 1975 when Turkey compelled the Turkish Cypriots living in the government controlled areas to move to the areas under Turkish occupation.


The victims of Turkey’s ethnic cleansing can be classified either as refugees, i.e. those who sought safety and employment in another country, or displaced, i.e. those who sought shelter and employment in their own country. In either case they have the right to voluntarily return to their habitual homes and properties in peace and safety. This right has been upheld by:


Provisions of contemporary international law, resolutions by the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, resolutions of the European Parliament and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, decisions by the European Commission of Human Rights and by the European Court of Human Rights.


European institutions have found Turkey guilty of violations of various articles of the European Convention, because of the denial of the right to return to Greek Cypriot displaced and refugees and because of the absence of effective local remedies. Moreover, these institutions have concluded that the restoration of the rights of the refugees and the displaced cannot wait for a political settlement of the Cyprus problem.


“… The Commission concludes… that by the refusal to allow the return of more than 170 000 Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes in the north of Cyprus, Turkey, violated, and was continuing to violate article 8 of the Convention…”

(Council of Europe, European Commission of Human Rights, Applications 6780/74 and 6950/75, Cyprus v. Turkey, p. 163).

“… the inter-communal talks cannot be invoked in order to legitimate a violation of the Convention… the Court concludes that there has been a continuing violation of article 8 of the Convention by reason of the refusal to allow the return of any Greek Cypriot displaced persons to their homes in northern Cyprus…”

(Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus v. Turkey, Application No. 25781/94, Judgment, 10 May 2001, par. 174, 175)


Deportation, expulsion, forcible transportation to other areas of occupied Cyprus and terror tactics were applied on those left behind in order to complete the ethnic cleansing of occupied Cyprus. Moreover, those expelled or those who fled to the safety of the government controlled areas were not allowed to voluntarily return to their habitual homes in peace and safety. These actions had a serious impact on Cypriot family structure, given the close knit social structure of Cypriot society. For months after the invasion Cypriot social service agencies and the Red Cross worked to reunite families. The continuing disrespect and violations of family and private life has been defined as a major violation of article 8 of the European Convention in all four interstate applications filed by Cyprus against Turkey in the European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.



During the course and in the aftermath of the invasion, the Turkish forces and their surrogates engaged in systematic looting, pillage, wanton property destruction and seizure of private property. What could not be carried away was often destroyed. This involved the confiscation and expropriation of Greek Cypriot homes which were given to Turkish Cypriots and to Turkish settlers. Other Greek Cypriot property has been illegally sold to foreign nationals without the owner’s permission. In the weeks following the invasion, international media provided ample evidence of Cypriot cars, buses, household goods and other items for sale and, or in use in cities of Southern Turkey. These items had been transported to Turkey by Turkish naval vessels. These violations of the home and the deprivation of possessions served no public purpose. It was one more intimidation tactic employed in the ethnic cleansing of occupied Cyprus.


These actions have been examined by the European Commission of Human Rights and by the European Court of Human Rights in the four interstate applications filed by Cyprus against Turkey between 1974 and 1994. Both institutions have found these actions to be serious violations of article 8 of the European Convention (respect of private and family life and home), and article 1 of Protocol I of the Convention (right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions and not being deprived of possessions). These violations were even more evident in the absence of effective remedies (article 13) and by the refusal to allow Greek Cypriot displaced to return to their homes and properties. Turkey’s actions were also in violation of articles 33 and 53 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.



The Turkish army, during and in the aftermath of the invasion, committed large numbers of documented cases of rape of Greek Cypriot women and children from the age of 12 to 71. It was part of the tactic to humiliate, intimidate and terrorize the Greek Cypriot civilians in occupied Cyprus. Rape and dishonoring women is a particularly heinous crime in a conservative and close knit society such as that of Cyprus. The evidence of rape came from the testimonies of victims, witnesses, medical personnel and even from Turkish military personnel. Some of the instances of rape involved pregnant and retarded women, while others occurred in the presence of family members. Rape was carried out by Turkish soldiers and their officers. There is no evidence of any disciplinary action having been taken by the military for these actions.


Rape and enforced prostitution is explicitly prohibited by article 27 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention and by article 3 of the European Convention. The European Commission of Human Rights has found that these acts constitute “inhuman treatment” under article 3 of the European Convention. These violations were imputable to Turkey in the Commission’s decision in the first two interstate applications filed by Cyprus against Turkey in 1974 and 1975.


“… rapes were committed by Turkish soldiers and… even by Turkish officers, and this not only in some isolated cases of indiscipline. It has not been shown that the Turkish authorities took adequate measures to prevent this happening or that generally took any disciplinary measures following such incidents. The Commission… considers that the non-prevention of the said acts is imputable to Turkey under the Convention… [and that] the incidents of rape… as established constitute “inhuman treatment” in the sense of article 3 of the Convention…”

(Council of Europe, European Commission of Human Rights, Applications 6780/74 and 6950/75, Cyprus against Turkey, Report of the Commission, 10 July 1976, par. 373, 374)



In the course of the invasion and its aftermath, Turkish forces and their surrogates engaged in actions against the Greek Cypriot civilian population that violated article 3 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention and article 2 of the European Convention. Subsequent investigations by the European Commission of Human Rights and by the German NGO “Asme Humanitas” have shown that the Turkish authorities took no preventive measures or any disciplinary action in the aftermath of these violations. Both investigations concluded that killings of civilians, including women, children and pregnant women, took place on a “substantial scale.” These killings were not connected with any military operations and could not be justified. Similar findings involved the ill-treatment of persons in captivity including torture, withholding food, water and medical care.


These violations continued even after the cessation of hostilities. In August 1996, during demonstrations along the UN ceasefire line, in the presence of Turkish Cypriot “officials” and with the participation of members of the Turkish terrorist group the “Grey Wolves”, two Greek Cypriots were murdered in cold blood and several others were wounded. Despite calls by the European Parliament that those responsible be brought to justice, no sanctions have been applied on those responsible either by the Turkish authorities or by its surrogates.


“… The European Parliament deeply shocked by the killings that took place in August during peaceful demonstrations for the reunification of the island… with the active involvement and participation of elements belonging to the Turkish armed forces and the illegal occupying powers… calls on Turkey to cooperate by taking all necessary measures to identify, arrest and bring to justice all those implicated in the murders and in the decision to fire on unarmed civilians…”

(European Parliament, Resolution, 19 September 1996)



The investigations conducted by the European Commission of Human Rights in the first two Cypriot interstate applications against Turkey and by the German NGO “Asme Humanitas”, found Turkey in violation of article 5 of the European Convention (right to liberty and security of the person), and of various violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) on the conditions of internment, internment locations and others. These violations involved the arbitrary detention of thousands of persons including women, children and elderly Greek Cypriots. They were placed in concentration camps in crowded and unsanitary conditions at the height of summertime heat when temperatures reach above 105°F (40°C). Many male captives ranging in age from 17 to 70 were transported to Turkey and detained in Turkish prisons in Adana, Amasia and other locations in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Turkey has never provided complete lists of detainees as required by international law and many of these persons never returned to their homes.


These deliberate measures were applied on Greek Cypriots because of their ethnicity, language and religion. They intended to create terror, fear and intimidation among innocent Greek Cypriot civilians. If not expelled, these civilians were forced to flee to the safety of the government controlled areas. Even though the European Commission of Human Rights has found these violations to be imputable to Turkey, no Turkish official or any of Turkey’s subordinate local administrators have been punished for these deliberate actions.



One of the most tragic and continuing consequences of the Turkish invasion involves the fate of 1 619 Greek Cypriot missing persons. Of the persons missing 61% are military personnel and 39% are civilians, including 116 females and 27 persons under the age of 16. This number is staggering if taken in proportion to the population of Cyprus at the time of the invasion, i.e. 0.26%.


Evidence compiled from various sources including testimonials, media accounts, and records of the International Red Cross show that these missing persons were in Turkish custody under life threatening circumstances at the time of their disappearance. Many of these persons had been transported to Turkey but were not returned when the prisoner exchanges took place. The Turkish government has never produced any of its records on the missing or on the POW’s as required by the Geneva Convention and has not cooperated with any international agency on this issue.


Turkey’s non-cooperation in a primarily humanitarian matter has had significant political implications as European legal institutions determined that any violations involving the rights of the missing and their families are imputable to Turkey because of its effective control of occupied Cyprus. In the historic decision of the European Court of Human Rights on 10 May 2001 on the fourth Cypriot interstate application against Turkey, the Court by a vote of 16-1, the one negative vote being that of the Turkish judge, found Turkey guilty of major violations of the Convention.


“… For the Court, the silence of the authorities of the respondent state (ed. Note: Turkey) in the face of the real concerns of the relatives of the missing persons attains a level of severity which can only be categorized as inhuman treatment within the meaning of article 3…”

(Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Case of Cyprus v. Turkey, Application No. 25781/94, Judgment, 10 May 2001, par. 157)


At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion late in August 1974, about 20 000 Greek and Maronite Cypriots inhabiting in villages remained behind the ceasefire line. Today, only a total of 488 (May 2008) persons remain behind the “green line,” of whom 366 are Greek Cypriot and 123 Maronite Cypriots. These persons are known as the “enclaved”. Most of these persons chose to stay behind because of their attachment to their homes and properties, the fear of displacement and the hope that following the ceasefire they would be able to remain and continue with their lives. They were proven wrong!


Despite the Third Vienna Agreement, Turkey and its Turkish Cypriot surrogates have violated all its terms. Since 1974, the enclaved have endured conditions of hardship and oppression because of their ethnicity, language and religion.


“… The treatment complained of was clearly discriminatory against them on the basis of their “ethnic origin, race and religion”… the hardships which the enclaved Greek Cypriots were subjected… attained a level of severity which constituted an affront to human dignity…”

(Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Case of Cyprus v. Turkey, Application No. 25781/94, Judgment, 10 May 2001, par. 304)


The European Court of Human Rights has held Turkey to be responsible for all these violations whether committed by its agents or those of its subordinate local administration, because Turkey is in effective control of the occupied areas. Both the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have condemned Turkey’s practices against the enclaved. These violations continue more than thirty years after the Turkish invasion, while Turkey aspires to become an EU member.


“… The Assembly is particularly shocked by the imposed division of families, the prohibition of young people returning to their homes, the arbitrary confiscations and expropriations and the general climate of apprehension and uncertainty, even fear, to which members of these communities are deliberately subjected… [The Assembly calls on Turkey]… to cease all humiliation of the Greek and Maronite communities and put an end to the climate of intimidation…”

(Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, Resolution 1333 (2003), 24 June 2003, par. 8 and 9)



Property rights are protected by both the tradition and practice of Western societies as well as by Western jurisprudence. This right was incorporated in the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 17), it is protected by the European Convention (article 1, Protocol I), and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (article 17). In addition to their legal and economic aspects, property rights in Cyprus are also an important indicator or heritage and identity.


In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion and the deliberate ethnic cleansing of the occupied areas, the Turkish authorities and their subordinate local administration proceeded with the expropriation and usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties as part of the policy of eradicating the Greek Cypriot heritage in occupied Cyprus. Since 1974, Greek Cypriot displaced and refugee property owners have been denied access to and enjoyment of their property. Moreover, relatives of the displaced and refugees have also been denied inheritance rights to these properties. The usurpation of property has been directed at Greek Cypriots because of their language, ethnicity and religion in clear violation of the European Convention.


In 2003 land sales were estimated at 613 000 sq. meters. In 2004, some 2 827 applications for land sales had been submitted by foreigners, an increase of 196% over the previous year. In 2004 land “sales” were estimated at $2 billion.

The European Court of Human Rights in its historic decision on Cyprus v. Turkey of 10 May 2001 addressed the issue of violations of Greek Cypriot property rights. It determined that:


The government of Cyprus is the sole legitimate government of the Republic. The so-called “TRNC” is not a state and is illegal under international law. That Turkey being in effective control is responsible for all violations of the European Convention in occupied Cyprus.


“…The Assembly also notes with grave concern Turkey’s continued refusal to respect the Court’s judgments in the Loizidou case… This refusal demonstrates a manifest disregard by Turkey for its international obligations both as a High Contracting Party to the Convention and as a State of the Council of Europe…”

(Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, Resolution 1297(2002), 23 September 2002, par. 11)


Turkey’s documented and continuing violations of Greek Cypriot property rights are a clear indication of her intent to consolidate its conquest of nearly 37% of the Republic of Cyprus and the creation of two ethnically homogeneous states on Cyprus.



“… the arrival and establishment of the Turkish settlers is the

most notable demographic occurrence in Cyprus since 1974…”


This is the conclusion in the 1992 report by A. Cuco, Rapporteur of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The settlers now outnumber the native Turkish Cypriots by a ratio of 2:1. Their number is estimated at around 160 000 and rising. These settlers are not economical refugees and they are not seasonal workers. They are neither former residents of Cyprus returning to the island.


The settlers are mainly Anatolian shepherds, peasants, manual laborers, along with retired Turkish military who have been brought into Cyprus under a deliberate and systematic Turkish government policy aiming at:


  • · The alteration of the demographic character of the Republic of Cyprus
  • The creation of a new political and social reality in the aftermath of the ethnic cleansing of occupied Cyprus
  • Prejudicing any future political settlement on humanitarian, property and other grounds
  • · The alteration of the demographic structure of the Turkish Cypriot community
  • The control of political power in occupied Cyprus through the dependence of the settlers on the occupation authorities
  • Providing trained reserves for the occupation army.

The overwhelming presence of about 160 000 settlers along with an estimated 43 000 Turkish military has created social and economic conditions leading to the flight of the native Turkish Cypriots to Western Europe and Australia. Today, only 88 900 Turkish Cypriots remain out of an estimated 116 000 in 1974.



The deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage includes, but is not limited to:

  • The destruction of ancient historic sites and monuments
  • The looting of museums and other private collections
  • The destruction and desecration of important religious sites of Orthodox, Maronite and Armenian Cypriots. Known as the “island of the saints”, Cyprus has played an important role in the evolution and spread of Christianity in the West.
  • The deliberate name changes of historic sites, towns and villages in an attempt to erase the documented historic past of the island.
  • The destruction and disappearance of historical ancient artifacts and important movable religious items such as icons, sacerdotal vestments, books and precious items used in religious services.


The historic wealth of occupied Cyprus is shown by the presence of 31 major archaeological sites and ancient cemeteries, 11 major fortresses, towers and fortifications, 37 historic designated homes and bridges, 520 churches, monasteries and chapels.


The fate of the churches and monasteries (Orthodox, Maronite and Armenian) is indicative of the systematic and deliberate policies of the occupation regime. A number of 125 Churches have been turned into mosques, an old Islamic tradition in occupied territories, 67 have been turned into stables or hay warehouses, 57 have become museums, cultural centers and hotels, 17 have become hostels, restaurants and military warehouses, 25 have been demolished and 229 have been totally desecrated. As Byron's poem laments, war can reduce our grandest and most sacred temples to mere 'fragments of stone'.


“… Points out that the cultural heritage of each people must be preserved and condemns the systematic policy of expunging the past and the Hellenic and Christian culture pursued by Turkey in the part of Cyprus occupied by its troops, as regards both the imposition of place names and the disappearance or transformation of the island’s cultural heritage…”

(European Parliament, Resolution, 10 March 1988, par. 9a)

A Christian Church in the Occupied by the Turkish Army Area of Cyprus


This brief analysis has provided substantive information on the massive and continuing violations of human rights by Turkey in occupied Cyprus. The information presented from independent sources leaves no doubt about the systematic and deliberate policy of eradicating all aspects of the Greek Cypriot heritage and presence in the occupied areas. These discriminatory policies were directed at Greek, Maronite and Armenian Cypriots because of their ethnicity, religion and language. This is a stigma on the international community at a time when, with support from the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey is engaged in accession talks with the EU. Turkey continues to violate its international obligations capitalizing on regional instability and the support extended to Turkey by influential external powers. The subordination of human rights to economic, political and security considerations undermines not only the European human rights regime, but also the European commitment to the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Cyprus, since 1974, was and remains the testing ground of these principles.



Le 20 juillet 1974, la Turquie utilisant comme excuse son statut de pays garant, a envahi Chypre, sous prétexte de restituer l’ordre constitutionnel. Au lieu de cela, elle a occupé à peu près 35% du territoire de l’ile, un acte mondialement condamné en tant que violation flagrante du droit international et de la Charte de l’ONU. Située à 75 km, seulement de Chypre, la Turquie avait déclaré à maintes reprises pendant des décennies avant l’invasion et fréquemment après, que Chypre était d’une importance stratégique pour elle. Jusqu’à ce jour, Ankara défie constamment toute une série de résolutions de l’ONU exigeant le retrait de ses troupes d’occupation de Chypre.

Les conséquences de l’invasion et de l’occupation ont été terribles : Quelque 142.000 Chypriotes grecs qui vivaient dans le nord ont été chassés de force des régions occupées dans la partie nord où ils formaient 80% de la population. Ces personnes sont toujours privées de leurs droits de retourner dans leurs foyers et propriétés. De plus, à force de se voir refuser la pratique de leurs droits de l’homme fondamentaux et d’être constamment intimides, 20.000 autres chypriotes grecs enclavés dans les régions occupées ont progressivement été contraints de quitter leurs foyers et de se réfugier dans les régions libres. L’invasion s’est également avérée catastrophique pour l’économie du pays, étant donné que 30% de la population économiquement active s’est retrouvée au chômage.

Prés de 1500 civils et soldats chypriotes grecs ont été portés disparus pendant et après l’invasion. Un grand nombre d’entre eux avaient été arrêtés et vus dans des prisons en Turquie et dans les régions occupées avant de disparaitre.

Afin de changer le caractère démographique de l’ile, la Turquie a fait transférer des colons d’Anatolie dans les régions occupées. Depuis l’invasion, quelque 115.000 colons turcs se sont installés illégalement dans le nord de l’ile.

Trente-cinq mille soldats turcs, équipés d’armements militaires modernes et assistés par la force aérienne et navale de la Turquie continuent de stationner dans les régions occupées faisant de l’ile conformément au rapport de décembre 1995 du Secrétaire général de l’ONU, « l’une des régions les plus militarisées au monde ».


Asme Humanitas: Report of Asme Humanitas Delegation Concerning Cyprus v. Turkey, Federal Republic of Germany, 1977.


Amnesty International: Cyprus - Missing Persons in Cyprus - Amnesty International’s Actions 1974-1989, London: International Secretariat, August 1989.


Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus v. Goldberg & Feldman Fine Arts Inc., 917 F 2.d278, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Decision of 24 October 1990.


Chrysostomides, Kypros: The Republic of Cyprus - A Study in International Law, The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 2000.


Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus: Cyprus, A Civilization Plundered, Athens: The Hellenic Parliament, 2000.


Coufoudakis, Van: “Cyprus and the European Convention on Human Rights: The Law and Politics of Cyprus v. Turkey, Applications 6780/74 and 6950/75”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1982, pp. 450-473, 497-507.


Coufoudakis, Van: Cyprus: A Contemporary Problem in Historical Perspective, Minneapolis: Minnesota Mediterranean and East European Monographs, University of Minnesota, 2006.


Council of Europe, European Commission of Human Rights, Applications 6780/74 and 6950/75, Cyprus against Turkey,Report of the Commission, 10 July 1976.


Council of Europe, European Commission of Human Rights, Application 8007/77, Cyprus against Turkey, Report of the Commission, 4 October 1983.


European Court of Human Rights, Cases of Isaak v. Turkey, Application No. 44587/98 and Solomou v. Turkey No. 36832/97.


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Application 40/1993/435/514, Case of Loizidou v. Turkey,Judgment, 28 July 1998.


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Application 25781/94, Cyprus v. Turkey,Judgment, 10 May 2001.


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Third Section, Application 46347/99, Xenides-Aresti v. Turkey,Judgment, 7 December 2006.


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Third Section, Decision as to the Admissibility of Application No. 28940/95,Eleni Foka Against Turkey, 9 November 2006.


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, Third Section, Applications Nos. 16064/90, 16065/90, 16066/90, 16068/90, 16069/90, 16070/90, 16071/90, 16072/90, and 16073/90, In the Case of Varnava and Others v. Turkey,Judgment, 10 January 2008.


Christie’s, 1999b. Important Antiquities: Wednesday 20 October 1999. London: Christie’s Fine Art.


Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus (ed.), 1999. Cyprus: a Civilization Plundered. Nicosia: The Hellenic Parliament.


Bonhams, 1999. Antiquities: Thursday 22 April 1999. London: W. & F.C. Bonham.


Kyriazidis, E., 1999. The Church of Saint Themonianos at Lysi, in Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus (ed.), 168-79.


Papageorgiou, A., 1999a. The Church of the Virgin Kanakaria at Lythrangomi, in Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus (ed.), 154-67.


Papageorgiou, A., 1999b. The Church of Christ Antiphonetes in the Village of Kalograia, Kyrenia, in Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus (ed.), 180-213.


Watson, P., 1999. Many antiquities in auctions are looted. Sunday Times, 18 May.





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