Cyprus was a British colony from 1925 to 1959. Cypriots fought alongside the allies against Fascism and Nazism during World War II. The British, however, refused to give the island the right of self determination when the war was over. From 1955-59 a Liberation Struggle was fought against the colonial master, and resulted in the granting of independence to the island on the basis of the Zurich and London Agreements of February 1959.

In December 1963 hostilities between the two communities escalated, after the discovery of vast quantities of illegal Turkish supplied arms in the hands of a Turkish Cypriot extremist / terrorist group. The result was the walkout of the Turkish Cypriots from the government and the de facto separation of the communities at the official government / administration level, and the retreat of much of the Turkish Cypriot population into enclaves. However, in everyday life many mixed villages continued to live together as normal.

In 1967, there was a renewed escalation of hostilities and violence, including military action such as bombings by the Turkish military.

On 20 July 1974, after nearly seven years of relative calm, the Turkish military, under the guise of a peacekeeping operation after a coup in Cyprus (instigated by the Greek Junta), unleashed an attack against the island of Cyprus in violation of the Article 2 Paragraph 4 of the UN Charter and explicit UN Resolutions which stipulated that Turkey had no right to intervene in Cyprus affairs as well as Article 27 of the Lausanne Treaty, capturing about 5% of Cyprus territory.

On August 14, in violation of a UN cease-fire, 3 weeks after the restoration of the democratic Government, the second wave of the Turkish invasion was unleashed, resulting in the occupation of over 37% of Cyprus territory. The occupied area is the richest of the island, representing 70% of its resources.

The occupied area was ethnically cleansed of its majority Greek Cypriot population: over 200,000 Greek Cypriot civilians (approximately 1/3 of the total Cypriot population) were forced out of their homes and many atrocities were committed (including over 1,600 missing Greek Cypriots).  Cyprus Hellenic cultural heritage was systematically looted, pillaged and destroyed to change the cultural footprint of the occupied area.

On 13 February 1975, Turkey declared occupied Cyprus a federated Turkish State which was condemned in UN Security Council Resolution 367(1975). In 1983, it unilaterally declared itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, condemned in UN Security Council Resolutions 541(1983) & 550(1984). Moreover, over 150,000 Turkish settlers have been brought to Cyprus in violation of the Geneva Convention in order to alter the ethic mix of the island.


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