December 5, 2016

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus in violation of International Law and UN Security Council Resolutions

November 15 marks seventeen years since the illegal regime in the occupied part of Cyprus, with the encouragement of the Turkish government, unilaterally declared independence in violation of international law and of the treaties of establishment and guarantees of the Republic of Cyprus. That illegal act was condemned by the UN Security Council in its resolution 541(1983) which called upon the Turkish side to withdraw the illegal UDI and to stop all secessionist acts. It further called upon all states not to facilitate in any way the secessionist entity and not to recognize any other state than the Republic of Cyprus.

Instead of complying with resolution 541 (1983), Turkey and its regime in the occupied area proceeded in six months with a further secessionist act by “exchanging ambassadors”. The UN Security Council, having considered the situation at the request of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus adopted resolution 550 (1984). The Council expressed grave concern “about the further secessionist acts in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus which are in violation of resolution 541 (1983), namely the purported “exchange of Ambassadors” between Turkey and the legally invalid “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and the contemplated holding of a “Constitutional referendum” and “elections”, as well as by other actions aimed at further consolidating the purported independent state and the division of Cyprus.”

Turkey which ignores all UN resolutions calling, inter alia, for respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus, aims at destroying the Republic of Cyprus and establishing two separate states on the island legitimizing in that way her act of aggression against Cyprus. This policy has been persistently pursued by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied northern part and it is now openly advocated as the official position of the Turkish side in the negotiations for an overall settlement.

From the time of its invasion, Turkey follows a step by step policy aiming at altering the demographic structure in the occupied part by bringing in settlers from Turkey and at changing the character of that part. Ancient toponyms have been changed and been given Turkish names, churches have been destroyed and the Greek Cypriot population has been driven out of its place of birth. These policies together with a total negative behavior by Turkey on the negotiating table to reach a comprehensive settlement on the basis of the UN resolutions, aim at creating with the passage of time faits accomplis for the partition of the island.

The Turkish Government and its illegal regime should come to realize that the illegal entity in the northern occupied part created and sustained by the use of force, exists in violation of international law and that it is not possible for the international community to ever legalize the results of an invasion and occupation. They should also realize that being in defiance of international law and UN resolutions, they only lead the Turkish Cypriot Community to further economic and political isolation.

Turkey is looking forward to enhance its relations with the European Union and is already a candidate country for becoming a member of the European Union. It is our hope and the hope of all concerned that in its road to Europe will adopt a new behavior characterized by European standards and by the respect of human rights and international law. In this framework we hope that Turkey’s attitude towards Cyprus will change fundamentally thus permitting a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.