'The case of Cyprus and Turkey's application of such policy and methods
against Greek Cypriots as an ethnic and religious group. The concept and
practice of 'ethnic cleansinng has been recently associated in the situation
prevailing in the former Yugoslavia, and especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina
and has been condemned by the International Community. The methods applied
to achieve the aim of the policy of ethnic cleansing have been described
Forcible mass displacement, deportation, expulsion, and forced
evacuations of persons from their homes in flagrant violation of their
human rights, aimed at the dislocation or destruction of national, ethnic,
racial or religious groups through indiscriminate bombing, destruction
of homes and killings of civilians as well as other forms of intimidation.
Victims of ethnic cleansing are forced to flee their homes and seek rescue
in areas not affected by attacks. Shelling of churches, hospitals, population
centres, shooting at innocent civilians, cutting off of supplies of food
and other essential goods as well as wanton devastation and destruction
of property are methods of intimidation used.
Detention of both combatants and civilians in concentration
camps, schools, factories and other unrecognized detention facilities.
Civilians are detained in order to force them to leave their homes as part
of the policy of ethnic cleansing.
Systematic execution of prisoners and innocent civilians, torture
and mistreatment including rape of persons belonging to a certain ethnic
Massive occurrence of disappearances of persons belonging to
a certain ethnic group.
Creation of 'faits accompliss by the use of force against members
of a certain ethnic group, division on ethnic basis.
Racial discrimination practiced against members of a certain
ethnic group, and fostering of hatred and violence.
In Cyprus, the same policies of ethnic cleansing have been applied by Turkey
against the Greek Cypriot community resulting in the massive violation
of human rights, the forcible division of the country and its people, the
colonization of the occupied areas by ethnic Turks, the forcible displacement
of one third of the population, disappearances etc. By her invasion and
occupation of 37 percent of the territory of Cyprus, Turkey has committed
and continues to commit grave violations of the human rights of the Greek
Cypriots manifested in the following methods of 'ethnic cleansing.
In the course of the military operations and occupation, Turkish
armed forces have, by way of systematic conduct adopted a practice of 'ethnic
cleansing, caused deprivation of life, including indiscriminate killings
of civilians, by bombing of civilian targets and hospitals and cold blooded
murders. They have subjected persons of both sexes and all ages to torture,
inhuman degrading treatment or punishment, including commission of rapes,
they have detained arbitrarily and with no lawful authority hundreds of
persons in Cyprus and in Turkey, subjecting the said persons to forced
labour. They have forcibly displaced thousands of persons from their homes
and they have refused to allow them to return thereto; they have caused
separation of families and other interferences with private life; they
have caused destruction of property and obstruction of free enjoyment of
property. All the above acts have been directed exclusively against Greek
Cypriots because of their national origin, race and religion.
In the course of the continuing military occupation of 37 percent
of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish army, under the
actual and exclusive authority and control of the government of Turkey,
committed and continues to commit the following atrocities and crimes:
Murders in cold blood of civilians, including women and old
men as well as children between 6 months and eleven years. Hundreds of
killings of Greek Cypriots by Turkish forces have been reported.
1,619 persons who disappeared are still missing. These persons,
993 soldiers and 626 civilians, amongst them 112 women and 26 children
under the age of 16, have been missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
in 1974 and as a direct consequence of it. Most of these persons were arrested
by Turkish soldiers and were known to be alive in the occupied area or
in detention in Turkey long after the cessation of hostilities. Despite
the adoption of a number of United Nations resolutions and the establishment
of a Committee on Missing Persons in 1981, the fate of the 1,619 missing
persons has not yet been ascertained because of obstacles put forward by
the Turkish side and because of lack of any cooperation on its part.
Wholesale and repeated rapes.
Forcible eviction and diplacement of persons from their homes and
land. The nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots who were forcibly expelled
from their homes by the Turkish invading forces in 1974, are still being
prevented by the Turkish occupation army of returning to their homes in
the occupied area and are destitute refugees in their own country. It should
be recalled that all relevant United Nations resolutions call for the instituting
of urgent measures for the voluntary return of the refugees to their homes
in safety. Twenty years have elapsed since then and Turkey arrogantly refuses
to implement these resolutions that would enable the refugees to return
to their homes and lands. Turkey's 40,000 strong occupation army continues
to occupy nearly 37 percent of Cyprus' territory and forcibly prevents
any movement of Greek Cypriots to the occupied area.
Expulsion of the enclaved. Out of the 20,000 Greek Cypriots,
who remained enclaved in the occupied area after the invasion only a few
hundred remain now in the Karpass peninsula, at the Eastern corner of Cyprus.
This is the result of a sustained campaign of harassment, discrimination
and oppression by the occupation forces which led to outright expulsion
and gradual deterioration of the living conditions of the enclaved. Inhuman
methods used to force the remaining Greek Cypriots to leave the occupied
area included: killings, looting, restrictions on movement, religion, education
and work, threats, violence, intimidation, harassment, forced labour e.t.c.
Under international pressure, the Turkish Cypriot side agreed in Vienna,
in August 1975, that Greek Cypriots in the occupied area would be free
to stay and that their families would be free to join them. The agreement
known as the Vienna III agreement, also stipulated that the enclaved 'be
given help to lead a normal life including facilities for education and
for the practice of their religion, as well as medical care by doctors
of their own community. Despite the agreement reached, the regime in the
occupied area has applied racist and inhuman policies against the Greek
Cypriot enclaved in order to force them to leave their lands and make room
for imported settlers from Turkey.
Looting of houses and business premises belonging to Greek Cypriots.
Seizure, appropriation, exploitation and distribution of land, houses,
enterprises and industries belonging to Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots
who were forcibly expelled from their homes, continue to be arbitrarily
deprived of their properties in the occupied area. Such properties are
being illegally distributed by the Turkish occupation forces to persons
other than their legal owners, including members of the Turkish occupation
army and to Turkish mainland settlers.
Thousands of Greek Cypriot civilians of all ages and both sexes
were arbitrarily detained by the Turkish military authorities in the occupied
areas under inhuman conditions. Concentration camps were established. Greek
Cypriot detainees and inhabitants of the Turkish occupied area fell victims
of systematic torture and of other inhuman or degrading treatment.
Forced labour. A great number of detainees, were made during
their detention, to perform forced and compulsory labour. Even today the
few Greek Cypriot men residing in the Karpass peninsula in the occupied
area, are forced to clean every Friday the 'Police station' of the village
Separation of families. Many families are still separated as
a result of some of the crimes described above, such as detention and forcible
eviction. It should be mentioned in this respect that due to the refusal
of the Turkish occupation authorities to allow the operation of Secondary
Schools for the Greek Cypriot enclaved children, the latter, when they
reach the age of 12 and wish to pursue secondary school studies, they have
no choice but to go to the government controlled area to attend school
there. These children are not allowed by the Turkish occupation regime
to visit their parents in the occupied area, except at Christmas, Easter
and during summer vacations. When boys reach the age of 16 and girls the
age of 18 they are not allowed to return to the occupied area even to visit
their parents during holidays. Relatives of enclaved living in the government
controlled area are not allowed to visit them in the occupied area, even
in case of deaths and funerals of relatives. The separation of families
under such inhuman policies, is a method of 'ethnic cleansing used to force
the few remaining in the occupied area Greek Cypriots to leave their homes
and flee to the government controlled area to join their relatives.
The occupying forces continue to plunder and systematically destroy
the Cypriot cultural heritage in the occupied part of the island. Religious
property is a particular target in an attempt to destroy the cultural identity
of the occupied area. Greek Orthodox churches continue to be converted
into mosques, vandalized or turned into entertainment centres, livestock
pens, barns, pubs and clubs. Antiquities, mosaics and even frescoes are
being removed and smuggled to international dealers. The aim: to eradicate
the 9,000 year old cultural heritage in the occupied area and create an
artifical one 'ethnically cleansed, suitable to the political designs of
the occupying power. The aforementioned atrocities and criminal acts were
and continue to be directed against Greek Cypriots because of their ethnic
origin, race and religion. The purpose has been to destroy and eradicate
the Greek Cypriot population of the occupied areas so as to move therein
Turks, thus changing the demographic structure of Cyprus and creating by
artificial means a Turkish populated area in furtherance of Turkey's policy
for the geographical separation of the two communities, the secession of
the occupied part and its ultimate annexation to Turkey.
It is estimated that more than 80,000 Turkish mainland settlers were transferred
to the occupied area and were given the homes and properties belonging
to the Greek Cypriots who were expelled therefrom. Such settlers were given
'citizenship and 'voting rights in an attempt to adulterate the will of
the Turkish Cypriot community and provide support to the occupation regime.
The colonization policy of Turkey was fully confirmed and exposed by a
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe mission, conducted by Spanish
parliamentarian Alfons Cuco, who visited Cyprus and reported about the
extensive colonization of the occupied area with mainland Turks, a policy
which he characterized as an obstacle to the finding of a solution to Cyprus
problem. The Parliamentary Assembly, based on the report submitted by Mr.
Cuco, condemned such colonization by recommendation 1197 adopted on 7 October
The Commission of Human Rights of the Council of Europe having examined
the three recourses of the Cyprus government against Turkey for multiple
violations of the European Convention of Human Rights (Applications Nos:
6780/74, 6950/75 an 8007/77 in the cases Cyprus against Turkey), adopted
two reports on 10 July 1976 and 4 October 1983 respectively. The Commission,
an impartial international judicial tribunal, having carefully evaluated
evidence, has found Turkey guilty of grave violations of human rights in
Cyprus from 1974 onwards.
The conclusion arrived at by the European Commission in its two reports
mentioned above, are analyzed below in section 5 (and are reproduced in
Annexes I & II for easy reference). It suffices to emphasize in this
respect that one of the conclusions reached by the Commission in both reports
reads as follows: 'Having found violations of a number of Articles of the
Convention, the Commission notes that the acts violating the Convention
were exclusively directed against members of one of the two communities
in Cyprus, namely the Greek Cypriot community. It concludes by eleven votes
to three that Turkey has thus 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 Art. 14 of the Convention. A policy
of 'ethnic cleansing implemented by Turkey against the Greek Cypriots was
confirmed and recorded as such by one of the most impartial judicial bodies,
the European Commission of Human Rights.
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Last modified: Sat Aug 17 23:12:06 EDT 1996