The Cyprus problem, simple in its essence, has been complicated through foreign intervention and has grown into a major dispute endangering peace in the sensitive Middle East region with its repercussions felt almost all over the world. The Cyprus problem has been in the international foreground for a long time, occupying the United Nations and other international fora almost without pause for the last thirty years. During this period the world organisation has been actively involved in peace operations and mediation efforts. Regretfully, existing procedures have proved insufficient to tackle the dispute effectively and restore peace and order in this small but sorely tried island whose only concern is the welfare and progress of its people - a failure due to the inability to impress on Turkey, the main party responsible for the continuous aggravation of the dispute, the need to comply with U.N. resolutions. On the other hand the great powers have not pressed Turkey hard enough to put an end to its aggressive policy against a small state.
The Turkish invasion of July and August 1974 - following the ill-conceived abortive antiMakarios coup and the subsequent occupation of about 37 per cent of the island's territory, resulting in the displacement of some 200.000 Greek Cypriots and the destruction of the country's prosperity and development prospects - dictate that humanity cannot afford to let the Cyprus problem drag on unresolved for much longer. Most countries, through the United Nations, have taken a stand demanding implementation of the U.N. resolutions and have agreed at the Security Council and General Assembly debates, that foreign intervention and foreign military presence must cease and Cyprus must be left alone to settle its own problems. But Turkey has been turning a deaf ear to all these calls, ignoring both resolutions and principles.
Moreover, in defiance of all internationally accepted principles and in violation of all concepts about human rights, the Turkish authorities have been systematically expelling the remaining Greek Cypriot population from the occupied area, while Turks from the mainland are imported to settle in homes forcibly left behind in the occupied area, thus seeking to change the demographic structure of the island, as a first step to partition and eventual annexation.


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.