AHI commemorates the 48th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus

AHI commemorates the 48th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released a statement commemorating the 48th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on Wednesday, calling on the United States Congress to pressure the Turkish government in ending the occupation of the island and remove its troops and settlers.

“For 48 years, the Republic of Cyprus and its people, have endured an illegal occupation by over 40,000 Turkish troops, and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey,” it said, adding that “AHI calls for the immediate removal of all Turkish troops from the Republic of Cyprus. With their presence, Turkey continues to violate US law when it transfers American-made weapons from mainland Turkey to Turkish-occupied Cyprus. Congress must put a stop to this illegal transfer of weapons or otherwise it is complicit in breaking its own laws.”

The statement also set out the positions the AHI has consistently advocated for since 1974, specifically that:

“Since 1974, AHI has advocated that the US government must:

  • support a settlement of the Cyprus problem through negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bi communal federation in a state with a single sovereignty and international personality, incorporating the norms of a constitutional democracy embracing key American principles, the EU acquis communautaire and EU Founding Treaty, UN resolutions on Cyprus, the pertinent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and of other European Courts — as is the best interests of the United States;
  • call for the immediate withdrawal of Turkey’s 40,000 occupation troops illegally in Cyprus;
  • call for the return of the estimated at least 200,000 illegal Turkish colonists/settlers in Cyprus to Turkey and for a halt to the illegal bringing of more colonists/settlers from Turkey to occupied Cyprus to illegally change the demographics of the island and of the Turkish Cypriot community, all of which is in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949;
  • Reject any calls by the Turkish government or the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, for a “two-state” solution regarding Cyprus;
  • call for the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants by Turkey as noted in UN Security Council resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992) and the 1979 High Level Agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, which stated that priority should be given to the resettlement of Famagusta under the UN auspices. This position has been reaffirmed by the European Parliament in written declarations;
  • recognize that the European Court of Human Rights has issued decisions and judgments in which it confirms that persons, including US citizens, who hold title to real property under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus located in the area occupied by the Turkish military are the only rightful owners of that real property; and assert that Turkey must enable these rightful owners to repossess their property and compensate them for the unlawful use of their property;
  • must enact H.Res.376 that condemns Turkey for its illegal occupation of Cyprus;
  • direct Turkey to tear down the green line barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus that makes Nicosia the last divided capital in Europe;
  • call upon Turkey to stop its sanctioning of religious and cultural desecration in occupied Cyprus
  • call on Turkey to treat the issue of missing persons in Cyprus as a humanitarian issue, not a political one, by cooperating and being a constructive partner with the Republic of Cyprus on this matter;
  • Pressure the Turkish military to provide access to archival information from 1974, which could helped expedite the recovery of missing persons, which include American citizens;
  • call on Turkey to normalize relations with the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union and US strategic partner; and
  • must view the Cyprus issue as one of invasion and occupation by Turkey, similar to that of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rather than an ethnic dispute.”

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