In the 21st century, a member state of the United Nations and the European Union continues to be colonized and occupied by a NATO and UN member and EU hopeful. The colonizer is Turkey and the victim is Cyprus.
The northern part of the Republic of Cyprus — about 37% of the island’s territory — has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974. The so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) is recognized only by Turkey.
Since invading Cyprus, Turkey has instituted a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the northern part of the island. It has expelled around 170,000 Greek Cypriots and replaced them with thousands of settlers, as well as 40,000 of its own soldiers.
Documenting the occupation’s toll of murder and rape of many Greek Cypriots including pregnant women and children, the European Commission of Human Rights reported the “wholesale and repeated rapes of women of all ages from 12-71, sometimes to such an extent that the victims suffered hemorrhages or became mental wrecks.”
Cypriot families are still searching for the remains of their loved ones. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots, both soldiers and civilians, were arrested by Turkish troops and are still missing.
Never until 1974 was the northern part of the island home to a Turkish majority. But the murderous actions of Turkish troops terrorized the indigenous Greek inhabitants who, until then, did constitute the majority and forced them to flee to the free, southern part of the island. Turkey thus forcibly changed the demographic of the northern part of Cyprus, distorting the population balance between Turks and Greeks on the island.
Nonetheless, Turkey and the TRNC demand that the Turkish regime in northern Cyprus be recognized as an independent country or reach a “settlement” with the Republic of Cyprus to establish a “bicommunal, bizonal federation” (BBF) with “political equality.”