Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
Print this page Print Bookmark and Share
Media Watch 2007

26 April 2007
Source: Financial Mirror
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in the Financial Mirror of Nicosia on 26 April 2007.
Mayors of occupied Cyprus towns criticise UN
The elected mayors of the nine Turkish occupied municipalities of Cyprus have sent a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in relation to the Secretary General’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cyprus.

"The elected mayors of the nine Turkish occupied municipalities of Cyprus have sent a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in relation to the Secretary General’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cyprus.

In the letter, they express ''strong resentment and disappointment over the unfairness and partiality'' of the above report, saying that it does not separate purely humanitarian criteria from wider political expediencies.

''It is an indisputable fact that Turkey, in the summer of 1974, invaded Cyprus, displaced by the force of arms the Greek Cypriots from their own households and properties in the northern part of Cyprus and occupies 37% of its territory since then'', they note.

They recall the many resolutions by the UN and other international organizations that condemn the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus and call for the full restoration of all human rights to the people of Cyprus, in particular the refugees.

''We have to refer as well to the relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, which clearly state that Turkey exercises effective overall control over the occupied part of Cyprus and is therefore responsible for any acts, committed either by the Turkish occupied troops stationed in Cyprus, or by its subordinate local administration, by imposing restrictions and continuing violations of the freedom of settlement and the freedom of establishment of the displaced Greek-Cypriots to their occupied towns and villages'', the Mayors add.

They point out that this is the essence and the cause of the continuing massive violation of human rights in Cyprus, for almost thirty three consecutive years, a fact which is totally omitted in the report, in order to spare the image of Turkey.

''Turkey denies to safeguard, respect and restore the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Greek-Cypriots, including their right to peacefully enjoy their homes and properties situated in the occupied area of Cyprus'', the letter says.

It should be also pointed out, the Mayors say, that the religious and cultural heritage of our occupied towns and villages has been severely damaged, due to the ongoing policy of pillage, destruction and disrespect of the occupying power towards the religious and cultural monuments and sites in the northern occupied part of Cyprus.

The UN report, the mayors stress, does not deal with the destruction of the natural and built-up environment of the occupied towns and villages due to the unprecedented construction boom in the occupied area and the massive illegal sale/purchase of Greek-Cypriot owned properties, in the part of the Republic of Cyprus which has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974.

They express hope that these omissions will be included in a Secretary General’s future report on the situation of human rights in Cyprus for the sake of representing the true facts and the restitution of the sense of justice in the Greek Cypriot people."