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

18 November 2014
Turkey’s provocative 'invasion’ of Cyprus must be stopped, Lobby for Cyprus declares
“Turkey has marked the 40th black anniversary of its invasion of the Republic of Cyprus with what is in effect another invasion,” said Theo Theodorou, spokesman for Lobby for Cyprus.

He was referring to Turkey’s recent sending of an exploratory vessel and warships into the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
 
In 2011, a vast bed of natural gas was found in Cyprus’ EEZ which was adjacent to that discovered in Israel’s EEZ, which has led to talks between the two countries as to how best to utilise the resources.
 
“The move in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus also came when talks between the Republic and the representatives of Turkey’s occupation regime were in progress,” said Theodorou,“ and these talks have now been suspended.”
 
It would appear, he said, that with Turkey’s much vaunted policy of “zero problems with neighbours“ in shreds throughout the Middle East, Turkey has decided to divert the world’s attention from these failures by taking what it expects will be unchallenged provocative moves around Cyprus. 
 
Theodorou went on to say that “Turkey’s behaviour is that of an antagonistic colonial power. Having seized one third of the island in 1974, it now sets it sights on the natural resources of the part of the island it does not occupy.”
 
“There are many possible scenarios to explain Turkey’s illegal action,” Theodorou said, “but none of them can justify the illegal intrusion into Cyprus’ territorial waters and its EEZ.” One of the most obvious, Theodorou went on to say, was to include the Republic of Cyprus’ natural resources in talks to settle the illegal occupation of 37 percent of the Republic by a 43,000-man Turkish army. “However,” Theodorou added, “the Republic has made it clear that it represents all the people on the island and that any gains from the hydrocarbons, would benefit all the people.”
 
Unfortunately, as it did 40 years ago, with the 1974 invasion, the West has taken a degree of impartiality in its moderate condemnation of Turkey’s intrusion into Cyprus’ EEZ, by, in effect, asking both sides to show reason and act responsibly and avoid further escalation, “ as if it was the Republic that has acted unreasonably,” Theodorou added.
 
“We call on all people to rally around the Republic of Cyprus in this matter and demand that Turkey withdraw its vessels from the Republic’s territorial waters,” he said.


Note to editors
  • The Republic of Cyprus was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974.
  • Turkey maintains an illegal occupation in the north of the island with 43,000 troops in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. 
  • 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and displaced persons are prevented from returning to their homes in the occupied north.  
  • Turkey continues its policy of colonising the occupied territory with hundreds of thousands of Turkish nationals in an attempt to alter the demography of the island, in violation of the Geneva convention.