Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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02 April 2015
Turkey’s renewed effort to join EU opposed by Lobby of Cyprus
“It would appear that after its recent series of failures abroad and its problems at home, Turkey is beginning to mount another campaign for admission into the European Union and is asking the EU’s members to put pressure on Cyprus.”

Theo Theodorou, spokesman for Lobby for Cyprus was referring to a recent appeal by eight prominent Europeans asking that the EU renews accession talks with Turkey by putting pressure on the Republic of Cyprus to withdraw its veto on any negations – irrespective of whether Turkish troops and colonists leave the occupied north of the island.

“The idea that Turkey is saying in effect ‘Yes, we have an army of occupation of 43,000 men in part of an EU member country; yes, we are occupying 38 per cent of an EU member state; yes, we have imported 183,000 Turkish citizens into the north to change the demographics of the area in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention; and, yes, we have destroyed and desecrated more than 500 Christian churches and cemeteries – but no one is perfect, let us in nonetheless,” Theodorou said.

“The appeal is insulting enough,” Theodorou went on, “but when the selfsame appeal concedes that: ‘Indeed, it would be difficult to make the case that Turkey fulfils the Copenhagan political criteria. For example, Turkey slid in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index  to 154th place (out of 180 countries)’, it is hard to take seriously any renewed support of Turkey’s accession to the EU.”

Commenting on its failures abroad that Turkey hopes will be ignored, Theodorou continued, “A recent report by the Center for American Progress noted that ‘Few observers would count Turkey as a vibrant democracy… and its role as a reliable NATO ally has been questioned. Moreover, the country's appeal as a model for the region has eroded significantly, and its ability to influence regional dynamics has decreased as Syria and Iraq have spun out of control.’”

Lobby for Cyprus’ position on a solution to the Cyprus issue is straightforward, Theodorou said. “Turkey withdraws its army of occupation, it takes back with its army the 183,000 colonists it imported into the north, and all refugees are permitted to go back to their homes.”

Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation with the aim of reuniting Cyprus. 

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.