The Enclaved and Colonization of occupied areas

Towards the end of June 1975, there was a wave of unlawful and inhuman expulsions of the indigenous Greek Cypriot people who were enclaved in the occupied area. Thousands of Greek Cypriot inhabitants were thus uprooted and expelled from their homes and properties in violation of international law, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the U.N. resolutions on Cyprus, and the Non-Aligned and Commonwealth resolutions. Hardly a few hours notice was given to these uprooted people, who were not even allowed to take with them any of their personal belongings. It is indicative of Turkey's expulsion policy that an old lady who was forced to leave inspite of her poor health, died on the way. In violation of the agreement on the living conditions of the enclaved reached at the third round of talks in Vienna the expulsion continued on a massive scale. All kinds of direct and indirect pressure were used to speed up the process. In a report, dated 30 October 1979, the U.N. Secretary-General expressed serious concern about the condition of the Greek Cypriots in the occupied area. He said that they continued to be restricted to their respective villages and immediate surroundings. Medical, educational and religious facilities worsened. There were no Greek Cypriot physicians practising in the Turkish-held region. The Greek Cypriot elementary schools did not re-open after the summer holidays, and secondary schools have remained closed since 1974. At present only 536 Greek Cypriots and 215 Maronites remain in the occupied area compared with a total of about 20.000 in August 1974.1
The reason they were forced to leave was to make room for the Turks who were imported as part of the implementation of Turkey's plan to change the demographic structure of the occupied region, as a first step to eventual annexation. While world public opinion was urging the parties in the Cyprus dispute to abstain from any action likely to prejudice the efforts to reach a settlement, Ankara launched and consequently intensified her plan for the colonisation of the occupied areas with settlers from the Turkish mainland. Turkey's plans in this respect provide for the transfer of 200.000 people from the poor provinces of Anatolia and the Black Sea coastal areas to the occupied areas of Cyprus. It is estimated that there are well over 80.000 settlers in the occupied area at present and this is also verified by Turkish Cypriot opposition reports and analysis2. Thus, not only is the island's long historic continuity being defaced but the total number of Greek Cypriot refugees, as stated in U.N. reports, has increased instead of diminished. Turkey neither took into consideration the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Commission of Human Rights nor the recourses of Cyprus to the European Commission of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, which was declared admissible by the Commission despite objections of Ankara who alleged that the complaint was lodged by an "unlawful" Government. In fact the Commission, an impartial international judicial tribunal, having carefully evaluated evidence, has found by its report adopted on 10 July 1976, Turkey guilty of grave violations of human rights in Cyprus from 1974, onwards. (Killings, displacement of persons, deprivation of property, detention of civilians, missing persons, mass rape, inhuman treatment, deprivation of possessions and discrimination).


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.