ON THIS DAY- JULY 20 1974- Turkey invades Cyprus

Cyprus Invades Turkey
Turkey invades Cyprus
Turkey invades Cyprus

On July 20th 1974, thousands of Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus after last-minute talks in the Greek capital, Athens, failed to reach a solution.

Tension had been running high in the Mediterranean island since a military coup, in which President Archbishop Makarios, a Greek Cypriot, was deposed.

Forty-two years later, the Turkish invasion to Cyprus, which cost 3000 lives and 1619 people missing, still keeps the island divided.

As an explanation to this horrific act, Turkey offered the restoration of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Cyprus that was damaged by a coup, and the protection of an 18% Turkish-Cypriot minority on the island.

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*Young boy's parents went missing

The international community strongly condemned the military invasion and rejected Turkey's explanations. In 'Resolution 353' that was adopted on the day of the invasion, the United Nations (UN) Security Council "equally concerned about the necessity to restore the constitutional structure of the Republic of Cyprus" called upon all States to "respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus" and demanded "an immediate end to foreign military intervention in the Republic of Cyprus".

Turkey not only ignored the international community but launched a second offence in August, 1974 and managed to seize more than one third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.

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The atrocities of the Turkish army included repeated rapes of women of all ages, torture, savage and humiliating treatment of hundreds of people, including children, women and pensioners during their detention by the Turkish forces, as well as robbery on an extensive scale, by Turkish troops and Turkish Cypriots.

Thousands of Greek Cypriots lost their lives and 200,000 Cypriots fled their homes leaving behind their belongings.

The Turkish-Cypriots also later declared the occupied part of the island "a Federated Turkish State.”

A very sad day for Cyprus, with the horrific memories still remaining strong in the minds of all Greek Cypriots and Greeks alike.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.