Today Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis’ (NY-11) resolution “Condemning Turkey for its repeated aggression toward Cyprus,” was reported out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. Currently, Turkish aggression in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions threatens the partnership between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Malliotakis has been a relentless advocate for Cyprus’ independence and has called on the Biden Administration to make resolving this issue a top foreign policy priority.
In 1974, the Turkish government ordered its military to invade the Republic of Cyprus. Since then, Turkey, led by authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has tolerated or abetted the desecration of more than 500 Orthodox Christian churches in Cyprus, brought over 200,000 illegal settlers to the geographic area, and despite having agreed to do so, failed to support international efforts to find and identify the remains of persons, including four U.S. citizens who have been missing since 1974.
In October 2020, Turkish President Erdogan illegally reopened parts of the Varosha beachfront and the Turkish Cypriots, with President Erdogan’s support, announced the partial reopening of the town of Varosha on July 20, 2021, both of which are inconsistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“Turkey has been illegally occupying Cyprus for nearly 50 years, violating several international treaties, including the North Atlantic Treaty and the Treaty of Guarantee, which established and guaranteed Cyprus’ independence,” said Congresswoman Malliotakis. “With Turkey only becoming more aggressive towards Cyprus and our allies in the Eastern Mediterranean, it’s critically important for the United States to stand with our allies in support of freedom and democracy. I’m pleased to see my colleagues stand with me in condemning Turkey’s illegal acts and will continue to push for the reunification of Cyprus and the return of Varosha to its native Greek Cypriot inhabitants.”
Specifically, Malliotakis’ resolution:
- Strongly condemns Turkey’s continued military presence in Cyprus and calls on Turkey to immediately withdraw all of its estimated 35,000 troops;
- Calls on Turkey to adhere to the democratic principles and mission of NATO;
- Calls on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to reverse the provocative actions in Varosha that breach international law, increase tensions, and hinder efforts to resume Cyprus settlement talks;
- Condemns Turkey for its support of the Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha and calls for Varosha area to be returned to its lawful inhabitants;
- Reiterates that the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem needs to be based on a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation with political equity;
- Calls on Turkey to cease interference in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone;
- Calls on Turley to provide avenues for U.S. and Cypriot citizens to seek financial remedies for their property losses in the territory of Cyrpus illegally controlled by Turkish Cypriots.
- Demands Turkey’s cooperation in helping recover the four U.S. citizens and over 1,000 Cypriot citizens who are still missing as a result of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus;
- and encourages the U.S. to engage with like-minded partners in UN efforts to see a resolution of the situation in Varosha and a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.