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22ndannualcapital

Aravella Simotas: Statement in support of the liberation of Cyprus

This Sunday, July 20th, marks the 40th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Cyprus by Turkish armed forces.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the illegitimate partition of Cyprus between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. Since then, the United Nations and the international community have repeatedly condemned Turkey's military occupation of Cyprus and called for an end to the conflict. However, despite near universal criticism, the illegal occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkey continues.

While a political solution does not appear to be on the horizon, I strongly believe that the current situation is unacceptable. In addition to the illegal occupation of nearly a third of the country, Turkey must answer for the atrocities committed in 1974, including the thousands of Greek Cypriots killed and the more than 100,000 who were displaced as a result of the invasion. For too long Cyprus has been unable to reach its full potential as a nation, hamstrung by the illegitimate presence of a foreign power. I hope one day to see Cyprus unified and liberated from occupation, but until then I will do what I can to draw attention to this entrenched conflict.