Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti

Cyprus

          is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its population is predominantly Greek (at least 80%), and there is also a Turkish Cypriot minority of, at most, 18%. Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, these percentages have been distorted by Turkey’s military occupation of the north of Cyprus, and the illegal importation of settlers from Turkey which followed. [1] The current overall population figures are not known definitively because there has been no reliable census in the area occupied by the Turkish Army. However the Council of Europe estimated that in 2001 there were 115,000 settlers from Turkey and only 87,600 Turkish Cypriots in the occupied territory, the latter amounting to a mere 10% of the total population. More recently (2017) the figure of 351,00 inhabitants in the occupied territory was reported in the Turkish Cypriot media, of which, no doubt, more than half are settlers and their offspring. An unconfirmed figure of 500,000 has also been bandied about.[2]

The internationally recognised government of Cyprus, i.e., the government of the Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the European Union and the United Nations, has de jure sovereignty over the whole of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Pavlos Andronikos

Footnotes

[1] Fourth Geneva Convention, Section III, Article 49: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

[2] Sources: “North’s Population Tops 350 Thousand”, Cyprus Mail, 28 Nov. 2017; and “Cyprus Population 2018” at World Population Review (accessed 16 August 2018).
See also “Turk settlers ‘making Cyprus hell’”, The Times 27 May 1978, p. 1:
Dr Fazil Kuchuk, a former Vice-President of Cyprus and one of the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot community, has launched a bitter attack on the settlement policy of the Turkish Government. He is complaining that settlers brought to the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus from the mainland “have transformed this paradise island into hell”.
In a series of articles this week in his own newspaper, Halkin-Sesi, Dr Kuchuk appealed to Mr Bulent Ecevit, the Turkish Prime Minister, to have undesirable settlers repatriated “so that this island that they have liberated [sic] will not be turned into a grave”...
It was the first public protest from a leading Turkish Cypriot since Turkey began sending settlers to the island, soon after its invasion in the summer of 1974. The Cyprus Government has been complaining regularly about a “reign of terror” by the Turkish settlers in the occupied area, directed at forcing the few remaining Greek Cypriots there to abandon their homes and flee to the Greek Cypriot-controlled part of Cyprus in the south.
The Government claims that as many as 40,000 settlers have been brought from the mainland in an attempt to change the demographic character of Cyprus and the balance of its population...


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