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The second Turkish invasion of Cyprus, 14 August 1974: open letter to UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General

An open letter to the President and the permanent representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (and copied to the UN Secretary-General).

14 August 2022

Your Excellencies

Re: The second Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus on 14 August 1974

Can you please explain why you have individually and collectively failed to respond to the three previous open letters addressed to you by Lobby for Cyprus, namely those dated 23 March 201812 April 2019 and 14 August 2021?

Turkish paratroopers invade the Republic of Cyprus, 1974.

The third of these previous open letters marked the 47th anniversary of the second Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus on 14 August 1974.

That was the follow-up to the first Turkish invasion of 20 July 1974 and another brutal act of military aggression. Due to both invasions, Turkey occupied, ethnically cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory as well as 57 per cent of the coastline of the Republic.

Today, on the 48th anniversary of the second Turkish invasion, Lobby for Cyprus is publishing this new open letter. In common with the previous three, it will be sent to each of Your Excellencies. Lobby for Cyprus expects each of you to answer all of the questions and other issues which have been raised but left unanswered.

In the meantime, Lobby for Cyprus reiterates what it wrote in its open letter dated 14 August 2021, particularly in the following three paragraphs:

‘We regard this pattern of non-responses as an affront to the dignity of all those, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, who were forcibly uprooted from their homes, forcibly transferred elsewhere and otherwise subjected to inhuman treatment in line with the irredentist and segregationist policies of Turkey. We also suggest that this pattern of non-responses reflects a wider UN practice of ostracising the victims of Turkey, the colonial ruler of Cyprus from 1571 until 1878 and the neo-colonial occupying power in the north of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.

‘The UN Security Council is the custodian of the UN Charter and its permanent members ought to conduct themselves in a matter that is commensurate with that hallowed status. They should be protecting the victims of Turkey; they should not be shunning them and running away from questions that must be answered rather than brushed under the carpet. …

‘Finally, we note that in paragraph 5 of his Report, dated 9 July 2021 (Document S/2021/635, the UN Secretary-General noted with concern that that “a majority of the Cypriots continued to not publicly engage on the matter.” We share this concern. At the same time, we maintain that the UN must actively engage with those who have been most affected by the ongoing occupation by Turkey, namely the forcibly displaced citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, many of whom are represented by organisations such as Lobby for Cyprus that the UN has chosen to shun. We hope that this open letter will help to engineer a change of attitude. The interests of humanity demand it.’

Since Lobby for Cyprus published its last open letter on 14 August 2021, all five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council have displayed double standards in response to the conflict in Ukraine. For example, the British Government has strengthened its post-Brexit sanctions regime with the stated aim of ‘encouraging Russia to cease actions which destabilise Ukraine, including actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.’ (See However, since 1974, the British Government has never imposed any comparable financial sanctions regime in response to the actions of Turkey which continue to destabilise the Republic of Cyprus, including actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the Republic.

As a London-based organisation representing the victims of Turkey who live in the United Kingdom, Lobby for Cyprus is particularly disappointed by the double standards displayed by the British Government. As one of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council which is a former colonial ruler of the Island of Cyprus, a ‘guarantor power’ of the Republic of Cyprus, a fellow member of the Commonwealth and the ‘penholder’ of Cyprus-related UN Security Council Resolutions, the United Kingdom should not be promoting double standards. They serve the interests of Turkey and the occupation, segregation and inhumanity for which it is undoubtedly responsible.

Why do the double standards exist?

With the passage of 48 years since the second Turkish invasion of 14 August 1974, the time has come for them to end.

Yours sincerely
Lobby for Cyprus

This open letter has been composed with the kind assistance of Dr Klearchos A. Kyriakides, Independent Academic Consultant to Lobby for Cyprus

In 1974 Turkish troops invaded the Republic of Cyprus, in order to establish a de facto Turkish-occupied northern zone. Approximately 170,000 Cypriot citizens of Greek and Christian origin were forcibly displaced and are are still denied their right to return by Turkey.

Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation that campaigns for a unitary Republic of Cyprus free from Turkish occupation and without any forms of segregation along ethnic or religious lines.

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