On This Day July 20, 1974: Turkey Invades Cyprus


Under the pretense of “protecting” Turkish Cypriots who lived on the island nation, Turkey launched a violent invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974, displacing upwards of 160,000 people from their homes and thousands dead or missing.

The invasion was in response to an attempt by Greek nationalists led by military dictators in Greece to annex the island, which was populated by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots and had been previously under British rule.

Over the past four decades since the invasion and subsequent occupation of one third of the island, Turkey has ignored numerous United Nations resolutions to withdraw its illegal occupying forces.

Turkey was also found guilty by the European Commission of Human Rights for displacement of persons, deprivation of liberty, ill treatment, deprivation of life and deprivation of possessions.

Today, Nicosia remains Europe’s only divided capital city with armed guards monitoring checkpoints and gun towers on each side and Turkey continues its illegal occupation of a sovereign nation.


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