Turkey Is Committing Cultural Genocide in Cyprus

by Michael Rubin

Simply put, Erdoğan today poses a greater threat to Turkish Cypriots than the irredentist Greek junta did prior to 1974.

In 1974, the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus over fears that the Greek junta would try to annex the island. Any excuse for Turkish forces to remain in Cyprus quickly evaporated, however, when the Greek junta collapsed and Greece reverted to democracy. Still, Turkish forces remained on the island in pursuit of a long campaign of ethnic and sectarian cleansing. Today, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the proxy state that Turkey established, controls one-third of the island.

While the international community recognizes Greek Cypriots as victims of Turkish aggressions—no country other than Turkey recognizes Northern Cyprus’ sovereignty—the island’s ethnic Greeks are not Turkey’s only victims. Rather, Turkey now appears to be pursuing a campaign of cultural genocide against the island’s traditional Turkish community.

Shortly after the Turkish invasion, Turkish settlers began arriving in northern Cyprus. The Turkish government, eager to bolster the numbers of ethnic Turks and Muslims on the island, encouraged the migration. Many were poor agricultural workers who moved into the houses left behind by Greek Cypriots.

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Πηγή: nationalinterest.org

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