Cyprus announced on Friday that it has made a deal with Israel for a new electronic surveillance system on the country’s border, the Green Line. The border divides the Republic of Cyprus from the occupied side of the island, called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
The puppet government in the occupied north was created as a result of the Turkish invasion of the island. The “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” is only recognized by Turkey amongst all the other nations of the world.
Cyprus plans on spending 27.5 million euros on the project, which will be constructed over the course of the next three years. The system will be used to counteract illegal activity on the border, including smuggling and illegal immigration.
“It is an electronic surveillance system that will provide us with images 24 hours a day,” Cypriot Defence Ministry spokesperson Christos Pieris said.
“It will be installed at various points on the Green Line.”
Cypriot interior minister Nicos Nouris said at the EU Asylum Support Office conference that Cyprus’s situation with migrants has become a growing issue for the country and that Cyprus is “obliged to take significant and drastic steps” in regards to their border with Turkish occupied Cyprus.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus acknowledged Cyprus’s plan, saying that it would be open to supporting the construction of the new system:
“At the crossroads of three continents, the island of Cyprus is not immune to irregular migration. Both the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus receive irregular immigration from various countries,” said a statement from the TRNC’s “Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
“Contrary to the Greek Cypriot side, our country is devoid of international assistance and struggling with irregular migration only with the support of motherland Turkey.”
The history of the green line and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Cyprus has been separated by its Turkish and Greek Cypriot populations since Turkey invaded the island in 1974. The Republic of Cyprus is the only internationally recognized government on the island.
It was only five days after the inexplicable coup d’état of the country by Greece’s dictatorial forces, which only served to give the Turks an excuse to invade and occupy the northern part of the island.
Approximately 40,000 Turkish troops raided the island under the code name “Operation Attila,” an apt name for the barbaric attack against innocent civilians, which clearly violated the Charter of the United Nations Security Council.
The pretext for the Turkish invasion was the protection of Turkish Cypriots, who made up about 18% of the island’s population, an argument which was as weak then as it is now.
The “Attila” invasion involved heavily armed troops landing shortly before dawn at Kyrenia (Girne) on the northern coast meeting resistance from Greek and Greek Cypriot forces.
By the time the UN Security Council was able to obtain a ceasefire on 22 July the Turkish forces were in command of a narrow path between Kyrenia and Nicosia, 3% of the territory of Cyprus, which they succeeded in widening, violating the ceasefire demanded in Resolution 353.
On that day Turkey launched its “Second Peace Operation”, which eventually resulted in the Turkish occupation of 37% of Cyprus.
An estimated 5,000 people were killed during the invasion and 1,619 were reported missing, but many historians believe the true toll of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus could be much higher.
As many as 200,000 Cypriots were forcefully driven away from their homes and became refugees in their own homeland as Turkey split the island in two, occupying around 35% of the island.