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Cyprus Accuses Turkey of Attempting to Take Power in Occupied North

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Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades accused Turkey of attempting to take power in Cyprus Credit: UN Secretary-General

In an address to the United Nations, Cyprus has formally accused Turkey of attempting to take power in the occupied northern part of the island, according to an announcement made by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

In the summer of 1974, Turkish troops illegally invaded the island of Cyprus, and a breakaway, puppet state was formed in the northern portion of the country.

The puppet government in the occupied north that was created as a result of the invasion, known as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” is only recognized by Turkey, meaning that it is not recognized as such by any other nation.

Despite this recognition, Turkey claims that it does not control the pseudo-government in occupied Cyprus even though it exerts massive influence in the region.

In the years following the invasion, Turkey sent thousands of settlers with no relation to Cyprus from its own territory to inhabit the homes and villages of the nearly 200,000 Greek-Cypriot refugees who had been forced out of their homes. The UN has designated this an act of ethnic cleansing.

Turkey making grabs for power in occupied Cyprus

The political remnants of the Turkish invasion of the island are evident everywhere, as even Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is split in two, making it the last divided city in Europe.

UN troops still patrol the “dead zone,” or the strip of no-man’s land between the borders of Cyprus and the occupied lands in the northern part of the island.

Cypriot President Anastasiades claimed that Turkey’s financial dominance in occupied Cyprus is just one of many signs that the country is taking control of the puppet-state.

Turkey also recently changed designations for flights from Turkey to the airport of occupied Cyprus, designating them as domestic rather than international flights. Cypriot President Anastasiades hence referred to this in speaking to the UN, as this exemplifies Turkey’s overreach and categorization of occupied Cyprus as part of Turkey.

“‘I will proceed with the complaint again with the United Nations relative to the airport which…in essence is being integrated and considered a Turkish airport…Secondly, [financial] protocol clearly demonstrates Ankara’s complete control of the Turkish Cypriots,” Anastasiades stated.

For its part, Turkey stated that the move to change the airport’s designation is just an attempt at lowering prices for tickets from Turkey to occupied Cyprus.

Turkey will be offering occupied Cyprus economic aid amounting to €240 million ($256 million), which is a massive amount of money for the struggling pseudo-state.

Activists fear that the massive aid package could bring with it more control from Turkey in the region and that it could also make it easier for Turkish citizens with no links to the island to buy property there. It also grants more power to religious authorities.

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