Government condemns Turkish occupation and calls for unity

Government condemns Turkish occupation and calls for unity

President Nicos Anastasiades and the government strongly condemn the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos says, assuring that the government is working hard towards a lasting, honourable, functional and just solution and calls for unity in this effort.

“Today’s dark anniversary of the second phase of the Turkish invasion awakens painful memories,” Papadopoulos says in a written statement.

President Anastasiades and the government, he points out, “strongly condemn the continuing occupation of the Republic of Cyprus` territory by Turkish troops. Our thoughts are with our refugees, the enclaved and those missing.”

Forty one years later, the struggle to end Ankara’s occupation and rid the country of Turkish troops through a lasting, honourable, functional and just solution of the Cyprus problem becomes imperative, Papadopoulos says, assuring that this is the goal towards which President Anastasiades and the government are working hard.

The Deputy Government Spokesman calls on Turkey “to withdraw its troops from Cyprus, end its occupation and fully implement UN resolutions and decisions.”

The return of the fenced -off part of the city of Famagusta – known as Varosha – to its lawful residents on the basis of a proposal by Cyprus President and the relevant UN resolutions “would constitute proof of Turkey`s political will for a solution of the Cyprus problem,” he stresses.

“Such an action would facilitate the ongoing dialogue and bring greater hope for a positive outcome,” Papadopoulos says.

At the same time, he adds, the President and the government call for unity. This is the only way the common national goal will be achieved, he points out.

The Turkish army invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974, and launched the second phase of the invasion on August 14 of the same year, occupying the best part of Mesaoria, Famagusta, Karpasia and Morphou.

The Turkish side continues to disregard calls by the international community relating to Cyprus and continues to hold the city of Famagusta hostage. Dubbed a “ghost town”, Famagusta’s fenced off section – called Varosha – remains to this day deserted, abandoned to the elements.

UN-led peace talks between the leaders of Cyprus` two communities, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci resumed in May this year with the aim to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.