The Cyprus Issue

Over 5,000 Cypriots were killed during the invasion while hundreds of thousands of refugees were ethnically cleansed and forced into concentration camps. Excavations and DNA testing continue to this day to locate the thousands that are missing and to bring closure to their families.

It’s one of the most militarized areas on the planet. It’s home to the world’s only divided capital. Since Turkey illegally invaded the island in 1974, northern Cyprus has been filled with abandoned “ghost cities” and 40,000 armed Turkish troops. In July 2012, for the first time ever, Cyprus will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union. Will there finally be a resolution to “the Cyprus problem”?

Imagine if a country sent its fleet of ships to the United States, stormed America’s beaches, and proceeded to take control of the northern third of our nation. Imagine that Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and dozens of other cities were occupied by foreign armed forces and that everyone originally residing in those cities was forced to flee south, abandoning their ancestral homes and private property in the process.

That is the harsh reality Cypriots have lived since 1974.

In the summer of 1974, Turkish forces invaded the Republic of Cyprus. The takeover of the northern third of the island was swift and brutal. Hundreds of thousands of Cypriots fled their homes, triggering a massive humanitarian crisis that exists to this day.

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