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Divisions And Conflicts Between The Greek Cypriots And The Turkish Cypriots In Cyprus

1913 words - 8 pages

The Greek Coup
By 1971, Makarios became more of a problem than an aid to enosis. There were attempts, by Greece, to remove him from power, but his popularity in Cyprus was too strong. On July 15, 1974, there was a coup led by Nikos Sampson, also known as `hammer of the Turks’. He overthrew Makarios who ended up fleeing the island by going through the British base (Ince, 1974 Greek Coup d'etat & Turkish Intervention , 2013). He was asked by the Greek military in staging this successful coup (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006).
The Turkish Invasion
The preamble to the Hague Convention of 1954 says, “Damage to the cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind” (Zaphirou, 2009). The invasion occurred on July 20, 1974. Turkey’s reason for the invasion was the coup. Turkey took over 36.2% of the island. 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to leave their homes, unable to return to this day. In the midst of the invasion, 3,000 people were killed and there are still 1,400 people unaccounted for, missing. Even some of the Turkish Cypriots were forced to move. They were mainly forced to move to Europe but were also sometimes sent to other places. The settlers that came with the invasion outnumbered the amount of Turkish Cypriots already there. There was about two settlers per Turkish Cypriot (Miltiadou, 2012, p. 56). The people were separated by race and religion, two different cultures and two different beliefs were forced to be distinguished and separated, when they had previously been living well together, separation was not the answers to the problems (Zaphirou, 2009).
An attempt was made to take away all Greek and Christian influence from the now Turkish side of the island, which is about a third of the island on the North side. The city names were changed to Turkish names (Miltiadou, 2012). Along with the habitation of the people being illegal, so was the name changing of towns, villages, and roads, going against international law (Zaphirou, 2009). Many of the churches and cemeteries have either been changed to something else or plundered and damaged (Miltiadou, 2012). The Churches are said to have received the worst of the damage. More than 15,000 saint icons were destroyed and gospels and other valuable things have disappeared. The churches have been turned into mosques, museums, destroyed, or turned into other kinds of buildings. To the irritation of many Cypriots, most of the rare mosaics and wall-paintings have been illegally sold by Turkish poeple (Zaphirou, 2009). To make relations even worse, in 1983, the Turkish leaders also declared the land they took over the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which is only recognized by Turkey (Miltiadou, 2012).
In response to this action, the United Nations declared it invalid and said others should as well. The European Union agrees with the United Nations. Everyone else only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus from when they received...

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