From Cyprus to Syria: Turkey’s Continued Invasions

Hits: 632

On January 20, the Turkish military began an invasion of the Kurdish-controlled Afrin region in northern Syria. Turkey’s government has declared that its operation aims “to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity,” remove “terrorist elements,” and protect civilians.

The Independent, however, published the first Western media report from Afrin, and Robert Fisk reports that the list of dead includes infants. “One-year old Wael al-Hussein, a refugee…was killed on 21 January, six-year old Moussab al-Hussein from Idlib (clearly from another refugee family) on the same day,” he writes.

Many journalists in Turkey, in the meanwhile, are rubbing their hands. Necati Doğru, a columnist with one of the most read Turkish newspapers, Sözcü, for example, proudly declares that Afrin “should be Turkey’s second Cyprus.” He writes: “You can’t say ‘I will enter Syria, strike them, cleanse the area and return. You should stay there permanently. We are having our second Cyprus.”

The Turkish invasion of Cyprus is considered a “victory” in Turkey and is celebrated every year. For the Republic of Cyprus, however, it was and still is a horrific crime that has completely changed the country ever since.

In 1974, Turkey claimed it was bringing “peace” to Cyprus, which it invaded with a brutal military assault that it calls the “Cyprus peace operation.” The Turkish military code-named the invasion “Operation Attila,” named after Attila the Hun (reigned 434-453 CE). A Turkic military leader from Central Asia, he is known for his ruthless and destructive campaigns and invasions, including those targeting Western and Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empires, and at one time he invaded Italy, devastating its northern provinces.

Following the invasion of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, Turkey deployed around 40,000 of its soldiers in the northern part of the island, which has turned Cyprus into the most militarized turf in the world. Since the invasion, some 37 percent of Cypriot territory has been under Turkish occupation. Bülent Ecevit, Turkey’s prime minister at the time of the invasion, is still hailed by many in the country as “the conqueror of Cyprus,” although others have recently claimed that it is Necmettin Erbakan, the then deputy PM, who actually deserves the title.

The campaign was accompanied by mass murder, abduction, and rape of Greek Cypriots by Turkish troops. The European Commission on Human Rights has documented the rape of women and children aged 12 to 71.

In their article titled “Gender and Genocide: Armenian and Greek Women Finding Positive Meaning in the Horror,” scholars Artemis Pippinelli and Ani Kalayjian detail the sexual assaults by Turkish troops against Greek Cypriot women and children, which they call the “Cyprus gendercide.” They write:

Rape victims suffered severe gynecological problems as well as psychological trauma. In some cases, women were forced into prostitution. Many were collected from different villages and held in separate rooms of empty houses where they were repeatedly raped by Turkish soldiers. In other cases, members of the same family were repeatedly raped, some in front of their children. Rapes also occurred in public before spectators. The brutality of these violent sexual attacks was followed by extreme physical trauma, including near suffocation. Children and pregnant or mentally retarded women were not spared.

In 1983, Turkey proceeded to issue the unilateral declaration of independence of a new “state” in Cyprus which they call “the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC). Only Turkey recognizes the TRNC, which has transformed northern Cyprus into a Turkish province.

Turks have applied the same methods used to de-Hellenize and Turkify Asia Minor (today’s Turkey), which had a Greek majority until the 1453 Turkish sack of Constantinople (Istanbul), to Turkify northern Cyprus.

For example, the Greek geographical names of the occupied north have been changed to Turkish names. And the violent destruction of the cultural heritage of the area at the hands of its Turkish regime is still ongoing. Hundreds of historic and religious monuments have been destroyed, looted, and vandalized. Many churches have been converted into stables, casinos, nightclubs, warehouses, barracks, and mosques, among other things.

And worshippers in those mosques in the occupied area are now reciting the Koranic verse Surah al Fath (verse of conquest) “for the victory of Turkey’s military operation on Afrin” every day until the invasion ends—as instructed by the government-funded Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet).

Turkey also rejects the Greek identity of Cyprus. According to the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Cyprus has never been a Greek island,” and “there has never been in Cyprus a ‘Cypriot nation.’”

The Turkish ministry is wrong. Not until the Turkish invasion in 1974 did the northern part of the island have a Turkish majority. The occupation forced around 170,000 indigenous Greek Cypriot inhabitants of northern Cyprus out of their homes and flee to the free, southern part of the island. The Turkish government then replaced Greek Cypriot natives with illegal settlers from Turkey, thus forcibly changing the demographic status-quo of the island. That is how a Turkish majority was created in the northern part of Cyprus, which had always had a Greek majority until 1974.

Similarly, Erdogan refuses to recognize Kurdish rule in Afrin, declaring his plan for changing the demographic status-quo there.

“Fifty-five percent of the population of Afrin is Arab, 35 percent is Kurds, who were settled there later, and 6 or 7 percent is Turkmen. The entire issue is to give Afrin back to its real owners. Our aim is to immediately send the 3.5 million Syrians in Turkey back to their homeland,” he said in a public speech.

In recent years, Turkish expansionism has become alarmingly popular within pro-government groups. Turkey’s new maps, published by the pro-government media, have even reclaimed the Ottoman Empire, including Greece and Iraq.

In parallel to that, many Turkish politicians from both the government and opposition have publicly expressed their desire to invade and capture Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Most recently, Yigit Bulut, one of Erdogan’s principal advisers, has threatened Greece over the islet of Imia, which Turks call “Kardak.” He said:

Athens will face the wrath of Turkey worse than that in Afrin. We will break the arms and legs of officials, of the Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] and any minister who dares to step on the Kardak islet in the Aegean. There is not an armed force in this region that could contend against the Turkish armed forces. So, everyone will know their place. All imperialists will accept that the people in this land are Turks and the nation in this land is Islamic ummah [nation] and they will kiss the hand that they cannot bend.

In the meanwhile, the Greek Defense Ministry announced that Turkey violated Greek airspace 138 times in one day alone, on February 1.

Since 1974, Turkey has been a proud and unapologetic occupier in Cyprus. Now Turkish authorities are targeting Afrin, knowing from past experience that they will not be held accountable. They can kill and torture civilians and commit campaigns of ethnic cleansing wherever they wish. Yesterday, their target was northern Cyprus; today it is northern Syria. What country will be the next target? Before even greater catastrophes occur in the region, Turkey has to be reminded that the Ottoman Empire is dead and will never be resurrected.


Originally published on 2018-02-21

About the author: Uzay Bulut, a journalist and political analyst born in Turkey, is currently based in Washington, DC. She is an associate fellow of the Philos Project. Her journalistic work focuses mainly on Turkey’s ethnic and religious minorities, political Islam, and the history of Turkey.  Follow her on Twitter: @uzayb.

Source: Providence

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974

READ MORE!
Caught in a Lie, US & Allies Bomb Syria the Night Before International Inspectors Arrive
The US, Britain and France trampled international law to launch missiles against Syria, claiming to have “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons. That evidence is based on terrorist lies. After a week of outrageous tweets and proclamations by POTUS Trump, which included continued accusations that Syria’s president ordered a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, east of Damascus, with Trump using grotesque and juvenile terminology, such as “animal Assad,” the very evening before chemical weapons inspectors of the OPCW were to visit Douma, America and allies launched illegal bombings against Syria. The illegal bombings included 103 missiles, 71 of ...
READ MORE
The Kurds, Terrorism and Kurdistan
A blast caused by a suicide car bombing hit the centre of Ankara on Sunday evening (March 13th, 2016) resulting in over a hundred casualties. The Turkish authorities were very quick to announce the identity of the suicide person: A Kurdish woman in close relation with the Kurdistan Workers Party. Nevertheless, this terror act in Ankara once again opened the “Kurdish Question” which is in direct connection with the question of Kurdistan’s independence and terrorism as the political instrument in the realization of the national projects and ultimate goals. Prologue There are many the so-called “stateless nations” or better to say “stateless ...
READ MORE
Criminal Nation: Obama and Trump Both should be Jailed for War Crimes
It is as if the Gambino and Genovese crime families were arguing their turf disputes in the courts and the news media. The Democrats are screaming bloody murder over President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, whom Hillary Clinton still blames for her defeat at the polls and whom the bipartisan War Party has never forgiven for Comey’s earlier hesitancy to blame the Russians for the same offense. Now that Trump has cut Comey loose — ostensibly for his handling of the Clinton emails scandal, according to three letters sent by Trump and his two top Justice Department officials ...
READ MORE
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
Tens of thousands have been killed over 40 years of bloodletting between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and tragically there seems to be no end in sight. In May 2016, President Erdogan stated that military operations against the PKK will continue until “the very last rebel is killed.” What is alarming about Erdogan’s statement is that he still believes he can solve the conflict through brutal force. Erdogan does not understand that he cannot wish the Kurdish problem away—a problem that will continue to haunt him and the country for countless more decades unless a solution is ...
READ MORE
American Unlimited Imperialism: Syria
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific ...
READ MORE
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, ...
READ MORE
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
The full extent of the damage to international peace and security caused by the US-led Syrian strikes will take some time to become clear. But its impact on the very concept of legality in international affairs is already evident. Simply put, the most powerful county in the world and its chief satellites, the UK and France, have thrown the rule of law into the trash can. The only "law" now is the law of the jungle. There is no going back. Ironically, the attack itself was claimed by its perpetrators as enforcement of legality, not of its obliteration. For example, NATO Secretary-General ...
READ MORE
Oliver Stone’s American History: “We’re not under Threat. We are the Threat”
As he launches his new TV series offering a critical view of US overseas exploits, the film director tells MEE he didn’t always see it that way. American controversies are Oliver Stone’s forte. The Hollywood movie director has turned his cameras on the assassination of John F Kennedy, the Vietnam War and the 9/11 attacks. But, when researching his television series, The Untold History of the United States, it was American exploits in the Middle East that left him with the most lasting impression, he told Middle East Eye on Wednesday. “When I studied the untold history, one thing that really hit me hard was ...
READ MORE
Donald Trump is an International Law Breaker
Donald Trump‘s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened: The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. [prior to the Chemical Weapons attack] There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at ...
READ MORE
Trump Bombs Syria and Obliterates His Anti-Interventionist Promises
On the evening of April 6 the U.S. military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at an airbase in Syria. The bombing was a “response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad government, which critics of the American deep state and the US imperial agenda have called a false flag attack. The U.S. assault, which was done without congressional approval, marks a complete reversal of Trump’s campaign trail anti-interventionist claims as well as his condemnation of previous US presidents’—Bush and Obama’s –military actions in countries like Syria and Iraq. As Think Progress reports, this action marks a “dramatic reversal from Trump’s position ...
READ MORE
U.S. is not Ready for the End of War in Syria
It is not a secret that the American government has been supporting terrorist groups during the entire Syrian conflict. One of these days, another fact proving this statement was recorded.On September 20, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) militants with their allies launched an offensive on the Syrian Arab Army positions, north-east of Hama city, The National reported.Most likely, the attack of the militants was orchestrated by the U.S. intelligence agencies, which had provided them with the information on the locations and the military strength in the region.It is also reported that the militants' main object was the units of the Russian ...
READ MORE
Are We Headed for a Turkish-American Breakup?
Turkish-US relations have faced many serious stress tests over the past 50 years. The catalyst in overcoming those crises was making strategic considerations, which always underlined the dependence of the two NATO allies on each other, regardless of their differences. These strategic considerations appear to be weakening now, as the regional priorities of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey and the United States no longer overlap, and in many cases conflict with each other. That is certainly the case in Syria, where the two countries are at odds over Washington’s alliance with Syrian Kurdish groups against the Islamic State (IS). Ankara insists these groups are ...
READ MORE
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
With respect to Greece’s role in the Mediterranean security system, the multilateralist formula applied to the region including the Balkans as well as is the orienting principle for the Greek foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Since 1994, the opportunities for NATO’s and EU’s initiatives were more than apparent for Athens when Greece (wrongly) understood the Euro-Atlantic community as a fundamental security player for the extending the values of security and co-operation into this structurally unbalanced region. During the Cold War, the Greek policy-makers also found (wrongly) since 1952 that the US-led NATO offered allegedly excellent opportunities ...
READ MORE
The Dirty Role of the West in Syria
September 17, 2015 “Information Clearing House” –  Over recent months the situation in the Mediterranean has served as a dramatic reminder of what the leaders of Europe have tried hard to forget. The Syrian crisis has reached Europe. Although a lot of talk has been made over numbers and percentages of refugees that every country may or may not accept, let’s not forget that behind those numbers and the showy emotionalism of the politicians hides the ugly side of world politics. The plans to overthrow the “annoying” regimes in the Middle East began at the time when the war hawks of ...
READ MORE
President Trump Welcomes Egyptian Dictator – The “Butcher of Cairo”
President Donald Trump Monday, April 3, 2017, welcomed the Egyptian military dictator, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed the title of  Field Marshal after arresting and deposing the democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013. After the meeting Trump told the press: “We agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.” By “a fantastic job” Trump was apparently referring to the massacre of hundreds of innocent Egyptians in the aftermath of US-endorsed coup ...
READ MORE
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa. Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of ...
READ MORE
Syria: It’s Not a Civil War and it Never Was
The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign. As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the “Syrian civil war” continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a “civil war” is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms “opposition.” It is not ...
READ MORE
Bill Clinton Worked Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahideen (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy.A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Party Committee (RPC), while intent upon smearing President Bill Clinton, nonetheless sheds light on the Clinton administration’s insidious role in recruiting and training jihadist mercenaries with a view to transforming Bosnia into a “Militant Islamic Base”.In many regards, Bosnia and Kosovo (1998-1999) were “dress rehearsals” for the destabilization of the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen).With regard to Syria, the recruitment of jihadists (according to Israeli intelligence ...
READ MORE
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) looks on as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi speaks during a meeting at the Plaza Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER
“Fool me once, shame on you; but fool me twice, shame on me.” Ancient proverb, (sometimes attributed to an Italian, Russian or Chinese proverb)  “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Ernst F. Schumacher (1911-1977) (in ‘Small is Beautiful’, an essay, in The Radical Humanist, Aug. 1973, p. 22).  “The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong ...
READ MORE
Caught in a Lie, US & Allies Bomb Syria the Night Before International Inspectors Arrive
The Kurds, Terrorism and Kurdistan
Criminal Nation: Obama and Trump Both should be Jailed for War Crimes
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
American Unlimited Imperialism: Syria
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
Oliver Stone’s American History: “We’re not under Threat. We are the Threat”
Donald Trump is an International Law Breaker
Trump Bombs Syria and Obliterates His Anti-Interventionist Promises
U.S. is not Ready for the End of War in Syria
Are We Headed for a Turkish-American Breakup?
POLICRATICUS: Electronic Magazine On Global Politics
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
The Dirty Role of the West in Syria
President Trump Welcomes Egyptian Dictator – The “Butcher of Cairo”
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
Syria: It’s Not a Civil War and it Never Was
Bill Clinton Worked Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda
False Flags and the Trump Administration
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu