From Cyprus to Syria: Turkey’s Continued Invasions

Hits: 508

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!
Did U.S. and Allies Commit War Crime by Bombing Syria on April 14th?
INTRODUCTION Bombardment (or other military invasion) of a country that has not invaded nor threatened to invade the attacking country(s) is “aggression” under international law, and is the chief crime that the Nazis were hanged for at Nuremberg after World War II. The U.S. and its allies have routinely committed aggression, in places such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. A particular instance of it, to be discussed here, could be especially prosecutable, because the alleged ‘cause’ for the invasion could turn out to have been a provable lie, an intentional fabrication which had been concocted by the perpetrators so as to ...
READ MORE
Empire’s Aggression on Syria
With the pounding of 59 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles on Shayrat airbase in Syria the Empire has widened its aggression in the strategically crucial country. The sounds of destruction announce imperialism’s and aggression, interference and intervention. This is the sound of “peace” imperialism likes to impose on peoples of other countries. Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Donald Trump, the US president, branded Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, a “dictator”, and called on “all civilized nations to join” the US “in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and ...
READ MORE
Syria, the United Nations, and the  Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
It’s long been obvious the United Nations is a rubber stamp lapdog of the United States. It set the stage for a decade of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and piled sanctions of Libya that resulted in the US and NATO (another lapdog) taking military action that killed around 30,000 Libyans. Now that supposedly august body has signaled it will investigate war crimes in Syria. The Associated Press reports the “resolution adopted by the assembly said the body, known as the ‘International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism,’ would help collect and analyze evidence of violations of human rights and international ...
READ MORE
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
SINCHON COUNTY, North Korea–Over the past few years the Korean people have been able to expose the truth about a number of atrocities by Washington’s military forces during the 1950–53 Korean War. Many others, however, remain covered up and receive virtually no mention outside the Korean peninsula. One such massacre took place in Sinchon, a city located in what is today North Korea.During the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialists leadership delegation’s visit to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), we toured the Sinchon Museum, which documents what north Koreans consider the worst atrocity to have taken place in ...
READ MORE
Democracy in America is Pure Fantasy
“I’ll never live to see 9/11 justice,” says Stephen Lendman. The 9/11 attacks have changed the course of humanity, even so for sixteen years have not been minimally clarified but turned the world in a place full of fear and hate as the United States spreads its military bases all over the world, having 737 and more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet.Stephen Lendman, one of the world’s most respected analysts, speaks with Pravda Report on the consequences of those attacks, and President Trump’s denial of his promises during the presidential campaign to investigate the day that has killed more than one million people ...
READ MORE
U.S. Airstrikes are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria
The United States is killing entire families in Raqqa, Syria, and enabling Saudi Arabia to do the same in Yemen.In June of this year, the U.S. led a campaign to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS fighters while the Russian and Syrian militaries were also attempting to do the same thing. In the first week of fighting, U.N. war crimes investigators warned that the U.S. had already killed 300 civilians from air strikes alone in that seven day period.Rather than heed that warning, the U.S. has continued the same strategy of pounding Raqqa into the ground despite the likelihood of civilian casualties. Pentagon ...
READ MORE
What Should We Expect from the Talks on Syria in Astana?
At the beginning of March 2017, it will be exactly six years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. Some journalists even make unfavorable forecasts wondering about the very possibility of reconciliation. Complicated by the foreign intervention on the part of Israel war in Lebanon, for example, had been for about 15 years. But even a six-year term it is too long. That is why we may hope that the meeting in Astana scheduled on January 23 will eventually lead to a positive result. And then there will be an occasion to consolidate the success of the negotiations in Geneva ...
READ MORE
Trump’s Straw Nazis: A Horror Story
Introduction – Nothing is More Dangerous than a Discreet Nazi People have been digesting the appointment of Stephen Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist and the sudden rise in overt racism and Nazi symbology. There are people saying “Heil Trump”, giving Nazi salutes, and spray-painting swastikas in alarming numbers. The US is a large, populous, diverse country, but there is clearly something of significance here beyond just a few ignorant teenagers with spraycans and emotional issues. The overt Nazism is very disturbing. It was less than reassuring when Anne Coulter sought to tweet some perspective “Rachel shows FIVE PEOPLE at Richard Spencer meeting ...
READ MORE
Nekrologas Makeinui
Mirė vienas didžiausių pasaulyje tarptautinių karo nusikaltėlių JAV senatorius Džonas Makeinas. Jis , kaip ir kitas JAV karo nusikaltėlių gaujos sėbras Zbignevas Bzežinskis, darė karo nusikaltimus visame pasaulyje, žudė civilius gyventojus, moteris, vaikus, senelius Vietname, Irake, Jugoslavijoje, Libijoje, Sirijoje, Jemene, Somalyje, Nigerijoje, Gruzijoje, Ukrainoje, kišosi į visų pasaulio šalių vidaus reikalus, dalyvavo vykdant spalvotas revoliucijas visose Rusijos pasienyje esančiose buvusiose tarybinėse valstybėse, Vidurio ir Rytų Europoje, Pabaltijo respublikose, Šiaurės Afrikoje, Artimuosiuose ir Vidurio Rytuose, rėmė nusikalstamus fašistinius režimus, nacionalistines chuntas, islamo teroristines organizacijas minėtose šalyse, yra tiesiogiai atsakingas už jo remtų partijų – konservatorių, liberalų, socdemų, nacistų, nacionalistų, fašistų, islamo teroristų ...
READ MORE
Here’s Why France Should Be Blamed for the Destruction in Syria
Why is France so interested in Syria? According to the Guardian, France’s policy in Syria has been “more forward than any other Western country”: “[France] was early in calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, still insists he must go, and recently joined airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State.” France joined the United States in bombing Syrian territory (without a U.N. mandate) even before the United Kingdom did. In 2013, France stood by Obama’s side despite the fact the United Kingdom’s parliament voted not to join Obama’s efforts to “punish” Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for crossing Obama’s imaginary red line. ...
READ MORE
Albanian Jihadist’s Easy Passage to Syria’s Brutal War
A former Islamist fighter in Syria recalls why he went to Syria, how easy it was to get there – and why he would go again, if he could.On his first trip abroad, he left with 400 euros in his pocket, a printed map from the internet and the belief that he was fulfilling his destiny in eyes of Allah. The destination was the frontline of the war in Syria, but his jihad ended faster than it started.Two years later, in a bar full of people in his hometown in northern Albania, Ebu Merjem stands out with his long beard ...
READ MORE
American Foreign Policy Infuriates Everyone
American foreign policy seems to be designed to infuriate everyone, friend and foe alike, though we realise the word “friend” is a euphemism for “useful for American interests.” In a futile attempt to reassert its world hegemony the American ruling class has ripped up or is forcing changes to, free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, with the EU and Pacific nations, ignores the World Trade Organisation rules, has reneged on the agreement it forced down Iran’s throat at the point of a gun with regard to a supposed nuclear weapons development, imposed economic blockades on Iran and Russia that ...
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
Video: Destruction of Palmyra (2016)
“Just rubble, a ruin, completely destroyed.” - @lindseyhilsum reveals the full scale of destruction in Palmyra. — Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) Video: April 2, 2016 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.
READ MORE
Israel: The Nuclear Hegemon That Poses a Potential Threat to Europe
It is calculated that in addition to the secret arsenal of up to 400 nuclear warheads, according to American Scientists, the Israeli state also reportedly possesses chemical and/or biological WMD, making it a dangerous nuclear hegemon that poses a potential threat not only to the Middle East but also to Europe.  Neither France nor Britain nor Germany can equal Israeli state nuclear weaponisation on both land and sea. This calculation is based on the fact that the state of Israel is the only WMD state to refuse to be a party to either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Biological ...
READ MORE
Americans are no Different than Germans were (and are)
Daniel Goldhagen blamed the Holocaust on «the Germans» (by which he meant the German people), and said that they perpetrated the Holocaust because they positively enjoyed murdering «the Jews». But, as has long been well understood by historians (except when they fail to point to it as being a disproof of Goldhagen’s bigoted and indefensible anti-German thesis), Hitler had to work long and hard in order to bring about a consensus, first amongst his own leadership group, and then in the population as a whole, favoring the extermination-option. Hitler, Der Fuehrer, «The Leader», clearly was the catalyst turning the chemical ...
READ MORE
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
The refusal of the United Nations to qualify the recent US airstrike against Syria as an act of aggression makes the Organization irrelevant – something Russia has been trying to prevent. It has become vulnerable to scathing criticism after demonstrating its impotence and inability to act. The continued paralysis is an eloquent example of the UN’s disengagement and lack of political will to fulfill its duty. The Organization’s image has suffered great damage. It still has a chance to rectify it by launching an investigation into what really happened in Syria. Article One of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes is ...
READ MORE
A Liberal Democracy, a Market Capitalist Economy and the Permanent Wars
War is not an anomaly, nor an exception to the rule, it has always been with us and it might always be. Militarism and its practice in war are subcategories of waste (the harmful things we produce such as pollution and bombs) and domains of accumulation themselves. They are also prerequisites for the expansion of capital and its market economy. Much is done to portray war as an inherent attribute of human fallibility or an unintended consequence. However, mainstream concepts associated with the promotion of the market economy are weapons of the ruling class. They are all laced with poison. ...
READ MORE
A State for the Kurds?
It was in 1916, in the midst of World War I, that Britain and France (pitted against the Germans, Austrians and Ottoman Turks) made their infamous Sykes-Picot agreement. In grand imperial style, they used this agreement to divide up the Middle East between them. It was a daring move, considering that the war was at a stalemate and the two allies did not know if they were going to win the struggle. Nonetheless, they went ahead with the agreement and in doing so made a number of decisions that continue to shape the region to this day.Besides bringing traditional European imperialism ...
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
Did U.S. and Allies Commit War Crime by Bombing Syria on April 14th?
Empire’s Aggression on Syria
Syria, the United Nations, and the Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
Democracy in America is Pure Fantasy
U.S. Airstrikes are Wiping Out Entire Families in Yemen and Syria
What Should We Expect from the Talks on Syria in Astana?
Trump’s Straw Nazis: A Horror Story
Nekrologas Makeinui
Here’s Why France Should Be Blamed for the Destruction in Syria
Albanian Jihadist’s Easy Passage to Syria’s Brutal War
American Foreign Policy Infuriates Everyone
The Kurds, Terrorism and Kurdistan
Video: Destruction of Palmyra (2016)
Israel: The Nuclear Hegemon That Poses a Potential Threat to Europe
Americans are no Different than Germans were (and are)
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
A Liberal Democracy, a Market Capitalist Economy and the Permanent Wars
A State for the Kurds?
The Dirty Role of the West in Syria
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