MELBOURNE | The 20th of July 2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In 1974 Turkey invaded and divided the island by force, and then proceeded to ethnically “cleanse” the massive area taken and occupied by the Turkish army. Four decades later the island is still divided.
In defiance of numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, European Union directives to withdraw from Cyprus, European Court of Human Rights rulings against Turkey, and the Geneva Convention, Turkey still maintains over 40,000 troops in the 36% of Cyprus it occupies, and has engaged in a huge programme of colonization. There are now over three hundred thousand illegal settlers from Turkey in Cyprus, and the number keeps rising.
For forty years the people of Cyprus have been suffering violations of their human rights. They have been deprived of their homes, properties, villages and towns; and they have had to watch the destruction of their places of worship and their rich and ancient cultural heritage whilst unable to intervene to save them.
Worst of all, thousands of parents, children and relatives of the missing persons have been waiting in vain to learn the fate of their loved ones, but the Turkish military—unmoved by their suffering—has been uncooperative.
Σ.Ε.Κ.Α., the Justice for Cyprus Committee of Victoria, has organized a Protest March in remembrance of the crimes committed against Cyprus in 1974, and the continuing injustice of a brutally divided island. We demand the withdrawal of the illegal Turkish army and settlers from Cyprus, and the implementation of human rights for all Cypriots in a reunified Cyprus.
The Protest March in Melbourne will take place on Sunday, 20 July 2014, from 12.30 p.m. Demonstrators will gather in Lonsdale Street near the Greek shops, and at 1 p.m. will march to the Parliament of Victoria, where speakers will address the rally, including the Director of the Office of the President of Cyprus Mr Panayiotis A. Antoniou, and Her Excellency Mrs. Ioanna Malliotis, High Commissioner of Cyprus to Australia.