The real name of the occupation: Illegal settlers

Israel - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - Flags

02.07.2021 – “Cypriots and Palestinians united against terrorist occupier twins Turkey and Israel!” writes in the posters of Union of Cypriots on the streets of Nicosia. Two neighboring peoples are giving a national liberation struggle against the occupiers that are using the same rhetoric, the same lies, and the same strategy.

While the status quo is guaranteed by the impossible “solutions” supported by the imperialists, these two occupiers are continuing their invasion of Cyprus and Palestine. Fake negotiations and United Nations-backed plans are aiding and abetting Turkey and Israel’s crimes against humanity.

Following Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus in 1974, the forced displacement was implemented on all Cypriots by Turkey. Greek-speaking Cypriots living in the northern territories of the island were forced to move to the southern territories and Turkish-speaking Cypriots living in the southern territories were forced to move to the occupied northern territories of the island. There was an estimated total of 215,000 displaced Cypriots, comprising a third of the Greek-speaking and more than half of the Turkish-speaking Cypriots.

Synchronously with the forced displacement, Turkey started transferring its population from Anatolia to the occupied territories of the island, with the aim of changing the demographic structure of the island. The Turkish settlers seize housing, land, and other properties of the Greek-speaking Cypriots.

Since 1974, Turkey also uses the illegal Turkish settlers as a tool for social, cultural, and economical oppression against the Turkish-speaking Cypriots who are trapped in the occupied territories. The Cypriots who fought against this bloodless genocide such as the leftist political leader Raif Denktaş and the journalist Kutlu Adalı were assassinated by Turkey. The continuity of the transfer of the illegal Turkish settlers to the island forces the Turkish-speaking Cypriots to emigrate from the island. Today, the Turkish-speaking Cypriot diaspora population is three times bigger than the population that still manages to live on the island. Also, due to this colonisation which continues for almost half a century, Turkey has the full control over the political representation of the so-called Northern Cyprus puppet regime and the so-called “Turkish Cypriot leadership” which has a representation in the “Cyprus talks” of the United Nations.

The colonization policies are a violation of the international law. The Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer by an occupying power of its civilian population into the area it occupies. It stipulates that the “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Also, according to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court “transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a “war crime” and “deportation or forcible transfer of population” is a “crime against humanity”. Turkey and Israel are committing identical crimes according to international law. On February 2021, the International Criminal Court finally ruled it can investigate war crimes in Palestine. The decision of the International Criminal Court regarding the investigation of war crimes in Cyprus is expected soon as well.

The anti-imperialists of the world must realize that time is what Turkey and Israel need now for their colonization plans to succeed. Therefore, we must stand against anything that guarantees the status quo even for one more day. This includes the so-called “peace plans” that these two racist occupation regimes are pretending to support to continue with their ethnic cleansings. The distraction from the real name of the occupation will lead us all to absolute destruction.

What we are witnessing in Cyprus and Palestine is not division, but invasion and occupation. And the progressive fronts of the world must always be loyal to their slogans and causes of “free Cyprus” and “free Palestine” by taking into account these facts. Like the occupation flags of “Israel” and “Turkey’s puppet regime in the north of Cyprus” which inspire each other, Cypriots and Palestinians who are fighting for liberation will continue empowering each other!

Salute to all peoples who are fighting for one and fully independent Cyprus and Palestine!

Long live international solidarity!
Union of Cypriots