Friday, February 8, 2013

38 years of Violation of Human Rights

I am from a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, in the southeastern corner of Europe, Cyprus. Cyprus is a beautiful island famous as a tourist attraction for its sun, beaches and nightlife. However, since the 20th of July 1974, our civil and human rights have been oppressed by the Turkish military. The Turkish government, given the fake excuse of internal disputes among the minority of Muslim/“Turkish” population and the majority of Christian/Greek population of the island, intervened and brutally forced the people from the north to abandon their houses (my mom’s family too) and part the island in two – 37% of the island is still occupied. On their way they killed, captured and raped people, destroyed, burned and despoiled properties, churches and historical monuments.

Some of the few human rights that are violated in Cyprus are the right of free movement in our own country, the right of living in our own country, missing/captured people, displacement in our own country, and the right of doing business and commerce in our own country. In this blog post I will concentrate on the theme of missing/captured people.

During the illegal invasion, many of our soldiers and citizens were captured by the barbarous Turkish military. The advance of the superior Turkish army was so fast that many people didn’t make it to the south and the UN protected areas. Those captured people were lost and none knows until today where they are. The numbers are shocking 1619 missing people (excluding known deaths) out of 600,000 total population. Their ages vary from infants to elderly. Lately, some discoveries have been made in various parts of the island with the excavation of massive graves of missing people. However those found are only a few and much is still to be done. The relatives of the missing people and the Cyprus Republic have reached the European Court of Justice, the UN, and every international government and non-governmental organization to persuade Turkey to reveal the truth and the fate of the missing people. However, Turkey, as it has always being doing in its history, is cruel enough not to give out any information. The irony is that Turkey wants to become a member of the EU - a stronghold of justice and human rights.

Freedom to Cyprus

Mothers desperately looking for their Sons after the invasion

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