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Commemorating the 36th Anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. ROSKAM. Madam Speaker, I rise today to remember the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus. Thirty-six years ago today, Turkish troops entered the country in violation of international law, and have since maintained, and even increased their occupation of the Northern portion of Cyprus. Besides turning over Greek Cypriot property to new Turkish immigrants it is widely reported that there are currently roughly one Turkish soldier for every two Turkish Cypriots that they are claiming to defend.

* Over the past 36 years, the occupation of Cyprus has grown to the point where Turkish troops can be found in almost 37 percent of the country's territory. This increase in occupation has occurred despite the fact that countless resolutions have been adopted by the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly discouraging Turkey's continued occupation. These resolutions, which call for the return of refugees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops, have been blatantly ignored.

* Turkey's invasion and continued occupation of Cyprus represents a violation of human rights and creates an unnecessary ongoing situation of tension and uncertainty throughout the island. It has resulted in ethnic segregation and a noticeable division between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Most notably, the Turkish occupation has provoked the forcible expulsion of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots from their homes, leaving nearly one-third of the country in an ambiguous state of homelessness waiting to see if an agreement will ever be reached and their land will ever be returned.

* Just weeks ago we celebrated America's Independence Day. We celebrated our freedom and thriving representative democracy. Please join me in taking a moment today to remember and recognize the country of Cyprus as they continue to push for a restored democracy and a safe resolution to Turkish occupation.


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