Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark the 38th year of Turkey's invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus. I do so only days after Cyprus assumed the 6-month presidency of the European Union, yet Turkey, an EU candidate country, refuses to recognize the Cypriot presidency and has acted to freeze its communications with the European Union.
Since 1974, Turkey has engaged in the systematic destruction of the island's Hellenic, Christian, and Turkish Cypriot heritage. This year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom placed Turkey on its watch list ``as a country of particular concern.''
The presence of 45,000 Turkish troops on the island, along with over 200,000 Turkish colonialists, is an offense to human dignity.
Mr. Speaker, it is time for Turkey to meet the expectations of the international community by ending its decades-long occupation of Cyprus.