RECOGNIZING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKEY'S INVASION OF CYPRUS -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 22, 2004)
HON. MARK STEVEN KIRK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2004
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the thirtieth anniversary of Turkey's invasion of Cyprus. This anniversary serves as a reminder of three decades of illegal occupation by Turkish military forces of over one-third of Cyprus's territory.
On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, forcing nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes. To this day, in defiance of United Nations General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, Turkey maintains more than 30,000 troops in the occupied territory.
The division of Cyprus has gone on for too long. The past year has seen great efforts by the Cypriots, the United States, and the U.N. to develop a plan for reunification. Unfortunately, the U.N. sponsored April 2004 vote on reunification failed to pass.
Cyprus's recent accession to the European Union presents great opportunities to join its European counterparts in strongly supporting human rights and fundamental freedoms. These values should lay the foundation for a final settlement. On this anniversary, I join my colleagues in looking forward to a future where Greek and Turkish Cypriots can once again live in peace on one unified island.