Turkey’s July 20, 1974 intervention on Cyprus was legal, say the Athens Court of Appeals and the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe adopted Resolution 573 on July 29, 1974 on this particular case, stating that Turkey’s intervention on Cyprus was a legitimate act emanating from the Treaty of Guarantee, Part IV.
The historical decision of the Athens Court of Appeals, No. 2658/79, dates back to March 21, 1979.
On July 15, 1974, the junta ruling Greece implemented a coup d’etat on Cyprus, overthrowing the elected government of President Makarios, which had been in control since the independence of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960. On July 20 of the same year Turkey staged a military intervention to reverse the coup.
Turkey’s action was perfectly legitimate and understandable. It was in fact a duty, stationed by the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus; in Part IV of the Treaty of Guarantee, which forms part of the constitution. Cyprus was saved from being annexed by Greece and the Turkish Cypriots freed from Greek oppression.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Western world only watched as the Turkish Cypriots were being massacred by their Greek Cypriot neighbors, with the aid of Greece, in a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing, and did nothing.
The splitting of Cyprus into two ethnically homogeneous, self-governing states was not achieved by the Turkish military intervention in 1974, as is commonly believed, but by Makarios and Georgios Grivas a decade earlier in 1963. All that the Turkish intervention of 1974 accomplished was to consolidate Turkish Cypriot enclaves into a uni-fied Turkish Cypriot zone in Northern Cyprus and to save their lives.
Of all the nations in the world only Turkey had the humanity to save what was left of the Turkish Cypriot population after years of eth-nic cleansing in 1974, and only Turkey now stands for justice in Cy-prus.
Under the provisions of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee which pro-vided that the Hellenic Republic, Turkey and United Kingdom would ensure the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, it was Turkey’s legal duty to take unilateral military action purportedly to restore constitutional order.
The Turkish intervention was perfectly legal according to the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960. Its legality has even been acknowledged by the Standing Committee of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe in a resolution dated July 29, 1979, and by the Athens Court of Appeals in a decision dated March 21, 1979. Sampson admitted that he was just about to proclaim enosis (union of Cyprus with Greece) when the Turkish intervention occurred (Cyprus Mail, July 17, 1975).
A father of one of the Greek commandos sent to Cyprus by the Greek junta in July 1974 to fight against Turkish Cypriots and Turkish troops who was shot down by Greek Cypriot National Guard members, filed a case against the Greek government for compensation in December 1976.
The Court of Athens ruled in favor of the father and ordered rea-sonable compensation to be paid by the Department of the Treasury of the Greek Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Finance objected to the decision of the Court of Athens and appealed to the Athens Court of Appeals for a cancellation of this order.
But unexpectedly the Supreme Court decided in favor of the fa-ther again and confirmed the decision of the Court of Athens.
The first paragraphs of the justification of the Athens Court of Appeals explains in detail the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, Part IV of the Treaty of Guarantee, the rights of Turkey, the coup d’etat organized by the Greek junta against Makarios and the improper behavior of Gen. Phaedon Gizikis, the head of Greece’s junta government in 1974.
The very last paragraph clearly highlights the legitimacy of the Turkish intervention on Cyprus.
The preposterous assertions by the Greek and Greek Cypriot gov-ernments that the Turkish Cypriots are nothing but a rebellious mi-nority and that the Turkish peace operation of 1974 was an unprovoked act of aggression are in fact aimed to misinform the world.
Unfortunately many European and American politicians sub-scribe to this spurious version of events, not knowing that by promoting the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus without adequate guarantees for the protection of the Turkish Cypriot people they are, in fact, promoting the creation of new problems on the island which will turn out like Iraq if Turkish troops withdraw.