Sunday August 14 marks the 42nd anniversary of the second phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, during which Turkish troops advanced from the island’s north to invade 37 per cent of the island, stopping in Varosha to the east and the Morphou area in the west.
Turkey had first invaded a small patch of Cyprus’ land on July 20, 1974, five days after the government of Archbishop Makarios was toppled by a military coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece.
The second phase of the invasion saw some 200,000 Greek Cypriots displaced to the south, while all Turkish Cypriots living in the south moved north.
The buffer zone between the Turkish occupying forces and the Republic of Cyprus’ army, remains unchanged to this day.
While the residents of Varosha fled the city, it was never settled, and remains uninhabited 42 years later.
A year after the invasion, Turkey declared the part of Cyprus under its control as the ‘Turkish federated state of Cyprus’.
Eight years later, in 1983, the Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared independence and formed what they named the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
The breakaway state is only recognised by Turkey.