Economic and Social Council
23 April 1998
Substantive session of 1998
New York, 6-31 July 1998
Item 14 (g) of the provisional agenda*
SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS: HUMAN RIGHTS
Letter dated 15 April 1998 from the Permanent Representative of
Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit herewith a letter dated 15 April
1998, addressed to you by His Excellency Mr. Aytuž Plu"mer,
Representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (see annex).
I should be grateful if the text of the present letter and its
annex could be circulated as a document of the Economic and Social
Council, under item 14 (g) of the provisional agenda.
(Signed) Hu"seyin E. C'ELEM
LETTER DATED 15 APRIL 1998 FROM MR. AYTUž PLMER TO
I have the honour to refer to the statement made by the Greek
Cypriot representative at the fifty-fourth session of the Commission
on Human Rights in Geneva on 31 March 1998, under agenda item 18, in
which unfounded allegations were levelled against my country, the
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Turkey.
The Greek Cypriot representative has alleged that Turkey "invaded"
Cyprus and that "the Turkish invasion did not end in 1974". Legal and
historical facts clearly indicate otherwise. The Turkish intervention
of 1974 came in the aftermath of a bloody coup d'e'tat by Greece and
its collaborators in Cyprus aimed at annexing the island of Cyprus.
During the preceding 11 years between 1963 and 1974, the Turkish
Cypriots struggled to protect their lives and fundamental rights in
the face of constant terror and oppression perpetrated by Greek
Cypriots. Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots fell victim to Greek Cypriot
atrocities, while villages throughout the island were attacked and
devastated, rendering one fourth of the Turkish Cypriot population
homeless refugees. The following paragraphs from a periodic report of
the Secretary-General attest to the extent of the destruction of life
and property perpetrated by the Greek Cypriots:
"180. UNFICYP carried out a detailed survey of all damage to
properties throughout the island during the disturbances ... It
shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish Cypriot or mixed
villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2000 others have
suffered damage from looting."
"190. In addition to losses incurred in agriculture and in
industry during the first part of the year, the Turkish community
had lost other sources of its income ... The trade of the Turkish
community had considerably declined during the period, due to the
existing situation, and unemployment reached a very high level as
approximately 25,000 Turkish Cypriots had become refugees."
(S/5950, 10 September 1964)
The Turkish Cypriot people were saved from an impending massacre
by the timely and legitimate intervention of Turkey, in exercise of
its rights and obligations under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.
At present, the only "invasion" and "occupation" in Cyprus is the
continuing illegal occupation of the seat of government by the Greek
Cypriot administration in violation of international treaties and the
rule of law.
Against the background of unprecedented cruelty and violence, the
Greek Cypriot administration continues to employ an extensive inhuman
embargo with a view to preventing the exercise by the Turkish Cypriots
of their human rights and isolating Northern Cyprus from the
The allegations put forward by the Greek Cypriot delegate
regarding the "destruction and desecration" of cultural heritage in
Northern Cyprus are totally unfounded. The Greek Cypriot side has
launched an extensive smear campaign, based on false and misleading
data, with a view to projecting a distorted image of Northern Cyprus.
These allegations have been refuted in toto by impartial observers and
experts who have visited the island on different occasions. On the
other hand, Ottoman Turkish architecture in South Cyprus is under
threat of disintegration due to the Greek Cypriot side's utter
contempt for and failure at protecting these sites. In recent years,
Greek Cypriot bias and enmity towards Turkish Cypriots have frequently
led to attacks on relics belonging to the Islamic heritage, leaving
behind damaged, burnt and desecrated mosques in South Cyprus.
The Greek Cypriot representative has also made false complaints
about the living conditions of Greek Cypriots in Northern Cyprus. The
living standards of Greek Cypriots as well as Maronites are on a par
with those of Turkish Cypriots in the area. Contrary to the Greek
Cypriot representative's allegation, there is no limitation on the
number of persons visiting a place of worship in Northern Cyprus,
subject to the procedures for entry currently in force.
The dire living conditions of the Turkish Cypriots residing in the
South, however, are in stark contrast with the prevailing normal
situation in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The following
excerpt taken from the human rights report of the United States
Department of State (1997) speaks for itself:
"Some Turkish Cypriots living in the (Greek Cypriot) controlled
area face difficulties in obtaining identification cards and other
government documents, especially if they were born after 1974.
Turkish Cypriots also appear to be subjected to harassment and
surveillance by the Greek Cypriot police. One Turkish Cypriot man
was murdered in the South in August by unknown assailants."
The Turkish Cypriot side is hopeful that the international
community will give the necessary strong signals to the Greek Cypriot
side with a view to ending the unrelenting campaign of defamation
which is deepening the current crisis of confidence between the two
peoples and the two states.
I should be grateful if the text of the present letter could be
circulated as a document of the Economic and Social Council under item
14 (g) of the provisional agenda.
(Signed) Aytuž PLMER
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
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Date last posted: 30 November 1999 15:15:35
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