There must be a way to stop Turkey bringing Turkish settlers to the TRNC, says South Cyprus Defence Minister, Photis Photiou.
Addressing a book presentation in Nicosia, he said that the need to find a just, viable and functional solution which will end Turkish illegal settling, will ensure human rights and will put an end to Turkish threats over the island’s division, has become imperative.
Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkey launched a rescue mission and then occupied its northern third to keep Turkish Cypriots secure.
Turkey’s occupation brought economic ruin to the part of the island, he claimed, which prior to 1974 was the richest and most developed. Poor economic conditions resulting from Turkey’s mismanagement and Turkey’s systematic colonization of the occupied areas by illegal settlers forced Turkish Cypriots to emigrate to Europe and elsewhere.
The settlers currently outnumber the indigenous Turkish Cypriots by about two to one. Independent observers have documented this issue for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 1992 and again in 2003.
At the same time he underlined that South Cyprus will under no circumstances accept to be blackmailed as regards the Cyprus issue. No blackmail will be sufficiently powerful to impel us to accept an undignified and fragile solution, he added.
Photiou called for everyone to ensure that future generations will live in peace and will never have to go through the insufferable, as he put it, pain his generation went through.