The Turkish army initially invaded Cyprus on July 20th, 1974, and launched its second phase on August 14th, occupying Mesaoria, Famagusta, Karpasia and Morphou.
Turkey continues to ignore calls by the international community relating to Republic of Cyprus and refuses to comply with UN calls to hand back the fenced off area of Famagusta to its legitimate inhabitants. Dubbed a ‘ghost town’, Famagusta’s fenced off section - called Varosha - remains to this day deserted, abandoned to the elements.
Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on July 20th, five days after the legal government of the late Archbishop Makarios III was toppled by a military coup, engineered by the military junta ruling Greece at the time.
Two unproductive conferences in Geneva followed; the first between Britain, Greece and Turkey and the second with the additional attendance of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives.
Three weeks after the ceasefire of July 22nd, and despite the fact that talks were still being held and just as an agreement seemed to be within reach, the Turkish army mounted a second full-scale offensive.
As a result, Turkey increased its hold to include the booming tourist resort of Famagusta on the eastern coast and the rich citrus-growing area of Morphou on the west.
All in all, almost 37 per cent of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish military occupation. Nearly one third of the population, some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, were forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties, thousands were killed during the hostilities, over 1,000 persons were listed as missing while thousands of Greek Cypriots and Maronites remained enclaved.
Numerous UN resolutions have demanded respect to the independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, the return of the displaced to their homes, and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the island, but all resolutions have been ignored by Turkey.
The Republic of Cyprus is a full EU member state since May 2004. The Turkish occupied part of Cyprus is also considered EU territory, where the acquis communautaire is suspended until the solution of the Cyprus Problem.