SEKA Victoria condemn ‘peace parade’ organised by Turkish Cypriot community

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SEKA Victoria (the Justice for Cyprus Co-ordinating Committee) has condemned the organisation of a ‘peace parade’ at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday, July 20 on what marks the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

In a media release seen by The Greek Herald, members of the local Turkish Cypriot community invited Victorian Members of Parliament (MPs) to attend their ‘peace parade’ as they “prepare to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Peace in Cyprus.”

The media release claims the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 established “peace” on the Mediterranean island, and “was brought about as a response to the Greek Coup d’etat on 15 July 1974 aimed at achieving ENOSIS (union with Greece).”

In response, SEKA Victoria – as representatives of the Greek and Greek Cypriot communities – wrote to Victorian MPs and expressed “their alarm” at the invitation. They said the invitation was sent to them “by a group aligned with the illegal regime in the north of Cyprus that refers to itself as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”).”

“This invitation attempts to rewrite history with misinformation and outright lies, and seeks to legitimise the illegal Turkish military invasion and occupation of 37% of Cyprus in 1974. It cannot go unanswered, and puts parliamentarians at risk of breaching Australia’s foreign policy position,” the SEKA Victoria letter stated.

SEKA Victoria condemn ‘peace parade’ organised by Turkish Cypriot community.

The United Nations, the European Union, Australia and indeed every country in the world other than Turkey does not recognise the “TRNC.”

50 years since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, 37% of the island remains occupied by Turkey, and over 30,000 Turkish troops are still stationed in Cyprus. 175,000 Greek Cypriots were forcefully removed from their homes, and thousands were killed during the invasion, with more than 1,000 still missing.

SEKA Victoria urged the state MPs to “reject this latest attempt to garner support for the illegitimate “TRNC”, and to uphold Australia’s bipartisan official government position.”

“We ask that you, as Members of the Victorian Parliament, consider the serious implications of providing a platform to a regime with a documented history of human rights abuses,” their letter stated.

“We hope you will take a principled stance on this matter and join us in upholding the values of peace, human rights, the rule of law, and justice that are central to our community.”

SEKA Victoria encouraged the state MPs to instead “show support with the cause for a united and free Cyprus in line with the international community’s wishes” by attending their official commemorative event at Federation Square on Sunday, July 21 at 2pm. More details here.

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