Kat Theophanous MP has made a statement in Victorian Parliament today on the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
In her statement, the Member for Northcote stressed that it has been 49 years since Turkey invaded Cyprus “illegally occupying 36 per cent of the island, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.”
Ms Theophanous also said a resolution was passed at the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association’s general assembly this year, calling on all parliaments to support a just solution to the Cyprus issue.
“I am proudly Cypriot Australian, and this year, along with eight other Hellenic Australian parliamentarians, we passed a resolution at the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association’s general assembly,” she began.
“Together we condemned the illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus by Turkey, which contravenes international law and UN resolutions, and we called for the right of return for Cypriot refugees to their ancestral homelands. The resolution appeals to all parliaments, including this one, to fully support the UN-led efforts for a peaceful, just and viable Cyprus settlement.”
Ms Theophanous then continued to provide a history of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and stressed that “Nicosia remains the world’s largest divided capital.”
“In the mountains north, a giant Turkish flag is scorched into the earth by the invaders, lit up at night as an ongoing reminder to Greek Cypriots of the injustice and horror wrought by Turkey on this island,” she said.
“To the north-east is my mother’s village of Asha – we do not go back there. It is occupied by Turkish military, who rounded up the Greek civilians, executed them and dumped their bodies into mass graves.”
The MP completed her statement by calling for a just solution to the Cyprus issue.
“The international community has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and a peaceful resolution – a chillingly similar scenario to Ukraine now. I stand in solidarity with them,” she said.