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Main Page :- Articles :- European Commission of Human Rights - Cyprus v. Turkey - Commission Report, 10 July 1976

 

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Chapter 2 - Substance of  the Applications

a)         Application No. 6780/74

19.       On 19 September 1974 the applicant Government submitted this application to the Commission in the following terms:

"1.         The Republic of Cyprus contends that the Republic of Turkey has committed and continues to commit, in the course of the events outlined hereinafter, both in Cyprus and Turkey, breaches of Arts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 13 and 17 of the Convention and Art. 1 of the First Protocol and of Art. 14 of the Convention in conjunction with all the aforementioned Articles. 

2.         On 20 July 1974 Turkey, without prior declaration of war, has invaded Cyprus and commenced military operations in its territory, by means of land, sea and air forces, and until 30 July 1974 has occupied a sizeable area in the northern part of Cyprus.

3.         On 14 August 1974 by further military operations Turkey extended its occupation to about 40 percent of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and continues to remain in occupation of such territory.

3.         In the course of the said military operations and occupation, Turkish armed forces have, by way of systematic conduct and adopted practice, caused deprivation of life, including indiscriminate killing of civilians, have subjected persons of both sexes and all ages to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, including commission of rapes and detention under inhuman conditions, have arrested and are detaining in Cyprus and Turkey hundreds of persons arbitrarily and with no lawful authority, are subjecting the said persons to forced labour under conditions amounting to slavery or servitude, have caused through the aforesaid detention, as well as by deplacement of thousands of persons from their places of residence and refusal to all of them to return thereto, separations of families and other interferences with private life, have caused destruction of property and obstruction of free enjoyment of property, and all the above acts have been directed against Greek Cypriots only, due, inter alia, to their national origin, race and religion.

…….”

20.       The applicant Government gave further particulars of the above allegations in their written submission of 15 November 1974 (entitled "Particulars of the Application"), at the hearing on 22 and 23 May 1975 and in the subsequent proceedings before the Commission and its Delegation.

b)         Application No. 6950/75

21.       On 21 March 1975 the applicant Government submitted this application to the Commission in the following terms:

"1.         The Republic of Cyprus contends that the Republic of Turkey has committed and continues to commit, since 19 September 1974 when Application No. 6780/74 was filed, in the areas occupied by the Turkish army in Cyprus, under the actual and exclusive authority and control of Turkey (as per Paras. 12, 18 and 19 of the Particulars of Application No. 6780/74 pending before the Commission of Human Rights) breaches of Arts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 13 and 17 of the Convention and Art. 1 of the First Protocol and of Art. 14 of the Convention in conjunction with all the aforementioned Articles.

2.         Turkey, since 19 September 1974, continues' to occupy 40% of the Territory of the Republic of Cyprus, seized as described in the Particulars of the said Application ...

3.         In the said Turkish occupied areas the following atrocities and crimes were committed by way of systematic conduct by Turkey's state organs in flagrant violation of the obligations of Turkey under the European Convention on Human Rights during the period from 19 September 1974 until the filing of the present Application:

(a)         Murders in cold blood of civilians including women and old men. Also about 3,000 persons (many of them civilians), who were in the Turkish occupied areas, are still missing and it is feared that they were murdered by the Turkish army.

(b)         Wholesale and repeated rapes. Even women of ages up to 80 were savagely raped by members of the Turkish forces. In some areas forced prostitution of Greek Cypriot girls continues to be practised. Many women who remained in the Turkish occupied areas became pregnant as a result of the rapes committed by the Turkish troops.

(c)         Forcible eviction from homes and land. The Greek Cypriots who were forcibly expelled by the Turkish army from their homes (about 200,000) as per Para. 20 C of (the Particulars of) Application No. 6780/74, are still being prevented by the Turkish army to return to their homes in the Turkish occupied areas and are refugees in their own country living in open camps under inhuman conditions. Moreover, the Turkish military authorities continue to expel forcibly from their homes the remaining Greek Cypriot inhabitants in the Turkish occupied areas most of whom are forcibly transferred to concentration, camps. They are not even allowed to take with them their basic belongings. Their homes and properties have been distributed amongst the Turkish Cypriots who were shifted from the southern part of Cyprus into the Turkish occupied areas as well as amongst many Turks who were illegally brought from Turkey in an attempt to change the demographic pattern on the Island.

(d)         Looting by members of the Turkish army of houses and business premises belonging to Greek Cypriots continues to be extensively practised.

(e)         Robbery of the agriculture produce and livestock, housing units, stocks in stores, in factories and shops owned by Greek Cypriots and of jewellery and other valuables found on Greek Cypriots arrested by the Turkish army continues uninterrupted. The agricultural produce belonging to Greek Cypriots continues to be collected and exported directly or indirectly to markets in several European countries. Nothing belonging to the Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied areas has been returned and no compensation was paid or offered in respect thereof.

(f)         The seizure, appropriation, exploitation and distribution of land, houses, enterprises and industries belonging to Greek Cypriots, as described in Para. 20 F of the Particulars of Application No. 6780/74 continues.

(g)         Thousands of Greek Cypriot civilians of all ages and both sexes are arbitrarily detained by the Turkish military authorities in the Turkish occupied areas under miserable conditions. For this purpose additional concentration camps were established. The report mentioned in the observations of the Cyprus Government on the admissibility of Application No. 6780/74 describes the conditions of some cases of such detention. The situation of most of the detainees is desperate.

(h)         Greek Cypriot detainees and inhabitants of the Turkish occupied areas, including children, women and elderly people continue to be the victims of systematic tortures and of other inhuman and degrading treatment, e.g. wounding, beating, electric shocks, lack of food and medical treatment, etc.

(i)         Forced labour. A great number of persons detained by the Turkish army, including women, were and still are made during their detention, to perform forced and compulsory labour.

(j)         Wanton destruction of properties belonging to Greek Cypriots including religious items found in the Greek Orthodox Churches.

(k)         Forced expatriation of a number of Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish occupied areas, to Turkey.

(l)         Separation of families. Many families are still separated as a result of some of the crimes described above such as detention and forcible eviction.

4.         All the above atrocities were entirely unconnected with any military operations. They were all committed at a time when no military operations or any fighting whatsoever was taking place.

5.         The aforementioned atrocities and criminal acts were directed against Greek Cypriots because of their ethnic origin, race and religion. The object was to destroy and eradicate the Greek population of the Turkish occupied areas so as to move therein Turks, thus creating by artificial means a Turkish populated area in furtherance of Turkey's policy for the formation of the so-called 'Turkish Cypriot Federated State'. In pursuance of this policy the members of the Turkish army who took part in the invasion (about 40,000) and their families have been recently declared as subjects of the illegally and unilaterally proclaimed 'Turkish Cypriot Federated State', i.e. the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, with the official blessing of Turkey and have occupied the properties belonging to the Greek Cypriots.

6.         No remedy in the Turkish Courts was under the circumstances likely to be effective and adequate for the atrocities and crimes in question. In any case all the above atrocities and crimes were committed under such circumstances which excuse the failure to resort to any domestic remedy for the purposes of Art. 26 of the Convention.

7.         The situation resulting from Turkey's occupation of the areas in question affected also the rights and freedoms of the Turkish Cypriots in those areas including those who, in furtherance of Turkey's political aims, were shifted thereto from the southern part of Cyprus where they have their homes and properties.

8.         All the above atrocities and criminal acts can be proved by evidence including evidence of eye witnesses. Other sources of evidence as to the above matters are international organisations like the United Nations and the International Rod Cross.

9.         Further particulars of the above violations of human rights, including statements by witnesses, will be made available as soon as possible.

10.         It should be mentioned that it was not possible until now to ascertain in full the magnitude of the savage crimes perpetrated by Turkey in the Turkish-controlled areas as these areas are still sealed off and the Turkish military authorities do not allow free access to them even by UNFICYP and humanitarian organisations.

......."

22.       The applicant Government gave further particulars of the above allegations at the hearing on 22 and 23 May 1975, in their written submissions of 14 July 1975 (entitled "Particulars of the Application") and in the subsequent proceedings before the Commission and its Delegation.

c)         Statement  of the respondent Government

23.       The respondent Government, in a letter of 27 November 1975, declared that "Turkey cannot be required to accept the Greek Cypriot administration as applicant, since there is no authority which can properly require the Turkish Government to recognise against its will the legitimacy of a government which has usurped the powers of the State in violation of the Constitution of which Turkey is a guarantor." It followed in the Government's view "that the function which is the Commission's principal task under Art. 28 of the Convention on Human Rights, namely of placing itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to securing a friendly settlement, cannot be discharged, for the simple reason that the Turkish Government cannot agree to enter into talks with the representatives of an administration which it is entirely unable to recognise as a legal authority empowered to represent the Republic of Cyprus." The Government stated that they were therefore "unable to take part in the proceedings on the merits before the Commission. Since the press communiqué publishing the Commission's decision on admissibility was issued, the Turkish Government has in fact categorically refrained from participating in any of the Commission's activities. In this connection, it should be emphasised that the remarks made by Ambassador Günver, the new Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe, during a courtesy call which he paid to the President of the Commission, although they were included in the case file in the form of a note drafted by the Commission, can in no way be interpreted as participation by my Government in the Commission's examination of the merits of the case." [27]


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Notes:

[27] Translation from the French original by the Council of Europe. The full text of this letter is reproduced in Appendix II to this Report.

 


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