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Resolution | 18th annual General Assembly | Paris, France | 21-24 June 2011

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RESOLUTION ON THE VIOLATION OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS OF THE ENCLAVED GREEK CYPRIOTS IN THE TURKISH OCCUPIED TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS

The General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, having convened in its 18th annual session, from 21 to 23 June 2011,

Recalling that the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the continuing occupation of a part of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkish troops has been condemned by numerous resolutions and decisions of international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,

Expressing its concern over 37 years of ongoing violations by Turkey of every principle of law and of every fundamental human right in the occupied territory of Cyprus, the usurpation of the properties of Greek Cypriots and the desecration of the religious and cultural heritage in that area, a heritage which constitutes an integral part of the European and world patrimony,

Particularly alarmed at the arbitrary acts of the occupying regime and occupying troops, invading a church in the Karpass peninsula, on Christmas Day 2010 and violently and disrespectfully interrupting the holy mass, savagely insulting the priests, the congregation, as well as the sacredness of the place,

Stressing the fact that the violations of the fundamental human rights of the enclaved Cypriots, particularly concerning religion and education, are a daily phenomenon in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, as part of a planned strategy of ethnic cleansing by Turkey and its subordinate occupation regime, aiming to impose and to consolidate ethnic and religious separation and thus the policy for the division of Cyprus,
Also underlining that this act constitutes a breach of the relevant agreement reached in Vienna on 2 August 1975, by which the Turkish Cypriot side undertook to provide to the enclaved population “every help to lead a normal life, including facilities for education and for the practice of their religion, as well as medical care … and freedom of movement …”,

Reaffirming all its previous relevant resolutions,

1.Condemns the recent, as well as all other, acts of the occupying regime, which deprive the enclaved inhabitants of the Karpass peninsula of their inalienable right to freely practice their religious duties and beliefs, as this is defined and safeguarded in the relevant international conventions on human rights.

2.Calls upon Turkey, who is responsible for the occupying regime’s acts, to comply with the rules of international law and to restore the fundamental human rights of the enclaved persons in Cyprus, including their religious rights, as well as the fundamental human rights of all Cypriots.

3.Also calls on Turkey to respect the places of worship, the flock and the priests of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and to undertake all necessary actions towards the occupying troops, in order to immediately cease the desecration and pillage of the religious and cultural heritage in the territories of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.

4.Appeals to the UN and the international community in general to intensify their efforts for Turkey’s compliance with the rules of international law and especially with pertinent UN Resolutions on Cyprus.

5.Also appeals in particular to the European Union, to take into consideration these unacceptable and condemnable acts by Turkey, while evaluating Turkey’s accession course, exercising effective pressure on the applicant country for the immediate and complete restoration of fundamental human rights and basic freedoms in Cyprus.