This decision from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers is correct. Coupled with the policy of pillage, destruction and desecration of the cultural heritage of Cyprus that the Turkish occupation regime has been following since 1974, which has led to the destruction or desecration of more than 500 Greek Orthodox churches and chapels in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the illegal transfer of more than 60,000 ancient artifacts to third countries, the continuous violation of the religious freedom of the Greek Cypriots in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is regrettably an unacceptable reality. 

Also, the Turkish occupation of Cyprus continues to violate the Third Vienna Agreement of August 1975, which is still the only agreement providing for the treatment of Greek Cypriots living in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once again calls upon Turkey to fully respect the religious freedoms of the Greek Orthodox Christians who continue to live in the northern occupied part of Cyprus and to end its threats to the rest of Cyprus. We urge the United States Government to condemn this unlawful occupation and work towards truly safeguarding the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the religious freedom, of the Orthodox Christians in all of Cyprus.

“EU Ministers Want Turkey to Pay Reparations for Missing Cypriots,” National Herald, March 13, 2022:

NICOSIA – Some 48 years after the unlawful invasion of Cyprus, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers urged Turkey to pay “just satisfaction” awarded by the European Court of Human Rights to relatives of nine Greek Cypriots who disappeared, said Kathimerini.

That call comes 12 ½ years after that finding that has been ignored by Turkey, whose hopes to join the European Union have been put on hold and which refuses to recognize Cyprus – a member of the bloc – and bars its ships and planes.

The EU court in September 2009 found Turkey violated the European Convention on Human Rights due to the failure of the Turkish authorities to conduct effective investigations into the fate of the people involved and the inhumane treatment of their relatives but nothing happened over it.

The Court ruled that Turkey was to pay a total of 108,000 euros ($117,871) in damages and 72,000 euros ($78,5810) in costs and expenses to the relatives by Dec 18, 2009 but didn’t, no further penalties either….

Turkey seized the northern third of the island in two invasions in 1974 and it’s still occupied by Turkish-Cypriots, backed by a 35,000-strong standing Turkish army that Erdogan said would never be removed.