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02/19/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Just weeks after the UN chief expressed concern over Turkey’s activity in the Northern Cyprus town of Varosha, Turkish soldiers reportedly threatened a Greek Cypriot farmer in the buffer zone. Cyprus provided the land for the buffer zone to the United Nations, and the farmers there utilize the lands with permission from special UN licenses.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey, has been occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island that pushed native Greek Orthodox Christians from their homelands. The occupied area of Varosha, and the larger city of Famagusta, have been fenced off since then and only partially reopened to the public in October 2020. The UN Chief’s special envoy for Cyprus commented, The U.N. Security Council resolutions should be respected, and unilateral actions need to stop.”

Turkey’s threats beyond its borders into the Mediterranean continue to the eastern Greek islands nearby the mainland as well. Earlier this month, the Turkish Foreign Minister said, “These islands were given to Greece with the 1923 Lausanne Treaty and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties on the condition that it does not arm them. But Greece started to violate that in the ’60s… These islands were ceded conditionally. If Greece does not stop, the sovereignty of these islands will be questioned… If necessary, we will issue a final warning.” Turkish discrimination against Greek Orthodox Christians continues domestically, as well as in Cyprus, such as the recent music set played at the Orthodox monastery.

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