Turkey on Aug. 9 criticized “baseless” allegations from the Greek Foreign Ministry regarding commemoration events in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Aug. 8, marking the 53rd anniversary of the Erenköy Resistance.
The “unfortunate” statement from Athens “contained allegations concerning the support provided by Turkey as a motherland and Guarantor to the courageous and noble struggle of the Turkish Cypriots in 1964 against the common enosis [union with Greece] aspirations and ethnic cleansing attempts of the Greek Cypriots and Greeks,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
“We deplore and condemn these completely baseless and false allegations,” the statement added.
“For many years, the Greek Cypriots and Greeks resorted to every possible means of propagating fear and instigating violence with the aim of expelling the Turkish Cypriots from the Island of Cyprus through ethnic cleansing. This most recent statement probably reflects a futile attempt to cover up their feeling of guilt regarding these acts,” it stated.
The Greek Foreign Ministry had on Aug. 8 challenged Turkey’s portrayal of the events in 1964, when 18 Turkish Cypriots were killed in Erenköy while fighting against Greek Cypriots.
The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
There has been an on-and-off peace process in recent years, with the latest initiative in Switzerland – under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K. – collapsing last month.
Turkey has blamed Greek Cypriot intransigence for the latest talks’ failure and also faulted the EU for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004, after Greek Cypriots rejected a peace deal.