The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) paid respect to the 42nd anniversary of the illegal occupation of the Turkish military on Cyprus by hosting a forum discussing the Cyprus Issue in a congressional briefing with support from the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues in Washington, DC.
Inside the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, on July 14, 2016 AHI exchanged ideas and thoughts with Congress as a part of their forum, aiming to end the Turkish military occupancy of Cyprus.
Until today the Turkish military still occupies the northern third of the island with some 43,000 troops that are stationed on Cyprus.
Although July 14 marked 42 years since the invasion, the reality of the effects of the occupation still weighs heavy on Greek-Cypriots and their families.
There are many people still missing and never accounted for as the divided island has struggled for years to reunify, as well as an estimated 200,000 Greek-Cypriots that were forced to leave their homes in the military occupied northern third which makes up around 37 percent of the total island.
The meeting that took place in Washington, DC saw many members from all communities coming together to demand that the occupation see its last days and allow the island to finally heal and stated that the U.S.
must continue to play an active role in seeing this humanitarian crisis through to a lasting solution.
“For 42 years, the people of Cyprus have endured an illegal occupation and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States,” Nick Larigakis, the President of AHI said regarding the briefing.
He added: “It is unfathomable that in 2016 a NATO member currently illegally occupies an EU-member nation, Cyprus. The briefing provided us with the viewpoints of Congress’s leading authorities on foreign affairs, our leaders of the Hellenic Caucus and the legislators who are deeply concerned about the Cyprus issue. We thank them for their insights on the issue and their support for Cyprus.”