Foreign Ministry criticizes 'unfortunate' statement on commemoration event held in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The "unfortunate" statement by the Greek ministry "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 said.
"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 their acts," it added.
The Greek Foreign Ministry in a statement on Tuesday challenged Turkey's portrayal of the events in 1964, when 18 Turkish Cypriots were martyred in Erenkoy while fighting against the Greek Cypriots aggression.
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 over 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 European Union for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004, after Greek Cyprus rejected a peace deal.