President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian has stressed the responsibilities of the international community as regards Turkey’s crime – the Armenian Genocide – saying that if Turkey had been punished for that crime, the Turkish invasion against Cyprus may not had taken place.

Describing Turkey as “an international terrorist”, he called upon Ankara to admit its crime and apologize to humanity for it.

“If Turkey had been punished for its enormous crime – the Armenian Genocide of 1915 – the Turkish invasion against Cyprus may not have taken place”, he stressed, addressing Tuesday a school event entitled “Armenian Genocide – from the past to the present”.

Garoyian underlined the responsibilities of the international community, saying that the Armenian Genocide must be condemned and recognized by all and called upon Turkey to admit its crime and apologize to the Armenian people and all humanity.

Unfortunately, he went on to add, the non punishment of Turkey by the international community increases Ankara’s intransigence and described Turkey as “an international terrorist, who, through military power, attempts to impose its rules on its neighbors and non neighbors”.

“As long as Turkey remains unpunished, the international community has no right to be proud of today’s world order”, he stressed, adding “the international community should feel as an accomplice as long as the Armenian Genocide and other ethnic cleansing crimes of Turkey, remain unpunished”.

He recalled that Cyprus was the first country to raise the issue in the 1960s’ before the UN General Assembly, asking for an international condemnation of the crime and said that the Cypriot House of Representatives as well as the Greek Parliament were among the first parliaments to have condemned it.

“Greek Cypriots have a common historic course with the Armenian people. Both being victims of the Turkish barbarity, they have experienced the policy of ethnic cleansing of Young Turks”, he continued.

Garoyian reassured that Greek Cypriots and Armenians will never stop struggling and demanding the restoration of the historic truth and Turkey’s punishment.

He also said that in the recent years more and more Parliaments and states recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide.

Referring to Turkey’s stance on the issue, he said that until today, Ankara insists that the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians was nothing else but the result of the First World War.

“But the Armenian Genocide was one of the worst crimes of last century since it was the first ethnic cleansing crime of Turkey, a country which has committed the worst ethnic cleansing crimes, the victims of which have been the Pontian Greeks and other Greeks of Minor Asia, the Kurds and in 1974 the Greeks of Cyprus”.

“Surely Turkey will carry this great moral burden of the Armenian Genocide and its responsibility and guilt will be heavy, despite any efforts to approach Armenia”, he concluded.

Turkey invaded Cyprus in the summer of 1974. In a two-phase invasion in July and August, and despite calls by the UN Security Council and the quick restoration of constitutional order on the island, Turkey occupied 36,2 percent of the sovereign territory of the Republic and forcibly expelled about 180.000 Greek Cypriots from their homes. Another 20.000 Greek Cypriots, who remained in the occupied areas, were also forced to eventually abandon their homes and seek refuge in the safety of the government controlled areas. Today, fewer than 500 enclaved Greek Cypriots remain in the occupied areas.

The Republic of Cyprus became a full EU member state in May 2004 and the whole of its territory – including the occupied areas – are considered part of the EU, according to Protocol 10 of the Cyprus – EU Accession Treaty.

In the second half of 2012 the Republic of Cyprus will assume the six-monthly EU rotating Presidency.

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