The Cyprus Issue

Since the inception of the Australian Hellenic Council in 1992, the Cyprus issue has remained a high priority for the Council’s members, reflecting its significance to the Australian Hellenic Community.

One of the AHC’s goals is to raise awareness in the wider Australian community of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974, its ongoing illegal occupation of one third of the territory of the island, and the impact of these events on Australians of Cypriot descent.


The AHC’s position on the Cyprus issue is outlined in this position paper. The paper was developed in consultation with AHC members, principally with the peak bodies that represent the Australian Cypriot Community, PASEKA and the Federation of Cypriot Communities of Australia. Download Position Paper >>

This second position paper relates to the landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice in Apostolides_v_Orams (see also below) and the implications of the decision for Australian purchasers of property in the occupied area of Cyprus. Download Properties Position Paper >>


Australian Government Policy on the Cyprus issue


Following the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Whitlam government joined the international community in calling for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the island.

Since that time the policy of successive Australian governments has been to recognize the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as the only legitimate authority on the island.

This is consistent with the international approach to the ongoing illegal occupation and division of Cyprus by the Turkish military. The unilateral declaration of the puppet regime installed by Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus of its statehood (the so-called “ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” or “TRNC”) has been recognised by no State other than Turkey itself.


Human Rights


Human Rights Violations by Turkey in Cyprus

Booklet summarising Turkey’s ongoing and documented human rights violations in Cyprus. By Professor Van Coufoudakis (published by the Press and Information Office, Republic of Cyprus). Download booklet >>

Property transactions in the occupied area and the rights of refugees

Apostolides_v_Orams and Loizidou_v._Turkey are two landmark legal decisions upholding the property rights of refugees who were dispossessed as a result of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

In Apostolides_v_Orams the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the original Greek-Cypriot owner of land in the occupied area of Cyprus and against subsequent British purchasers of the land, establishing that a judgment of a court in the Republic of Cyprus could be enforced against the purchasers under EU law in the UK.

In Loizidou_v_Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Greek-Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou had the right to return to the property from which she had been evicted by Turkey when it invaded Cyprus in 1974. The Court ruled that Turkey had violated Mrs. Loizidou’s human rights by denying her ownership and use of her property, and ordered damages in her favour. The ECHR has ruled in a number of decisions, including Loizidou_v_Turkey, that the owners of property in the occupied area of Cyprus prior to 1974 maintain legal ownership of that property.

Australian Government Travel Advisory on Cyprus >> – warns of the risks of purchasing property in the occupied area.

Cyprus and the UN

Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly concerning Cyprus >>

United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) >> - Since 1964, UNFICYP has included an Australian contingent made up of officers from the Australian Federal Police

Missing Persons

Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons of Cyprus >>

Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus >> - A bi-communal committee tasked with investigating cases of persons reported missing in the inter-communal fighting as well as in the events of July 1974 and afterward.

The Annan Plan

Monograph, The Case Against the Annan Plan, by Professor Van Coufoudakis & Dr Klearchos Kyriakides.

This publication highlights the many deficiencies of the United Nations Plan for the re-unification of Cyprus, which was rejected by the majority of Cypriots. - Website “No to the Annan Plan”

Destruction of cultural heritage

A Heritage to Save >> – Report on the destruction of Byzantine churches in Cyprus from the International Catholic Monthly 30 Days in the Church and in the World.

Lobby for Cyprus Article – Turkey’s Cultural Destruction in Cyprus >>

The Occupied Churches of Cyprus >>
Mongraph published by the Archbishopric of Cyprus documenting the churches of Cyprus under Turkish military occupation.

Interior of the vandalised church of Ayios Charalambos, in the occupied village of Neo Chorio (Kythreas)


Petition - Cyprus Cultural Destruction >>


Sign this petition to UNESCO condemning the willful desecration, pillage, looting and destruction of around 500 churches and religious sites belonging to the Greek-Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Cyprus, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic-Armenian Church, the Catholic-Maronite Church, the Jewish community, as well as the Protestant Church, along with their cemeteries.


General Information


Lobby for Cyprus >> – a non party-political group based in the UK

Government of Cyprus’ Press and Information Office (PIO) >> - Contains facts and figures on aspects of the Cyprus problem, including the invasion, missing persons, and Turkey’s illegal colonisation of the occupied area with settlers from mainland Turkey.