Tsimpedes Law Firm

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Cypriots Against Turkish War Crimes

The full Communication can be downloaded here: click here


To join the complainant group, Cypriots Against Turkish War Crimes, please email Athan Tsimpedes: athan@tsimpedeslaw.com or Theodora Christou: theodora@tsimpedeslaw.com


CATWC is an informal association, recently formed as a result of the issues that continue to this day from the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974. One of the main issues is the continued maintenance and establishment of Turkish settlements that affects the members of CATWC and Cyprus. The goal of CATWC is to create awareness, debate and discussion to the public about Turkey's War Crimes towards Cypriots. CATWC is represented by Athan Tsimpedes.


PRESS RELEASE

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 14, 2014
A coalition of Cypriots, including a European parliamentarian, have filed a criminal complaint against Turkish government officials in the International Criminal Court ("ICC") in The Hague today. The petitioners call on the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation into ongoing Turkish crimes on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and in particular, the continued growth of Turkish settlements in the occupied territory. The Turkish occupation is one of the most brazen settlement enterprises in modern times, as colonists from the Turkish mainland now constitute as much as half the population of the occupied territory. 


The communication was filed Athan Tsimpedes who represents the complainant group, Cyprus and Cypriots Against Turkish War Crimes (CATWC), an association of mainly Cypriots and refugees from the Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus. The Shurat HaDin Law Center assisted in researching and drafting the complaint. 


This unprecedented demand for a war crimes investigation seeks to end the impunity Turkey has enjoyed for its criminal conduct since it invaded the island Republic on July 20, 1974.  Turkey's settlement activity in northern Cyprus is well-documented, having been recognized by the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Yet despite this, and despite its occupation of an EU member state, Turkey and its leaders have avoided any legal consequences for their crimes. 

                                                            

An investigation by the Court's prosecutor would be the first attempt to shine the harsh light of international criminal justice on the Turkish occupation.  The complaint demonstrates that Turkey is in blatant and systematic violation of Art. 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Court's Statute, which prohibits an occupying power from directly or indirectly transferring its civilians into the occupied territory. Turkey has, continuously since the invasion, recruited, encouraged and transported Turks from rural areas of the mainland to come settle the occupied territory.  The demographic magnitude of the settler establishment threatens the feasibility of a mutually-acceptable end to the conflict.


According to MEP Kostas Mavrides : "The settlement and other crimes committed in the occupied part of Cyprus by Turkish officers is not a political issue. It is a matter of international law and justice. Now, it is up to the ICC to investigate the facts and decide in favour of civilization and human rights."


Cyprus has been a member of the Court since its establishment in 2002.  No nation recognizes the legitimacy of sovereignty of the Turkish occupation regime in northern Cyprus. Thus, the ICC clearly has jurisdiction over the war crimes committed by the Turkish government in the occupied territory.



Press Coverage

Cyprus Mail: War crimes complaint filed against Turkey

The Washington Post: Cypriots file war crimes complaint against Turkey

The Jerusalem Post: Giving Turkey a dose of its own medicine?

ICC Observer:  European politician files ICC complaint about Turkish war crimes in Cyprus