ICC Action: Turkey
In July 2014, a group of Cypriots filed a war crimes complaint against Turkey at the International Criminal Court over what they say is its policy of settling Cyprus’ breakaway north with mainland Turks.
Shurat HaDin, in response to the Cypriot human rights organizations’ request for assistance, has collected the necessary legal materials for the lawsuit and prepared an indictment
Turkey repeatedly and audaciously condemns and attacks Israel; it has even sued the state of Israel for tens of millions to compensate for the death of several participants on the Mavi Marmara, a flotilla carrying provisions to Gaza in 2010. Ironically, Turkey has been committing war crimes for over 40 years crimes against the population of northern Cyprus, which it invaded in 1974.
Cyprus split into a Turkish-speaking north and an internationally recognized Greek-speaking south in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup that aimed to unite the island with Greece. A Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops there.
The present case focuses on the transfer of Turkish nationals to the area of Cyprus it occupies, the redistribution of property, the creation of ‘universities’, the financial incentives offered to Turks to move to Cyprus, the development of the infrastructure, involvement in the energy industry and tourism development.
Such settlement activity contravenes international law and has significantly altered the demographics of northern Cyprus.
Since the alleged crimes took place on the territory of Cyprus, a party to the Rome Statute, the ICC would have jurisdiction to prosecute the crimes.
If the court decides to open the case, the prosecutor will start investigating in order to identify individuals with an active role in perpetrating the war crime. If sufficient evidence is found against any individuals, they will be indicted and an arrest warrant issued against them.