International Court of Justice


Cite as

Cyprus v Turkey, the situation concerning the aftermath of the 1974 intervention

1.     Introduction

In 1974 Greek military troops revolted against president Makarios of Cyprus. As the island has long been occupied by Greek people (80% of population) and a Turkish minority (18% of the population), the government of Turkey sent troops to Cyprus and occupied one third of the island. Turkish Cypriots flee to the north where the Turkish occupied land lies, and Greek Cypriots flee to the south.[1]

2.     Preliminary Remarks

The International Justice Court has already declared the de facto annexation by Turkey of Northern Cyprus as a violation of the Charter of the United Nations. Moreover, both countries have accepted the jurisdiction of the court.[2]

3.     Scope of the present opinion

The opinion formed is a preliminary assessment on the Cyprus conflict of 1974 and its aftermath. Specifically, Turkey’s liability for the military action in 1974, its link to the Greek revolt against President Makarios beforehand, the contractual nature of the island’s independence beforehand, breach of intervention laws, the validity of independence of 1983 and the needs for reparation.

4.     Analysis

Jus Congens [3]

While there is dissonance among scholar about many aspects of the jus congens definition, the common elements are that aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, piracy, slavery and slave-related practices and torture are to be classified as jus congens. Recognizing an international crime as jus congens demands the duty to prosecute the perpetrator.

Coup d’état and 13 Points