The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) strongly condemned racist graffiti calling on the Turks to leave the island, sprayed on the wall of a school in an area ruled by the Greek Cypriot administration.
In a statement the TRNC foreign ministry said the racist graffiti is a reflection of growing anti-Turkish sentiment entrenched in the Greek Cypriot education system.
The statement was a response to racist slurs spray painted on the Nicosia Technical School in the Greek Cypriot-administered part of the island, calling on the revival of terrorist group (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston) and urging Turkish citizens to leave the island.
“EOKA anew,” “Turks out,” “Cyprus is Greek land” read some of the graffiti.
The foreign ministry also called on the Greek Cypriot administration to identify the perpetrators and punish them.
“It is undoubtedly a fact that the Greek Cypriot leadership’s persistent statements damaging relations between the two peoples living on the island fans the flames for such destruction,” the ministry said.
EOKA is known for its slogan “The best Turk is a dead Turk.”
Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots consider EOKA a terrorist organization and have called on the Greek Cypriot administration to stop embracing the terrorist group.
Supported by the Greek Cypriot leadership, the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church and Greece, EOKA aimed to wipe out the Turkish presence from the island.
While the Turkish Cypriots were discriminated against and alienated by the Greek Cypriots in state institutions, systematic and comprehensive attacks began on Dec. 21, 1963, when a bloody incident, later named “Bloody Christmas,” took place.
A total of 103 Turkish Cypriot villages were attacked, leading to hundreds of deaths. The bloody campaign also displaced 30,000 Turkish Cypriots, who had to take shelter in an area constituting just 3% of the island.
In 1967, a military junta ousted the government in Greece and started to destabilize the island. The junta struck two villages on the island of Cyprus, Boğaziçi (Agios Sergios) and Geçitkale (Lefkoniko), both located in the Famagusta district.
Bülent Ecevit, then-prime minister of Turkey, instructed the military to take action and the Cyprus Peace Operation was launched on July 20, 1974.
With fighter jets flying low over the land and paratroops deployed on the island, Turkey prevented the annexation of Cyprus and brought protection to weary Turkish Cypriots.
The peace operation proved Turkey’s claims about the persecution of Turks as several mass graves were unveiled in some Turkish Cypriot towns on the island.
The success of the operation paved the way for the establishment of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus on Feb. 13, 1975, with Rauf Denktaş as president.