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In the

International Criminal Court





The complainants



Accused of War Crimes

to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
regarding the situation in Occupied Cyprus

July 14, 2014




Background of the conflict..


Territorial and temporal jurisdiction of the court...


Subject matter jurisdiction of the court....


Facts supporting jurisdiction.

5(a). Turkey and the individuals identified below have transferred Turkish civilian
population to the territory of Cyprus continuously since

5(a)i. Turkeys infrastructure development activities in northern Cyprus constitute

illegal population
transfer.... 21
5(a)ii. Turkeys importation of mainland Turkish students and development of
educational institutions in the occupied area constitutes the war crime of population
. 15
5(a)iii. Turkeys development of the tourism sector in northern Cyprus constitutes the
war crime of population transfer..


5(a)iv. Turkeys support for public and private sectors in the areas of Cyprus which it
occupies is a modality of


5(b). Turkeys conduct takes place in the context of and is associated with an
international armed conflict..


5(c). Turkey and its officials are aware of the aware of factual circumstances that
established the existence of an armed








Admissibility of this case to ICC jurisdiction.........12





Conduct. 12








justice. 03


[hereinafter THE COMPLAINANTS] with respect to the situation in the Republic
of Cyprus (hereinafter Cyprus), requesting that the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court, pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute 1, initiate
an investigation into the crimes committed within the Courts jurisdiction,
arising from the continued civilian displacement, ethnic cleansing, and
settlement activity of the Government of the Republic of Turkey (hereinafter
Turkey), arising from the situation in Cyprus.



The Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, 17 July 1998 (entered into
force on 1 July 2002)[hereinafter Rome Stat.].

THE COMPLAINTANTS submit to the Prosecutor this communication

concerning the settlement activities of Turkey within the territory of Cyprus,
constituting the war crime of directly and indirectly transferring civilian
population of an occupying power into occupied territory, in violation of Article
8 (2) (b) (viii) of the Rome Statute.


Background of the Conflict

Cyprus has a population which is mixed between Christians and Muslims. The
Christian majority are Greek Orthodox, Eastern-rite Catholic, and Armenian
Christian and speak Greek. The Muslim minority are Sunni and speak Turkish.
All of the native population is ethnically Cypriot.2 On 1960, Cyprus achieved its
independence from the United Kingdom. Pursuant to treaty, Greece, Turkey and
the United Kingdom specifically guaranteed the independence, territorial
integrity, security and constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus. 3 At the
time of independence, Greek Cypriots outnumbered Turkish Cypriots by a 7 to 2
ratio.4 In late 1963 and again in 1967, inter-communal violence erupted.5 Using
this violence as a pretext, on July 20, 1974, the Turkish Army invaded and

Patrick R. Hugg, Cyprus in Europe: Seizing the Momentum of Nice, 34 Vand. J. Transnatl L. 1293, 130102 (2001).
Treaty of Guarantee, arts. I-II, Aug 16, 1960, 382 U.N.T.S. 10.
Cyprus: International Law and the Prospects for Settlement, 78 Am. Socy Intl. Proc. 107, 109 (1984)

occupied the Northern third of the Cyprus, acting under purported authority
claimed through the Treaty of Guarantee. Nearly 230,000 Greek Cypriots, 1/3 of
the total population, were forcibly departed their homes and business in the area
of Turkish control, while 40,000 Turkish Cypriots came to the North.6 Turkish
troops have remained ever since, in violation of the Treaty of Guarantee, and the
northern part of the island remains under Turkish domination and control.7
In 1983, Turkey purported to declare the independence of a Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus in those areas of Cyprus which it illegally controls
[hereinafter TRNC].8 No country besides Turkey recognizes TRNC.


United Nations Security Council found the formation of TRNC to be illegal

and re-affirmed the legal status of the government of Cyprus as the sole
legitimate government of the island.10

Turkey does not recognize the

government of Cyprus and remains in belligerent occupation of the northern half

of the country.11


Territorial & Temporal Jurisdiction of the Court

The Cypriot Presidency and EU-Turkey Relations, 15 Y.B. Polish Eur. Stud. 107, 109 (2012).
Id. at 110.
Turkey Blamed for Cyprus Crisis, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 18, 1983.
S.C. Res. 541 (1983).
Menelaos Hadjicostis, Cyprus president says peace deal would create Cyprus, Israel, Turkey gas link, U.S.
News and World Report, Feb. 17, 2014, available at

Cyprus is a state party of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and ratified the
Rome Treaty on March 7, 2002. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction over war
crimes committed by Turkey within the territory of Cyprus after March 7, 2002.12
Although Turkey occupies portions of Cyprus, this occupation has no effect on
the Courts jurisdiction over the whole of the island after the date of Cypruss
ratification.13 As demonstrated below, in addition to the growth and
maintenance of the post-1974 settlement enterprise, the influx of settlers has
continued since 2002, and indeed has significantly accelerated in that period.


Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the Court

This Court has jurisdiction over the war crime of directly and indirectly
transferring civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory.14


Facts supporting Jurisdiction

Turkey and the individuals named below are guilty of the war crime of
transferring civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory.
A perpetrator is guilty of the war crime of transferring the civilians of an
occupying power into occupied territory when:

Rome Stat., Art.12(2)(a) and 13(c).

William Schabas, The International Criminal Court; A Commentary on the Rome Statute 285 (2010).
Rome Stat. Art. 8(2)(b)(viii).

He transfers, directly or indirectly, parts of his own population into the
territory he occupies.
The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an
international armed conflict.
He was aware of factual circumstances that established the existence of an
armed conflict.15
The facts clearly demonstrate the existence of serious and ongoing crimes within
the Courts jurisdiction.
5(a). Turkey and the individuals identified below have transferred
Turkish civilian population to the territory of Cyprus continuously since 1974,
and in particular since 2002:
Turkey has engaged in direct and indirect transfer of its population to
Cyprus since 1974, when it invaded Cyprus.

This course of conduct has

continued, at varying rates, but never interrupted, until this day, in has even
accelerated in the past decade. International law prohibits population transfer.16
Any transfer of parts of the civilian population of Turkey into territory it
occupies in Cyprus violates the Rome Statute.17 Both Turkey and the individuals
responsible for the implantation of settlers face criminal liability.18
Turkeys crime of population transfer has been systematic, widespread,
and grave, especially considering its effect on the Republic of Cyprus. Turkeys

Elements of Crimes, International Criminal Court publication, RC/11 (2011).

Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War art. 49, Aug. 12, 1949 75
U.N.T.S. 287 [hereinafter IV Geneva Convention].
Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, 2004
ICJ 20, 113 (9 Jul.)
Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law 462, (Intl
Comm. of the Red Cross )(2009)(vol. I)

illegal settlement policy has massively changed the demographic balance of the
occupied territory, which international law prohibits,19 and tends towards the de
facto annexation of the territory, as well as making the restoration of control to
Cyprus increasingly unlikely.
Turkish policy has promoted the settlement of Turkish citizens in that
portion of Cyprus under its military control.

In 1996, Turkeys regime in

northern Cyprus conducted its first census. At that time, 30,702 Turkish citizens
were resident in Turkish-occupied Cyprus. These Turkish citizens constituted
15% of the population in the occupied area.20 Additionally, 23,924 of the 164,460
persons holding the citizenship in the unrecognized Turkish puppet entity
TRNC were themselves Turkish settlers, born in Turkey.21 In 2006, Turkeys
regime in northern Cyprus again conducted a census. 70,525 of the 256,644
persons resident in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus, or 27.5%, were Turkish
citizens. Of the 178,031 persons in the occupied area with TRNC citizenship,
27,333 were born in Turkey. Therefore, in 2006, of the total population of the
occupied area, 256,644 in 2006, at least 97,858, or 38.1%, were Turkish settlers.
Notably, the actual percentage of settlers in the population is higher, as these


S.C. Res. 446, U.N. Doc. S/RES/446 (Mar. 22, 1979).

Mete Hatay, Is the Turkish Cypriot Population Shrinking? 29 ( International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
(PRIO))(2007) available at

figures do not include children born to settlers, or unregistered mainland Turks,

who Turkey claims are guest workers.22 Under international humanitarian law,
both children born to settlers and guest workers may also be considered as an
indirectly transferred populations.23
The percentage of mainland Turks in the total population of the occupied
area more than doubled between 1996 and 2006.24 In, 2006, 24% of the citizens of
TRNC were born in Turkey.25

Between 2002, when the ICC acquired

jurisdiction over the war crime of transferring civilian population of an

occupying power into occupied territory, and 2006, when the Turkey regime in
northern Cyprus conducted its census, between 500-1,000 Turkish citizens
moved to the occupied area of northern Cyprus per year and acquired TRNC
nationality.26 Additionally, 69.2% of the Turkish citizens who resided in the
occupied area in 2006 without TRNC nationality arrived after 2002.27
Moreover, Turkish settlement activity has continued unabated from 2006 to the
present day.

Mete Hatay, Beyond Numbers; An Inquiry into the Political Integration of the Turkish Settlers in Northern
Cyprus 8 (International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO))(2005), available at
Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the latest Israeli announcement of settlement plans,
E.U. Doc. 131031/01 (Oct. 31, 2013), available at
Hatay, supra note 22 at p. 30.
Id. at p. 47.
Id. at p. 33.
Id. at p. 37.

According to Turkish demographers, since 2005 the population of the

occupied territory has grown rapidly.28 The data of the Turkish occupation
government shows that since 2002, the population growth has been much faster
than the natural growth rate of births minus deaths.29 This growth has been
fueled by an influx of settlers, at the rate of nearly 10,000 a year from 2005-2009,
according to Turkish scholars.30 Indeed, the influx of settlers may be even more
rapid. United States Ambassador to Cyprus has reported that starting in 2005 the
tide of settlers from Turkey has reached new heights, with 13,448 coming in
2004 and 18,408 in 2005, and 5,318 in just the first quarter of 2006.31
More recent census information shows an acceleration of Turkeys
population transfer activities.

The occupied areas population grew by 11.2%

between 2006 and 2011, to 294, 906.32 Of this population, at least 104,641 were
Turkish settlers. Turkish-born residents in the occupied area of northern Cyprus
now constitute at least 36.6% of the occupied areas population,33 again, not
counting the children of settlers, simply because separate data is unavailable on


Ahmet Atasoy, Population Geography Of The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus, Mustafa Kemal
University Journal of Social Sciences Institute 16(8): 29-62, at 38 (2011).

See id. at 39.



Ambassador Ronald Schlicher, Turkish Cypriot Census Debate Focuses On Natives Versus
"Settlers", May 218, 2007, available at

KKTC'nin nfusu 294 bin 906, Milliyet (Turkey), Dec. 12, 2011, available at
KKTC'de nfus saym sonular akland, Sabah (Turkey), Aug. 13, 2013, available at


their number. Thus, the implanted settlers approach half of the population of the
occupied area. Some data indicate that native Turkish Cypriots have been made
a minority in northern Cyprus.34

The demographic impact of Turkeys

settlement activity in Cyprus is therefore massive.

These population transfers did not occur spontaneously. The Turkish
government has actively organized and supported the transfer and settlement of
mainland Turkish citizens to Cyprus continuously since 1974. According to the
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "there is no country named
Cyprus."35 Turkish policy incentivizes settlement of mainland Turkish citizens in
Cyprus in order to maintain the occupied area of northern Cyprus as an
exclusively Turkish enclave and make Prime Minister Erdogans statement a
reality in the North.
Turkey provides generous financial aid and incentives to mainland
Turkish citizens who re-locate to the occupied area of northern Cyprus. The
provision of financial aid for settlement or population transfer activities is
unlawful and is a war crime.36


Celestine Bohlen, Fresh Tension for Cyprus: Counting the Newcomers, N.Y. Times, Jan. 23, 1991.
Cyprus Expresses Concern over Erdogan Statetements, Macedonian Information Agency, Nov. 13, 2013,
available at
Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 369, 92 (Otto Triffterer, ed.
2008)[hereinafter Triffterer].


Turkish officials allocate to Turkish settlers land and homes, most of which
belonged to Greek Cypriots who lived in them prior to Turkeys 1974 invasion. 37
Since 1995, settlers have obtained from Turkish authorities supposedly legal title
to the properties in which they have settled.

This title purports to alienate

formerly Greek Cypriot properties, irrespective of the interest of the former


Redistribution of property in this manner is unlawful.



occupying power may not confiscate private property and must respect private

Failure to respect private title so constitutes a grave breach of

international humanitarian law.43

Realtors who facilitate this transfer bear

personal criminal liability for aiding and abetting the war crime of population
Additionally, the Turkish government provides Turkish settlers with job
opportunities in the occupied area of northern Cyprus that are unavailable in
mainland Turkey.45 For the settlers, this is a particularly lucrative draw, because
many of them come from impoverished backgrounds in the rural and

Apostolides v Orams (C-420/07), [2011] 2 W.L.R. 324, 330.

Hatay, Beyond Numbers, supra note 22 at 50.
Israel: Stop Unlawful West Bank Home Demolitions, Human Rights Watch (Aug. 25, 2013), available at
International Committee of the Red Cross, Commentary, IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War 301 (Jean S. Pictet, ed., 1958) [hereinafter Pictet Commentaries]
Cyprus v. Turkey (just satisfaction)[GC], no. 25781/94, 63, ECHR 2014
Hague Regulations, Art. 46
The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law 242 (Dieter Fleck, ed., 2nd ed 2008)
Richard Falk, U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, 55, U.N. Doc. A/68/376 (Sep. 10, 2013) [hereinafter Falk
Report 2013].
Van Coufoudakis, International Aggression and violations of human rights: the case of Turkey in Cyprus, at 82,
Modern Greek Studies (Univ. of Minn.)(No. 18, 2008).


underdeveloped Anatolia region of Turkey.46 Since 1992, Turkey has exempted

mainland Turks who go to work in the occupied area of Cyprus from its military
draft, to which all male Turks are generally subject.47 This is a significant
incentive for transfer, especially in the past decade, as the Turkish military has
been engaged in an increasingly bloody and brutal conflict with Kurdish rebels,
with increasing military casualties.48

The use of guest workers in occupied

territory is prohibited by international law.49

Turkey has continued its population transfer activities despite the findings
of the relevant international tribunals directing the cessation of this activity. In
1999, the European Human Rights Commission found that the continued
entrance into Cyprus of considerable numbers of settlers violated international
law.50 More recently, the European Court of Human Rights found that Turkish
settlers (continue to) arrive in large number and (have) established their
homes in the occupied area of Cyprus.51 As demonstrated below, Turkey has
yet to pay heed to the directive of international tribunals or to respect its
responsibilities under international law.
5(a)i. Turkeys infrastructure development activities in northern Cyprus
constitute illegal settlement:

Raisa Bruner, Saga of the Pseudo-State, Yale Globalist (2013).

Turkey v. Cyprus, 23 E.H.R.R. 244, 260 (1997).
Turkish Army Revising Combat Strategy, Defense News, Oct. 10, 2011.
John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice 183 (Duke U. Press)(1990).
Cyprus v. Turkey, App. No. 25781/94, Commissions report of June 4, 1999, 560.
Demopoulos et. al. v. Turkey, 50 E.H.R.R. SE14, 38 (2010).


Turkey unlawfully engages in physical infrastructure development in

northern Cyprus.

An occupying power is not obligated to undertake

development projects in the occupied territory, but if it does, any development of

the occupied territory must be for the exclusive benefit of the pre-conflict local

An occupying power may not construct infrastructure that is

designed to outlast the temporary nature of an occupation.53 The construction of

any structure or process that enables or supports the establishment, expansion
and maintenance of Turkish settlement in the area of Turkish occupation is a








use. 54

International humanitarian law obligates Turkey to both refrain actively

transferring its population into Cyprus and to prevent its civilian population
from coming to the territory it occupies, even without official sanction or
encouragement.55 Infrastructure development activities that induce mainland
Turks to come to Cyprus or provide support and facilitate the retention of those
who have already come constitute indirect transfer.


Eyal Benvenisti, The International Law of Occupation 105 (1993).

James Crawford, Opinion: Third Party Obligations with respect to Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories 37 para 90 available at [hereinafter Crawford Opinion]
U.N. Human Rights Council, Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the
implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian
people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, 4, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/63 (Feb.
7, 2013)[hereinafter Fact-Finding Mission Report (Feb. 7, 2013)].
Schabas, supra note 10, 234


Turkey financially supports the development of physical and human

infrastructure in its area of occupation in furtherance of its settlement activity.
The pre-existing water and electric resources in the occupied North cannot
support the present influx of persons from mainland Turkey.

Thus Turkey

develops the occupied areas water and electric resources to promote settlement
and facilitate population transfer. Turkeys Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs
has undertaken the TRNC Potable Water Supply Project. This project will
build a massive pipeline to supply the occupied North with water from
Alakpr Dam, presently under construction in Turkey.56 Turkey is also building
a reservoir in its occupied area to hold the water pumped in from this pipeline.57
These water projects are unlawful. An occupying power may not develop
water resources for the use of a settler population. Any water development in
Cyprus must be for the entire Cypriot population and cannot be horded for
exclusive use in the occupied North.58
Turkish corporations control the occupied areas business sector.


Turkish governments hydrocarbon company, TPAO, has exclusive rights to

develop the energy sector in the occupied area and is actively drilling for natural


Press Release, Firat, Succes Stories; Cyprus is supplied with Water by Firat, available at
Foundations for Gecitkoy reservoir laid, Cihan News Agency (Turkey), Mar. 30, 2012, available at
Falk Report 2013, 62-63.


gas there.59 An occupying power may only administer existing energy sites for
the benefit of the occupied territory.60

The development of new energy

exploitation sites is illegal in an area of occupation.61 Corporate officers face

personal criminal liability for confiscating natural resources contrary to
international law.62 The Prosecutors investigation should make specific inquiry
into the unlawful actions of Turkish corporate and governmental officers in this
5(a)ii. Turkeys importation of mainland Turkish students and
development of educational institutions in the occupied area constitutes the
war crime of population transfer:
Turkey is developing institutions of higher learning in the areas of Cyprus
which it occupies. Turkeys educational institutions are a modality of occupation
and its students are settlers. The development of educational institutions in
occupied territory constitutes the war crime of population transfer because these
institutions indirectly promote transfer of population into the area of
occupation.63 The presence of universities, in which the language of instruction
and curriculum is Turkish, entices mainland Turkish students to come to the


Turkey to launch oil drilling in KKTC, Cihan News Agency (Turkey), Apr. 3, 2012, available at
Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention Respecting the Laws and
Customs of War on Land, Oct. 18, 1907, 36 Stat. 2277, 2 AJIL Supp. 90 (1908), TS No. 539, 205 Parry's TS 277
[hereinafter Hague Regulations] Art. 55.
Monroe Leigh, Department of State Memorandum of Law on Israeli's Right to Develop New Oil Fields in Sinai
and The Gulf of Suez, 16 ILM 733, 742 (1977)
Human Rights Watch, Separate and Unequal, December 19, 2010) available at
Fact-Finding Mission Report (Feb. 7 2013), Annex I.


occupied areas of Cyprus and further erodes the Cypriot ethnic and cultural
fabric in the area of occupation.64 Students of the occupying power who study in
universities within the occupied area are unlawful settlers whose presence is a
form of population transfer 65
Turkey established 9 universities in the occupied area since it began its
occupation of northern Cyprus.66 Of the 41,865 students presently enrolled in
these universities, 28,565 are mainland Turks. 67 This is not by happenstance.
Turkeys involvement in the development of educational infrastructure in the
North is extensive. For example, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan
officially opened Near Eastern University in 2008. In so doing, he initiated an 11professor, 2000-acre campus, the construction of which was the result of Turkeys
willingness to provide every sort of support towards the development of
universities in the occupied North, according to Erdoan.68

In addition to

building educational facilities, Turkey also funds individual scholarships to its

institutions in the North. A student wishing to compete for a scholarship does so


Triffterer, 363 at 87.

Press Release, Al-Haq, Al-Haq Press Release on Ariel Settler University (Feb. 20, 2010)[hereinafter Al-Haq
Ariel Statement], available at
Embassy of Turkey in TRNC, KKTC 2012 Ekonomi Durum Raporu [herineafter KKTC 2012] (2012), p. 73.
Coufoudakis at 34.
Press Release, Near Eastern University, Prime Minister of Turkey attributes to NEU at his speech delivered to
National Council (July 22, 2008), available at


by taking mainland Turkeys student selection and placement examination

The latest addition to Turkeys educational infrastructure is a branch of
Istanbul Technical University in Famagusta. With the opening of this institution,
Turkey abandoned even the pretense that its institutions in the North are
independent of mainland Turkish control.

Istanbul Technical Universitys

northern Cyprus branch is governed by the same institutional structure as the

main campus in Istanbul and teaches the same curriculum.

It is a Turkish

institution in every sense.70

Every student who comes to northern Cyprus spends, on average, YTL
32,554 on his education, lodging, food and upkeep.71 In the aggregate, students
spend YTL 1.8 billion in Turkeys area of occupation every year. Of that amount,
only 28% consists of student fees.72 The rest lands directly in the occupied areas
economy, and therefore contributes significantly to Turkeys ability to maintain
its regime there. According to Huseyin Gokcekus, the President of the Turkish
governments educational council in the occupied area, revenues from education


Press Release, Near Eastern University, Frequently Asked Questions, available at
International Student Credentials, Istanbul Technical University Northern Cyprus campus, available at




contribute nearly half of the budget of the TRNC government and are the
leading sector in the economy of the zone of occupation.73
Turkeys development of educational institutions in the North is for the
express purposed of furthering Turkish settlement in Cyprus and promoting an
ever-more Turkish ethnic balance there. Turkish officials admit this openly. The
TRNC President has threatened the internationally-recognized government
of Cyprus that Turkey will increase investment in higher education if it does not
concede in negotiations with Turkey.74

This threat was an implied

acknowledgement that Turkeys educational development in its area of

occupation serves to further cement the occupation by facilitating the war crime
of population transfer.

It is therefore proper for the Prosecutor to open a

preliminary investigation into Turkeys educational activities in the area of

Turkeys development of the tourism sector in northern
Cyprus constitutes the war crime of population transfer:
Turkey has developed the tourism sector in the occupied area of Cyprus in
violation of international law.

Tourism development in occupied territory

indirectly facilitates population transfer from the occupying country by

subsidizing settlement activity and by normalizing occupation in the eyes of the


Susane Gusten, Students Flock to Universities in Northern Cyprus, N.Y. Times, Feb. 16, 2014.
Northern Cyprus wants to re-start talks in October, Eroglu says, J. of Turkish Weekly, Sept. 30, 2013, available


occupying states populace and is therefore a war crime.75 The drafters of the
Rome Statute intended the population transfer provision to criminalize actions
by private individuals who indirectly support population transfer, in addition to
criminalizing governmental actions towards the same end.76
Turkey is guilty of activities which develop tourism in the North. From
1995 until 2008, Turkey implemented a comprehensive plan to develop and
increase tourism in the areas of Cyprus which it occupies.77

In 2000, the

governing authority in the occupied area changed its law to incentivize

investment in the tourism section.

Between 2002 and 2005, the Turkish

Development Bank extended credit for 66 hotel projects throughout the Turkishoccupied area.78 In particular, the Turkish Development Bank loaned US $250
Million for 11 hotels in Bafra and YTL 105 million to eight hotel companies in
Kumkoy.79 The Bafra project has already resulted in 3,500 new hotel beds, with
15,000 anticipated upon completion.80 By 2012, the total number of hotel beds in
the occupied North had increased to 19,687.81 Improvements in the tourism
infrastructure encouraged 801,326 tourists to come from Turkey to the occupied


The Humanitarian Impact of the Takeover of Palestinian Water Springs by Israeli Settlers 1 (United Nations
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory)(March, 2012) available at
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: A Commentary 472 (Antonio Cassese et al. eds., 2002)
KKTC 2012, p. 71.
Demet Cengiz, Upsurge in Tourism Investment in Offspring Country, Hrriyet Daily News (Turkey) Aug. 11,
KKTC 2012 at p. 71.
Id. at p. 72.


areas of Cyprus in 2011.82

These Turkish visitors were the overwhelming

majority of the 1,022, 089 tourists who visited the occupied North in 2011.83 It is
unknown how many Turkish visitors decided to stay on after their holiday in the
Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.
Prior to Turkeys implementation of its unlawful tourism development
plan, northern Cyprus had 19 casinos.84 By 2012, Turkey had increased the
number of casinos in northern Cyprus to 25. These casinos generate $600 million
in the area of occupation from gambling revenue alone. This figure does not
include incidental revenues for restaurants and hotels obtained from visiting
gamblers.85 The TRNC regime annually receives $2,000 in taxes per table at the
casinos and $200 in taxes per machine.86 Turkeys development of the gaming
sector in the area of occupation is unlawful because it introduces an unsavory
and prejudicial element to the already imperiled northern Cypriot cultural
landscape. Turkey recognizes the cultural toxicity of gaming operations and
does not permit casinos to operate in mainland Turkey. 87 Turkey, as occupying
power, cannot abridge Cypriot law unless absolutely necessary, and may not
change local law to permit activities in occupied Cyprus it deems detrimental to


KKTC 2012, p. 9,
Id. at p. 73
Andrew Borowiec, Cyprus, a Troubled Island 159 (Praeger Publishers)(2000).
Ceyhun Kuburlu, Northern Cyprus a new casino haven for wealthy, Hrriyet Daily News (Turkey) Jun. 18, 2012.
Borowiec, supra at note 80, at 159.


its own citizens and does not allow on its own territory.88 Cypriot law has
prohibited casino gambling since independence.89 Cyprus strengthened that ban
in 2012.90
5(a)iv. Turkeys support for public and private sectors in the areas of
Cyprus which it occupies is a modality of occupation:
The Turkish regime in Cyprus is economically dependant upon mainland
Turkey for its existence. In 2012, Turkey was the destination for 48.8% of exports
from the occupied area, totaling $56.7 million.

TRNC imported 70%, or

$1,096.3 million worth of goods from mainland Turkey.91 Turkey held all of the
external debt of the TRNC government.92 Turkey provides over $1 billion
(US) per year to fund the operations of its governing apparatus in the areas of
Cyprus which it occupies and uses its financial support to perpetuate
dependence on Turkey. 93 Officials in Ankara give detailed instructions on how
Turkish money is to be spent and cut off entities non-compliant with these
instructions. For examples, Turkish Cypriot Airlines, the national air carrier of
TRNC immediately went bankrupt after Turkey withdrew its financial support


Yoram Dinstein, Legislation Under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations: Belligerent Occupation and
Peacebuilding, (Fall, 2004) 1 HPCR Occasional Paper Series 1 at 9 [Dinstein].
Casino decisions expected this year, Cyprus Mail, Jan. 7, 2014.
Betting Law of the Republic of Cyprus [2012], Law No. 106(I)/2012
Id. at p. 13, Tables 15 and 16.
Id. at p. 63.
Serkan Demirta, Turkish Cypriot state at 30: How independent?, Hrriyet Daily News (Turkey), Nov. 16, 2013,
available at


following non-compliance with Ankaras wishes.94 Cemil Cicek, former Turkish

Minister for Cypriot Affairs and current Speaker of the Turkish Parliament,
freely admits that the TRNC government would go bankrupt without
Ankaras support.95
Turkey controls the political affairs of North, premising its financial
largess upon the formation of governing coalitions which are to its liking.96
Turkey gives direction to TRNC ministers concerning its preferences for
election procedures and results. These ministers seek approval from Turkish
ministers on political reform.97 Contrary to international law, which forbids an
occupying power from compelling oaths of allegiance to the occupying power,98
members of the TRNC parliament must swear to be bound the principles of
Atatrk, the founder of the modern Turkish state, before assuming office.99
In sum, TRNC would not exist without Turkish patronage.


provides its military, its finances, and its infrastructure, its government and uses
it to facilitate the war crime of population transfer.
5(b). Turkeys conduct takes place in the context of and is associated
with an international armed conflict:

Benjamin Harvey, Northern Cyprus May Go Bankrupt, Turkish Minister Tells Hurriyet, Bloomberg News,
February 12, 2011, available at
Id. (footnote 4).
Turkish Cyprus govt falls as motion passed, Hrriyet Daily News (Turkey), June 5, 2013, available at
Hague Regulations, Art. 45.
Anayasa [Constitution] art. 82 (Turk. Rep. N. Cyprus)


Turkeys occupation of Cyprus constitutes a conflict of an international

nature. A conflict is of an international nature when one High Contracting Party
to the Geneva Conventions engages in partial or total occupation of the
territory of a High Contracting Party.100 Turkey is a High Contracting Party to
the Geneva Conventions.101

Cyprus is also a High Contracting party to the

Geneva Conventions.102
In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and has occupied the northern portions of
it since that time.103 Under international law, territory is considered occupied
when it is actually placed under the authority of (a) hostile army, and the
occupation extends to the territory where such authority has been established
and can be exercised.104 Although the government of TRNC has declared its
independence, this declaration is invalid as a matter of law.105 Further, as a
matter of law, TRNC is an instrumentality of Turkey.106 Therefore, Turkey
continues to be bound by the prohibition on transferring civilians into the


Turkeys control of northern Cyprus is in the context of an

IV Geneva Convention, art. 2.

Accession of Turkey to the Geneva Conventions, Feb. 10, 1954, 186 U.N.T.S. 973.
Accession of Cyprus to the Geneva Conventions, May 23, 1962, 45 U.N.T.S. 573.
Dan Bilefsky, On Cyprus Beach, Stubborn Relic of Conflict, N.Y. Times, Aug. 2, 2012 at A8.
Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion,
2004 I.C.J. 136, 167 (July 9).
S.C. Res. 541, U.N. Doc. S/RES/541 (Nov. 18, 1983).
Turkey, 23 E.H.R.R. at 275.
IV Geneva Convention, art 6.


international conflict and that international conflict involves Turkey and Cyprus,
not Cyprus and the TRNC
Turkey maintains a formidable military force on the island without the
permission and against the will of the sovereign Cypriot government. A general
officer of the army of mainland Turkey commands both the TRNC military
and the regular Turkish troops present in the area of occupation. While the active
component of the TRNC army is only 5,000 strong, the mainland Turkish
Army maintains 43,000 soldiers on Cyprus who serve alongside TRNC armed
forces.108 Turkey funds all of the forces present in the area of occupation; in
2011, Turkey spent $109 million on military expenses in northern Cyprus.109
Territory is considered occupied when it is placed under the effective control of
the hostile Army.110 The Turkish military is in effective control of the area of
Cyprus in which its forces are present. Therefore, northern Cyprus is occupied
and the law of occupation applies to northern Cyprus.
5(c). Turkey and its officials are aware of the aware of factual
circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict:
It is beyond dispute that Turkish officials are aware of their continued
occupation of northern Cyprus, are aware that this occupation constitutes a


Stefanos Evripidou, Turkish troop numbers upped in north, CyprusMail, Jul.

3, 2013, available at
KKTC 2012, at p. 87.
Hague Regulations, art. 42.


continued armed conflict, and are aware of their settlement activities.111


addition to the Turkish military presence, substantial financial support to

TRNC, and settlement activity discussed above, all directed by Turkish
officials, Turkish presence at negotiations concerning the Cyprus situation is the
strongest evidence of Turkeys awareness of the existence of armed conflict.
Turkeys leaders have negotiated every year since 2002, when the ICC obtained
jurisdiction, for settlement of the Cyprus situation, especially in the context of
Turkeys application to join the European Union (EU).112 These negotiations
prove that Turkeys leaders know that the TRNC is a sham regime wholly
dependant upon Turkey for its existence.

If TRNC were an independent

country with no dependence on Turkey, Turkey would not be involved in

negotiations over Cypruss future status and only TRNC officials would
engage in negotiations over Cypruss future. Turkeys presence at negotiations
proves not only that TRNC is an instrumentality of Turkey but also that its
officials know the full extent of their occupation and control of northern Cyprus.



Obligation of the Prosecutor to Initiate an Investigation

Yutaka Arai, The Law of Occupation: Continuity and Change of International Humanitarian Law, and Its
Interaction With International Human Rights Law 346 (2009)
Amanda Paul, The Turkey-EU deadlock, (European Policy Ctr., Jan. 26, 2011), available at


The Prosecutor is obligated, under Article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, to

initiate an investigation when the information made available to him indicates
that a case is:

Admissible to ICC Jurisdiction

Grave, and
In the interests of justice

6(a). Admissibility of this case to ICC jurisdiction:

This case is admissible for trial before the ICC under the criteria of Article
17 of the Rome Statute. War crimes are admissible for trial before the ICC where
national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute offenders.113 A State is
unwilling to begin proceedings in its national courts when is shields a persons
from criminal responsibility, when it delays proceedings unjustifiably, or when
the proceedings in the case are neither independent nor impartial. 114 A State is
unable to begin proceedings in its national courts when it is unable to obtain
custody of the accused.115
Turkey has shown a total unwillingness to prosecute any person for the
war crime of transferring civilian population of an occupying power into
occupied territory. Instead, Turkey rewards and promotes military and civilian
officials who participate in the occupation and colonization of Cyprus. Far from


Article 17, Rome Stat.

Stuart Risch, Hostile Outsider or Influential Insider? The United States and the International Criminal Court,
2009 Army Law 61, 71 at n. 57.
Article 17, Rome Stat.


being a criminal matter, commanders of Turkeys forces in Cyprus are frequently

promoted to the top of the Turkish military establishment. Of the five most
recent commanders of the Turkish Land Forces, four General officers, Erdal
Ceylanoglu, Hayri Kvrkolu, Isisk Kosaner and Hulusi Akar, were received
Turkeys top military job after commanding Turkish forces in Cyprus.116,117,118,

Civilian officials are similarly promoted and rewarded for their service in

For example, Abdullatif Sener was Minister of State and had

responsibility for Cypriot Affairs in the Turkish government. As a Minister of

State, he oversaw a vast expansion of the sale of properties once held by Greek
Cypriots to foreigners.120

After an unrelated dispute with Turkish Prime

Minister Erdogan, he left the government, formed his own political party, and
now is a prominent academic.121 Cemil Cicek became Speaker of the Turkish
Parliament after serving as Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus.122
Therefore, it is clear that Turkey does not prosecute its officials who have
responsibility for Cyprus and for Turkeys colonization efforts and instead

3 Officers Enter International Hall of Fame, US Federal News, Apr. 12, 2012.
Org. Hayri Kvrkolu kimdir?, CNN Trk, Sept. 8 2010, available at
Turkish Government, Military Reach Deal Over Top Posts, World News Connection, Aug. 9, 2010.
Turkey: Military Promotions Said Not To Shake Rules of Succession in Army, World News Connection, Aug. 15,
N Cyprus property sales to foreigners increasing - Turkish minister, BBC International Reports (Europe), Sep.
12, 2004.
Abdllatif ener's Turkey Party closes itself down, Cihan News Agency (Turkey), Aug. 28, 2012.
Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot Newspapers Comment on Cyprus Talks, Solution, World News Connection, Nov. 21,


rewards them. International humanitarian law holds these military and civilian
officials responsible for their actions in support of population transfer, and does
not absolve them of criminal liability on the basis of orders from superiors. 123
Nonetheless, THE COMPLAINTANTS are unaware of the prosecution of any
Turkish official in Turkey (or in any other jurisdiction) for the war crime of
transferring civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory.
Turkey is therefore unwilling to prosecute its officials within the meaning of the
Rome Statute.
The courts of Cyprus cannot obtain physical control over Turkish officials
present in the area of occupation because the government of Cyprus does not
exercise effective control over occupied areas. Therefore, Cyprus is unable to
prosecute Turkish officials within the meaning of the Rome Statute.


Turkey is unwilling to prosecute, and Cyprus is unable, Article 17s criteria for
ICC jurisdiction are met and the Prosecutor should open a preliminary inquiry.
6(b). Gravity of the Conduct:
Pursuant to Articles 17 and 52 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor should
open an investigation unless he believes that there are nonetheless substantial
reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice,


William A. Schabas, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court 233 (4th ed. 2011).


despite the clear evidence of a war crime.124 Here, there is every reason to
believe that an investigation would serve the substantial interests of justice and
no reason to believe that it would not. Failure to open an investigation would be
a substantial miscarriage of justice.

At present, there is no method of

accountability for Turkish officials who routinely commit the war crime of
transferring civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory.
The ICC exists to provide justice in cases in which national courts are unwilling
or are unable, as is the case here.125 Therefore, the Prosecutor should open an
In particular, Turkish conduct in northern Cyprus has drastically altered
the pre-existing ethnic balance in Cyprus is in danger of rendering Turkish
Cypriots a minority in the occupied area. The Rome Statutes provision against
population transfer exists for the specific purpose of preventing changes to the
ethnic balance of occupied areas.126

The Turkish governments strategy of

Turkization, one in which the native Cypriot population is slowly replaced by

mainland Turks, renders the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus
particularly grave.

The minoritization of native populations as a result of

International Criminal Court: Situation in the Republic of Cote DIvoire, 51 I.L.M. 228, 255 (Pre-Trial Chamber
III, 2012).
Jann N. Kleffner, Complementarity in the Rome Statute and National Criminal Jurisdictions 3-4 (Ruth
Mackenzie et. al eds. 2008).
Triffterer at 362, 85.


population transfer is an especially grievous war crime which the prosecutor

should investigate.127
As discussed above, Turkeys activities will soon render native Cypriots a
minority in the occupied area of Cyprus.128 Already, Turkish Cypriots complain
of serious disruptions to their culture. According to Dr. Vamk Djemal Volkan,
founder of the International Society of Political Psychology, Turkish Cypriots
profoundly fear the loss of their community and feel a creeping sense of secondclass status because of Turkeys promotion of mainland Turkish settlement in
northern Cyprus.129

Additionally, as discussed above, Turkeys tourism,

educational and infrastructure development activities are directed exclusively

towards Turkish settlers and Cypriots.

Greek Cypriots cannot utilize the

facilities or institutions constructed by Turkish authorities in the zone of


Measures which divide a population along ethnic lines are

especially grave violations of the Rome Statute and are prohibited by

international law. Specific distinctions which totally exclude racial or ethnic
groups and cause the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members
of a racial group or groups, and the expropriation of real property constitute the


Richard Falk, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories
occupied since 1967, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/20/32 (May 25, 2012)
See supra at n. 15.
Kbrs'ta Trk'ler kutuplayor, (Turkey), Jul. 8, 2011, available at
See supra at n. 26, 27, 37.


crime of segregation and apartheid.131 The crime of segregation and apartheid

causes the conduct in question to be particularly grave. 132

Therefore, the

prosecutor should initiate an investigation because of the apartheid aspect of

Turkeys occupation exacerbates the gravity that this situation poses.
The passage of time since the original invasion does not moot Turkeys
injustice towards displaced Cypriots, nor does it render the situation less grave.
On the contrary, the continuing nature of Turkeys occupation and settlement








humanitarian law magnifies the gravity of the situation. 133


Turkey remains

bound by its obligations under international humanitarian law until its

occupation ends.134
If the Prosecutor does not open an investigation, and Turkeys conduct
continues unabated, Turkey may annex northern Cyprus. According to Turkeys
European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis, if negotiations over the future of
Cyprus are not concluded to its satisfaction, Turkey may end the charade that is
TRNC and simply incorporate the northern area of Cyprus into Turkey.135
One of the key purposes of the Rome Statutes prohibition against population


Richard Falk, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories
occupied since 1967, 70, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/25/67 (Jan. 14, 2014).
Id. at 52.
Benvenisti at 99
IV Geneva Convention, art. 47
Emre Pekre, Turkey May Annex North Cyprus If No Reunification, Kibris Say, Bloomberg News, Mar. 5, 2012


transfer is to prevent an occupying power from achieving a fait accomplis in

which it has homogenized an occupied territory into a part of occupying
country.136 An occupying power cannot unilaterally annex territory that it has
acquired through belligerency.137 It may not deny, through annexation, the right
of the occupied people to self determination.138 If the prosecutor does not
investigate, and Turkey instead incorporates northern Cyprus into Turkey, the
Rome Statutes prohibition on population transfer will be a nullity, because
Turkey will have accomplished one of the ultimate ends against which the
statute is directed.

Therefore, the Prosecutor should view this situation as

particularly grave, and open an investigation.

6(c). A preliminary investigation is in the interests of justice:

The Prosecutor should open a preliminary investigation because it is in the
interests of justice.

Over 200,000 Greek Cypriots were displaced from their

homes as a result of Turkeys invasion and control of northern Cyprus.139 These

displaced Cypriots have an absolute right under international humanitarian law
to return to their homes, accruing upon the cessation of active hostilities. 140 In
spite of this guarantee, Cypriot refugees are unable to return to their homes

Triffterer 363 at 87.

Pictet Commentaries at 274.
Crawford Opinion, supra n. 42, 18, 46
Cyprus government give refugees homes, Reuters, June 27, 1996
Pictet Commentaries at 280.


because of Turkeys continued military occupation of the northern half of

Cyprus. Only an investigation by the Prosecutor, and subsequent proceeding by
the Court, is adequate to address the continuing wrong which Turkey commits
through its occupation because the available remedy does not end the refugee
status of Greek Cypriots displaced from the North.
The only remedy Turkey makes available to Greek refugees is to obtain
compensation from the TRNC Immovable Property Commission (IPC) for
property expropriated by Turkey and transferred, frequently to Turkish settlers
or their descendants.141 This remedy is inadequate, is discriminatory against
Greek Cypriots, and is a pretext for illegally depriving Greek Cypriots of their
property. The TRNC constitution purports to void the title of Greek Cypriots
to their properties.142 Applicants to the IPC are therefore denied, ab initio, the
ability to regain the use and enjoyment of the properties to which they hold
title.143 Further, this remedy does not allow Greek Cypriots to effectuate their
right to return to that portion of Cyprus to of which they are native. This right is
guaranteed to them by international law.144 Only a cessation of Turkeys
occupation of the northern half of Cyprus will allow Greek Cypriot refugees to
fully enjoy the rights which international law guarantees to them.


Demopoulous v. Turkey, 2010 E.H.R.R. 50 SE 14, 103 (Jan. 3)

Anayasa [Constitution] art. 159 (Turk. Rep. N. Cyprus)
Demopoulous, 2010 E.H.R.R. 50 at 110.
G.A. Res. 194 (III), 11, U.N. Doc. A/RES/194 (Dec. 11, 1948).



investigation by the Prosecutor is the first step both in holding to account those
Turkish officials responsible for the occupation and in persuading Turkish
officials to end their occupation of Cyprus through consequence. Therefore, it is
in the interests of justice for the Prosecutor to open an investigation into the
matters contained herein, as no other remedy besides an ICC proceeding will
vindicate the rights of Greek Cypriot refugees.



The information presented above is only a preliminary collection of evidence,

but it gives rise to significant concerns that Turkey has engaged in a continuing
course of conduct in which it has committed grave crimes falling within the
jurisdiction of the Court. The available evidence provides a compelling case for
an investigation in accordance with the Prosecutors obligation under Article 53
of the Statute.

Based upon the information contained herein, THE

COMPLAINTANTS respectfully submit that proper cause exists for the

Prosecutor to initiate an investigation into the crimes committed within the
Courts jurisdiction, arising from the continued civilian displacement, ethnic
cleansing, and settlement activity of Turkey, arising from the situation in Cyprus.


Parlement Europen
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