In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion, some 20.000 people, mostly Greek Cypriots and Maronites, remained enclaved in their villages, in the areas of northeastern Karpass peninsula and of Kyreneia, in the hope that following the ceasefire they would be able to carry on with their normal way of life.
Unfortunately, their hopes were frustrated. The illegal occupation regime adopted a policy of oppression, violation of human rights and harassment of the enclaved, in an effort to drive them out of their homes.
The Cyprus Government raised the issue in the negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot side, held under UN auspices in Vienna in August 1975. Following pressures from the international community, the Turkish Cypriot side agreed on some measures regarding the improvement of the living conditions of the enclaved. Specifically, it was agreed that Greek Cypriots who lived in the occupied part of the island were free to stay and they were to be given every help to lead a normal life, including facilities for the practice of religion and for education, as well as medical care and free movement in the occupied areas.
However, Turkey continued to implement a policy of ethnic cleansing, through tactics of intimidation, deprivation and oppression, aiming at the total elimination of the Greek element from the occupied areas of Cyprus. This policy resulted in the continuing and at the same time worrying reduction of the number of the enclaved. Presently, only a total of 445 persons remain behind the “green line”, 340 of whom are Greek Cypriots and 105 are Maronites (May 2014).
The European Court of Human Rights judged on 10 May 2001 that there has been continuing violation on behalf of Turkey of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that concern the right of the enclaved to free movement, practice of religion and education, as well as the respect of their private and family life. The Court also judged that the right of the enclaved to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions was not secured in case of their permanent departure from the occupied area and that, in case of death, inheritance rights of relatives living in the government-controlled areas were not recognized.