Cyprus IDP Figures Analysis
IDMC estimates that there were approximately 212,400 IDPs in Cyprus as of May 2015.
The figure is the number of people registered as IDPs by the government of the Republic of Cyprus (GoC, 2014) and includes around 117,000 people with IDP registration who were displaced in 1974 and who are still alive.
- The government of Cyprus continues to register IDPs on the basis of identity cards given to people who, at the time of the Turkish invasion:
- lived in the northern part of the island, that later declared itself as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC);
- had a permanent residence in areas under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus because of their profession but their house and/or their property was in areas controlled by TRNC;
- temporarily lived abroad due to professional obligations that arose while they resided in Cyprus.
Moreover, descendants of people with the identity card are also eligible to receive such identity cards and to be recognised as IDPs (GoC).
Displacement occurred in 1974 as groups backed by Greece’s military junta ousted the Cypriot leader, and Turkey sent troops to the island in response. As a result, Greek Cypriots fled to the south, while Turkish Cypriots fled to the north. In both cases, thousands of people were forced from their homes, suffered significant loss and needed large-scale assistance.
Turkish Cypriots live in the TRNC, only recognized by Turkey. In 1975, following the Vienna III Agreement, the TRNC declared that the internal displacement situation was over, and the residents were given the option to move with[IS1] in TRNC with assistance, or to remain where they were with protection guarantees. Since that time the “TRNC” has not granted displaced status or benefits to people displaced to TRNC (IDMC, 20 June 2009).