Currently about 500 Greek and Maronite Cypriots remain enclaved in their villages in the occupied north of Cyprus under oppressive conditions.
At the end of 1974, following the Turkish invasion 20,000 Greek Cypriots remained in the occupied area despite the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the population. Following terrible intimidation and harassment by the occupying forces they were also forced to abandon their homes, effectively becoming refugees in the government controlled areas.
The inhuman and degrading conditions were a flagrant violation of the The Vienna III agreement of 2 August 1975, which stipulated, inter alia, that the enclaved would be free to remain in their homes and that efforts would be made to allow them to lead a normal life and enjoy their rights of religion and education, medical care and free movement. The enclaved numbered 11,319 on 1 June 1975 – two months after the signing of the agreement. On 31 July 2007 their number was reduced to 496, a decrease of 95,62 percent.
The European Court of Human Rights has held Turkey responsible for the violations against the enclaved whether committed by its agents or those of its subordinate local administration, because Turkey is in effective control of the occupied areas. Both the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have condemned Turkey’s practices against the enclaved. These violations continue while Turkey aspires to become an EU member.