In July 1974, using as a pretext a coup against President Makarios, Turkey, alleging a right of “intervention” as guarantor of the 1960 Constitution, invaded Cyprus (20th July 1974) “to restore security and order and to protect the Turkish Cypriots”.
These assertions, however, cannot be sustained. The right of “intervention” which is provided for by the treaties of Zurich and London, does not explicitly involve the use of force. Even supposing that this were the case, the U.N. Charter explicitly excludes the use of force and its provisions predominate over all possible international agreements to the contrary, as the Charter itself emphasizes. Apart from this, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash himself, had at the time characterized the coup as an “internal affair” of the Greek Cypriots, stressing that it did not affect the Turkish Cypriot community.
Moreover, in cases of disruption of the constitutional order, the Treaty of Guarantee provided for consultations between the guarantor powers (i.e. Turkey, Britain and Greece). Only if concerted action were to prove impossible, did the Treaty of Guarantee reserve to each of the guarantor powers the right to act unilaterally with the exclusive aim to restore the constitutional order. Turkey, however, never entered into consultations before invading the country whose territorial integrity it had guaranteed. In addition when, after a few days, the constitutional order had been restored, the Turkish forces not only refrained from withdrawing, but proceeded to the second stage of the invasion (15 August 1974), while negotiations were still taking place in Geneva. Thus, Turkey finally carried out its expansionist plans, occupying 37% of Cyprus and turning 200.000 Greek Cypriots into refugees.