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Cyprus church sues Turkey over occupied north

Cyprus church sues Turkey over occupied north

Cyprus' Greek Orthodox church says it has sued Turkey for allegedly preventing worship at religious sites in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of the divided island.
Church lawyer Simos Angelides said Monday the lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights concerns 520 churches, monasteries, chapels and cemeteries. He said the court's past rulings hold Turkey responsible for the north because it maintains 35,000 occupation troops there.
Angelides said Orthodox Christian faithful cannot worship at those sites because they are either derelict or have been converted to mosques, army barracks, stables or nightclubs.
He said Turkey committed "ethnic and religious cleansing" on Cyprus in 1974 when it invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.