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Volume 884: debated on Thursday 23 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the estimated number of Greek and Turkish refugees at present on British Cyprus bases; and if he will make a statement as to the conditions being endured at each base.

The census held on 16th January revealed a total of nearly 12,000 Turkish Cypriots in the western sovereign base area. The results of the census confirmed that it was their general wish to go to Turkey, and the airlift began on 18th January. At one stage there were about 16,000 Greek Cypriots sheltering in the eastern sovereign base area but there is a continuing downward trend and the current figure is about 5,200. In addition, there are 590 British passport holders, most of whom are Greek Cypriots. The substantial assistance which we have given includes the establishment and running of camps and the provision of beds, blankets, clothing, cooked meals and other food, and medical attention. With our agreement, the Republican authorities are building, and will be responsible for the running of, a new camp for the Greek Cypriots within the eastern sovereign base area. This is now almost ready for occupation and in the meantime the Republican authorities have already begun to take over responsibility for the welfare of the Greek Cypriots.