Cyprus on Thursday made it a crime to deny that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenian Turks a century ago, a move likely to rile its old rival Turkey as peace talks on the ethnically-split island remain stalled.
The Cypriot parliament passed a resolution penalising denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, modifying existing legislation,
which required prior conviction by an international court to make denial a crime. "Today is a historic day," speaker of parliament Yiannakis Omirou said. "It allows parliament to restore, with unanimous decisions and resolutions, historical truths." The east Mediterranean island, split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a brief Greek inspired coup, was one of the first countries worldwide in 1975 to recognise the Armenian killings as genocide. It is commemorated on April 24.