Greek President and Prime Minister- 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus

20 July 1974- Black Day for Cyprus as Turkey begins their invasion

20 July 1974- Black Day for Cyprus as Turkey begins their invasion

“This year, on the sad anniversary of the 20th of July, we are facing an unprecedentedly escalating Turkish aggression, which is manifesting itself throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region,” President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in her statement on the 46th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

At the same time, she underlined that “we are also facing the recent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. A decision that deeply hurts not only Hellenism, but also those who believe that this top symbol of Christianity belongs to humanity and the world cultural heritage, and that distances Turkey from the values of the secular state and the principles of tolerance and pluralism.”

“Against the illegal behaviour of Turkey, we propose the legitimacy, the close cooperation and the constant coordination of Greece and Cyprus. Against the actions that endanger peace and stability, Greece and Cyprus strengthen regional cooperation, which contributes decisively to the development and prosperity of our wider region,” the President of the Republic pointed out.

“We are working with unwavering commitment to the fundamental principles of International Law and the Law of the Sea, with a commitment to the unwavering national goal and priority that always was and remains to be the finding of an agreed, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue, based on the decisions of the UN Security Council and the UN acquis throughout the territory of Cyprus.”

Referring to the Cyprus problem, she underlined that we are seeking  “a solution that will finally free Cyprus from the Turkish occupation troops and will abolish the, according to common international confession, unsustainable system of guarantees and the right of third parties to intervene in the affairs of the Republic of Cyprus.”

At the same time, she reminded: “Forty-six years have passed since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the pain remains undiminished. We do not forget the autrocity of the Turkish invasion. We do not forget its criminal, chronic consequences: the uprooting and exile, the ongoing drama of the families of the missing, the massive violation of human rights, the looting of cultural monuments, the violent separation of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. We do not forget that, 46 years later, the Turkish occupation continues.”

“Greece always remembers and honours the victims of the Turkish invasion, the missing and living Cypriots and Greeks, who in 1974 bravely and vigorously defended the freedom of Cyprus from the Turkish invader,” Sakellaropoulou concluded.

“Forty-six years after the Turkish invasion, the wound of Cyprus still bleeds,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“Unfortunately, the sky of the entire region is being filled by more and more clouds of provocations by the same culprit,” Mitsotakis added.

“A series of aggressive actions are now being added to the illegal occupation of European territory, challenging the sovereign rights of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus. Acts that violate international law, landmines for stability and security in the Mediterranean. Also unhistorical decisions, insults to the global culture, such as the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The anniversary of shame, instead of provoking a redemptive self-criticism in Turkey, finds it slipping further from legitimacy, Europe and the values of the 21st century. In the face of these events, Hellenism reacts with maturity and determination, with faith in justice and the resumption of a dialogue that will bring a lasting solution to the island…” the PM noted.

“Forty-six years later, we do not forget the slogan ‘I do not forget.’ We are fighting for a united and European Cyprus. For a Greece that will progress with the law as its compass, in harmony with its neighbours. And for a Mediterranean of fertile peace. Forty-six years later, we will not allow forgetting to become an obstacle to a solution,” Mitsotakis concluded.

20 July 1974- Black Day for Cyprus as Turkey begins their invasion