Cyprus remembers and honours all those who defended their homeland in 1974.
The sirens sounded on Monday, at 5:30am, to mark the time 46 years ago when the Turkish invasion was launched, and Turkish troops landed near Kyrenia.
On the occasion, President Nicos Anastasiades stated that there is a need to create a ‘prosperous country, truly independent and sovereign’ for Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, Cyprus Mail reported.
His speech was read out by Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides at the Presidential Palace on the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion, as he was in Brussels for the EU Council conference.
Condemning Turkey’s actions, he said Ankara has remained uncompromising for four decades and held the same provocative policy by repeatedly invoking the Turkish Cypriot fears, necessitating Turkey to protect their interests.
On Turkey’s more recent actions including exclusive economic zone (EEZ) violations, the president said, “We are living through a maritime invasion in the EEZ of Cyprus.”
He also noted that the European Union is a victim of Turkey’s blackmail using the migrant issue, while individuals considered opponents of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan are persecuted. “Turkey, with its actions, is becoming a bully state in the region,” he stressed.
46 χρόνια μετά το έγκλημα εις βάρος της πατρίδας μας δε σταματούμε να ανακαλούμε στη μνήμη μας το μαύρο καλοκαίρι του 1974. Tην κατοχή, τη διχοτόμηση, τον πόνο των προσφύγων, των τραυματιών, των συγγενών των θανόντων και αγνοουμένων. pic.twitter.com/mf1RtiTFyg
— Nicos Anastasiades (@AnastasiadesCY) July 20, 2020
On the Cyprus issue, he said his hope is there will be a solution through a dialogue. “My hope is that in a dialogue that will take place without threats and blackmail, those conditions will be created, so that such proposals are submitted that will finally lead to a solution.”
During the day, a memorial ceremony for soldiers killed during the invasion was held at the Makedonitissa cemetery. In attendance was President of the House of Representatives in Cyprus, Dimitris Syllouris and Greek Defence Minister, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.