Cypriots to gather at Melbourne’s Federation Square to mark 50 years since Turkish invasion

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The Cyprus 50th Anniversary Action Group is calling on all members of the Cypriot and Hellenic communities, along with their friends and supporters, to join in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

This solemn occasion will take place on Sunday, July 21 at Federation Square in Melbourne, beginning at 2pm with a flag-raising ceremony and wreath laying at 2:30pm. It will be followed by speeches from the Mayor of Melbourne, State and Federal politicians, and community and church leaders.

There will also be a choir and well-known singers, including Marios Charalambous, who will sing beloved and moving songs such as “Ena to Helidoni,” “Tis dikaiosynis Ilie Noite.”

Group photo at the Australian Hellenic Memorial. All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Marianna Alepidis.
Group photo of Victorians marking the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Melbourne in 2023. All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Marianna Alepidis.

Cypriots will gather at Federation Square to remember that:

  • 50 years ago, Cyprus was invaded and 36% of the island occupied by Turkey.
  • Over 30,000 Turkish troops are still stationed in Cyprus.
  • 175,000 Greek Cypriots were forcefully removed from their homes.
  • Thousands were killed during the invasion, and more than 1,000 are still missing.
  • No country except Turkey recognises the puppet regime in the North.
  • The UN, EU, and Australia support a free, united Cyprus.
  • The occupation violates democracy, human rights, and international law.

The Cyprus 50th Anniversary Action Group said it believes it has a duty to honour the memory of all those who died and are missing and express its solidarity with the thousands of displaced families. It denounced the Turkish extremist propaganda that attempts to rewrite history by calling the invasion and occupation “50 years of peace.”

The Cyprus 50th Anniversary Action Group is calling on communities to join in marking the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
The Cyprus 50th Anniversary Action Group is calling on communities to join in marking the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Theo Theophanous, President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria, declared, “We take pride in our Hellenic history, religion, and culture, and, along with all Philhellenes, we are advocating for peace and a free, unified Cyprus.”

“We pay homage those who have died, are missing, or displaced. We commend the Australian Government for 60 years of peacekeeping in Cyprus and its support for a unified Cyprus alongside the UN and EU. We reject the divisive efforts to establish two separate countries in Cyprus. We urge everyone who seeks justice for Cyprus and its people to come to Federation Square and show their support,” Mr Theophanous added.

Pavlos Andronikos, President of SEKA Victoria, said, “In this 50th year since our island was torn in two, it is imperative that we do not forget.”

“Turkey has unleashed a campaign to persuade governments around the world to recognise its illegal state built on stolen, ethnically-cleansed territory. We must do our utmost to prevent any such recognition, and to push for Turkish withdrawal, and a satisfactory and just settlement of intercommunal differences. The results of a criminal invasion, partition by force, and ethnic cleansing must not be accepted,” Mr Andronikos said.

“Recently, when just a few of us raised our voice, we managed to prevent “the president” of our occupied territory from being acknowledged in any meaningful way by the Australian government when he came knocking. In the last few days, we also managed to prevent the formation of an Azerbaijan friendship group in our Victorian Parliament. We can influence events, and we must. Just think what a powerful message will be sent if we fill Federation Square with Hellenes—from Cyprus, from the islands, from the mainland. This year more than ever we must stand together, raise our voices, and demand what is right—Justice At Last!”

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