More than 100 members of South Australia’s Cypriot and Greek communities braved the weather on Sunday, July 17 to mark the 48th Anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and honour those who fought for freedom.
The event, organised by the Cyprus Community of SA and Justice for Cyprus (SEKA SA), started with a memorial service at The Nativity of Christ Church in Port Adelaide and was followed by a wreath laying ceremony and speeches at the Cyprus Community club in Welland.
“Our thoughts are with those missing since 1974,” said SEKA SA President, Peter Ppyros, in his speech and commended Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on his recent statement that “he will always stand up for sovereign nations.”
“We, the Australian Cypriots are thankful to the people of Australia for their sympathy and support towards Cyprus. We cannot say however, that the Australian governments have done everything they should have done for Cyprus,” Mr Ppyros said.
“Our federal governments are always keen to take drastic measures and impose sanctions against other nations for a variety of reasons, including Russia for invading Ukraine. I would like to point out to every direction that the Cyprus situation is not any different to that of Ukraine.”
Mr Ppyros called the PM to visit Cyprus and deliver economic and political actions towards Turkey.
“Turkey must be forced by the international community to withdraw its troops from the island and allow the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to reunite their common homeland as a bizonal, bicommunal multicultural federation based on the UN resolutions,” he said.
Representing the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, member for Adelaide Lucy Hood recounted her visit to Cyprus and made special mention to Australian Cypriot Minister Andrea Michaels and those who made Adelaide home as a result of the invasion.
“It is stories like Andrea’s and yours here today, that are behind Labor’s long calling for Turkey to withdraw all its military forces from Northern Cyprus and support all UN resolutions calling for the reunification of Cyprus as the Republic of Cyprus,” Ms Hood said.
Speeches were also given by Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Jing Lee, who was representing the Leader of the Opposition, by the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide George Psiachas, and the President of SA’s Cyprus Community Andreas Evdokiou in the presence of federal, state, community and religious leaders.
The commemorative events will conclude on Wednesday with a talk on the Current Position of the Cyprus Issue by this year’s official representative of the Republic of Cyprus, Deputy Minister of Shipping, Mr Vassilios Demetriades, who will be accompanied by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Canberra, Ms Martha Mavrommatis.