‘We honour the victims’: Cyprus marks anniversary of Turkish invasion

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The 48th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was commemorated in Cyprus and Greece on Wednesday.

In Cyprus, a memorial service was held at the Saint Barnabas cathedral, while a tribute ceremony was held at the Tomb of Makedonitissa commemorating those who fell during the Turkish invasion.

Cypriot Finance Minister, Constantinos Petrides, attended on behalf of President Nicos Anastasiades, who is in isolation after recently contracting COVID-19. Greece’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Nikos Hardalias, and the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, Konstantinos Floros, were also present.

During his speech, Mr Petrides said the day was a chance for “self-awareness and national reflection so as to find a way out of this impasse.”

“We honour victims, Greeks and Cypriots, who fell for this land and have not been vindicated to this day,” Petrides added.

Later that day, President Anastasiades issued a statement on Twitter and said “today we honour the heroes who fell defending the democracy and territorial integrity of our homeland.”

“We honour their relatives and the relatives of those missing. We honour prisoners of war and those injured. 48 years later, Cyprus still suffers from the brutal consequences of the invasion.” Anastasiades added.

“We shall never accept the option of surrendering. Our goal remains to reunify Cyprus, liberated from third-party dependencies, truly provide a potential for peaceful coexistence to all legal citizens within the framework of the acquis communautaire and EU values.”

Elsewhere in Greece, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also issued statements on social media condemning the invasion and demanding the resumption of negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

“48 years after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the trauma of the illegal occupation remains deep,” President Sakellaropoulou wrote.

“We will always remember those who sacrificed their freedom for Cyprus and claim its reunification based on UN decisions and principles of international law.”

In his message, Mitsotakis said that “the occupation line in Nicosia remains the only partition wall in Europe.”

“History and Law demand that it fall,” the Prime Minister added. “That’s why we fight. For the united bi-communal Republic of Cyprus to rise to its place.”

READ MORE: Cypriot communities around Australia share messages to mark anniversary of Turkish invasion.

Source: Cyprus Mail.

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