Cyprus paid tribute to all those who lost their lives in the 1974 Turkish invasion, which resulted in the occupation of 37% of its territory, with President Nicos Anastasiades stressing that we continue to aim at reunifying and “rid the island of third-party dependencies.”
On Wednesday, representatives of the state gathered at the Makedonitissa Tomb, the military cemetery in Nicosia, where a memorial service was held to commemorate all those who lost their lives and all those who are still missing.
"the sirens which sounded 48 years after the Turkish invasion brought to mind once more the heavy responsibility; this sad anniversary with our island divided...should be the last.”
Other officials and citizens also paid their respects. A minute’s silence was observed, wreaths were laid and the National Anthem was played.
Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides represented President Anastasiades who had recently contracted Covid-19, while Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, Nicos Hardalias, represented the Greek government.
In a Twitter post, Anastasiades said “today we honor the heroes who died defending democracy and our country’s territorial integrity, the respected relatives of the missing persons, the prisoners and injured from the war. Cyprus still suffers the brutal consequences 48 years after the invasion.”
He stressed that despite efforts, Turkey continued to exhibit the same intransigence, adding that “the Turkish insistence on unacceptable positions which do not comply with modern states derailed every negotiating process.”
“We will never accept the option to capitulate. Our goal remains the same, that Cyprus should reunify and free herself from third-party dependencies, providing the prospect of peaceful coexistence for all its lawful citizens, in the framework of the acquis and the values of the EU,” he said.
In a different post, Anastasiades said that the sharp sound of the sirens which sounded 48 years after the Turkish invasion brought to mind once more the heavy responsibility; this sad anniversary with our island divided and its citizens deprived of human rights should be the last.”