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27 May, 2024
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Cyprus marks 50 years since Turkish invasion with monument

President Christodoulides honors fallen in emotional ceremony

Newsroom / CNA

President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, unveiled Tuesday a 1974 Prisoners of War monument in the Square that was also renamed, in front of the Armenian cemetery just before the Ledra Pallas roadblock in Nicosia.

This year, he said, with the completion of 50 years since the Turkish invasion, perhaps more than ever, the memories and thoughts of those who lived the tragic events and brutality are more intense and more compelling.

The President referred in his address to the prisoners of war, the missing persons, the wounded, the refugees and those who died during the Turkish invasion, noting that the state should respect and recognize them.

President Christodoulides assured the President of the Association of 1974 Prisoners of War, Vasos Christou that the state, but also him personally “respect your contribution to the homeland and we must do the right thing and stand by you in an effective way, with actions and not with words”.

What you went through, he continued, during the period of your brutal and inhuman captivity "translates into a heavy debt of responsibility for us for the justification of our homeland, for liberation, for reunification and for the solution of the Cyprus issue, for safeguarding, for defending and for asserting rights of the inhabitants of this place”.

President Christodoulides also recalled the unveiling last October of the 1974 Prisoners of War Memorial in the Municipality of Aglantzia, at the point where the Greek Cypriot prisoners were returning after the relevant agreement achieved at the time.

He also noted that the State has officially, by law, designated today "Day of Remembrance and Honors of Prisoners of War".

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

Cyprus  |  Turkey

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