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20 June, 2024
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Morning sirens mark 1974 coup in Cyprus

Sirens on July 15 trigger memories on divided island where 48 years ago ‘Alexander went to the hospital’


Emergency sirens sounded on the island of Cyprus on Wednesday morning, as Greek Cypriots mark the anniversary of the military coup of 1974.

Sirens in the Republic of Cyprus were briefly heard on July 15 at 8:20am, marking the time when military tanks rolled out of military bases and through the streets 48 years ago in a Greek-inspired, short-lived military coup engineered by Athens.

The code word for the operation was “Alexander went to the hospital,” while President Archbishop Makarios, who narrowly escaped, later addressed the nation from a private radio station.

A second alarm in Cyprus will sound on July 20 at 5:20am, marking the moment when the Turkish military landed on the island in response to the coup.

The code word for the operation was “Ayse went on vacation” with Greek Cypriots condemning Turkish actions as an illegal invasion while Turkish Cypriots saw them as a peace operation.

On the same day in 2016, another coup took place in Turkey late at night when a faction of the army attempted to seize power in the name of protecting democracy. Erdogan, who narrowly escaped, quickly turned things around and rallied citizens when he addressed the nation via WhatsApp on social media.

The civil defense siren system is primarily designed to warn local authorities of a natural or man-made disaster, including armed conflict, technical failures, terrorism, and earthquakes.

While the alerts are primarily directed to civil defense officers and volunteers, the system also targets the general public with additional capabilities of broadcasting voice messages through loud speakers.

Cyprus  |  military coup  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  war  |  enosis  |  union  |  Makarios

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