Cypriots on July 20 remembered what happened on that day in 1974, as Turkish troops unlawfully invaded and occupied the island and as Turkey still keeps its presence in the northern third of the country.
At 8:20 a.m. sirens blared across the part of the island that Cypriots still live in to mark the sad occasion and the time when the the invasion began.
Cyprus paids tribute to those killed during the invasion and those still missing, with memorials and other events. Political parties also issued statements condemning the Turkish invasion and occupation.
The Greek news agency AMNA reported that a memorial service was held in Nicosia, with the presence of Cyprus Archbishop, Chrisostomos, the President of the Cypriot Republic, Nicos Anastasiades along with the heads and representatives of all political parties.
“These are, undoubtedly, days of great concern and memory preservation, because this is what we need,” said Anastasiades at the end of the ceremony. He also added that “we should not forget and misunderstand the causes and the causalities, which were taken as advantage by the members of the Greek-speaking Junta and leaded to our ethnic division”.
Despite that, the Cypriot government is still expected to talk to the Turkish Cypriots to try to find some way to reunify the island but that would still allow Turkey to retain the land it stole.