Turkish Cypriots Mark 35th Anniversary of Independence

Turkish Cypriot officials attended the ceremony at the Atatürk Monument in Nicosia on Thursday

Turkish military jets flew over the the Cypriot capital of Nicosia shortly after midday on Thursday to mark the 35th anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north.

The flyover by the Turkish air force was to mark the end of the military parade for a series of events which celebrated the 1983 anniversary.

In the government-controlled areas, numerous protests, mainly by students, took place islandwide in condemnation of the creation of the ‘TRNC’ and the Turkish occupation.

Students demonstrating for a united Cyprus

A message sent by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the Turkish Cypriot leadership through his Twitter account said Ankara would always be at the side of Turkish Cypriots.

“Our country will always be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots, as it was on the happy day of proclaiming independence. Happy birthday for the 35th anniversary of the founding of the TRNC,” he wrote.

In a statement the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that “today’s sad anniversary for the international community, reminds everybody of the flagrant violation of the fundamental Principles of the UN Charter that resulted from the illegal Turkish military invasion, the occupation of a part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and the establishment of settlers.”

It adds that “Greece, standing by the Republic of Cyprus, shall never accept the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion and occupation, and shall continue to steadfastly and responsibly contribute to the restoration of international law in Cyprus.”