[PSEKA President Philip Christopher, on the occasion of the celebration of Greek Independence, shared his message, via TNH, to the Greek- and Cypriot-American Communities.]
As we celebrate the 193rd anniversary of Greek independence after 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire, we are all reminded that 38% of the small island Republic of Cyprus has been under occupation for 40 long years.
It is unbelievable that the international community has remained silent about the greatest injustice in modern history. Turkey, on the pretext of protecting a small Turkish minority, invaded the island in 1974, expelled 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes, destroyed 500 historical Christian churches, and changed the demographics by importing 500,000 colonists from Turkey. The spirit of 1821 lives in the hearts of the Greek Cypriot people who are fighting to remove 43,000 Turkish troops and return to their ancestral homes.
As we celebrate our Greek Independence, we also celebrate the Hellenic values and ideals that are the cornerstone of American Democracy. This year, we also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the tragic and barbaric invasion of the Republic of Cyprus. Today we call on freedom-loving people to stand up and join the struggle of the Cypriot people for human rights and democratic values.
I salute Greek Independence Day and I remind everyone that as American citizens we have a double obligation, because we come from the birthplace of democracy and we live in the greatest democracy in the world.
We have promises to keep; promises to our parents and grandparents and more importantly, to our children and future generations. Let us celebrate Greek Independence by calling for the end of the illegal occupation of Cyprus.
Forty years is enough! Justice for Cyprus!