NICOSIA – The 40th anniversary of Turkish-Cypriots declaring a republic on the occupied, isolated northern third of the island seized in unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions was denounced by Cypriot students who took to the streets in protest.
Hundreds of them from different political persuasions marched, carried Cypriot flags and chanted slogans to mark the occasion as hopes for ending the division have faded with Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar rejecting reunification.
The event was coordinated by the Pancyprian Student Coordinating Committee (PSEM) and took place across municipalities on the Greek-Cypriot side that’s a member of the European Union.
The central theme of one of the demonstrations was Cyprus-Free-Reunited Homeland-One People, with students condemning the self-declared republic but wanting the island back together again after almost 50 years of separation.
Student members of the far-right party ELAM party marched to the main Ledra Street crossing point in the capital Nicosia, carrying signs and waving the Greek flag, The Cyprus Mail said.
A statement released by ELAM said that the party “will never compromise with the occupation and the Islamization of our homeland,” and added that trying to establish a bizonal, bicommunal federation would recognize the occupiers.
At the Mia Milia checkpoint, PSEM President George Mousis said the Turkish-Cypriot self-declared state should be marking 40 years of an unlawful state, Tatar wanting the United Nations to accept it.
“The events of 1974 continue to afflict the Cypriot people as a whole,” Mousis said. “The dead, the missing, the refugees will not be vindicated as long as the occupation persists.
“We promise that we will fight until the final justice for Cyprus, until the liberation and reunification of our land and people, to overturn Turkey’s divisive plans and those who indirectly or directly promote division,” Mousis said.