NICOSIA – The July 15, 1974 coup against the then-President,Archbishop Makarios, and the deaths that ensued were commemorated by Cyprus’ government.
Government ministers attended services in all districts, on behalf of President Nicos Anastasiades, and laid wreaths, the Cyprus Mail reported.
Makarios was ousted on July 15 , 1974 by the Greek Cypriot EOKA-B paramilitary group, backed by the Greek military and was replaced by pro-Enosis (union with Greece) nationalist Nicos Sampson.
Five days later, Turkey, seizing the chance, invaded and took over 37 percent of the island, which it still holds today as reunification talks go on and on and on and on.
Among the tragic losses of the 1974 invasion are those killed, the missing persons, refugees, and the destruction of Cyprus’ cultural and religious heritage, said Education Minister Costas Kadis, who attended the memorial service in Paphos.
Honouring the dead, Kadis said it is a duty of the government to preserve their memory.
“Forty-two years later, the violation of basic freedoms and our people’s basic human rights continues,” Kadis said.
Through the current negotiations process, he said, “we are seeking a solution that will secure the freedom and reunification of Cyprus in conditions of democracy, peace and fairness”.
“This would be the appropriate honour to those who defended and sacrificed for legality and democracy,”Kadis said.