NICOSIA — Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) party denounced the Cypriot government for issuing a postage stamp marking the 65th anniversary of the EOKA para-military group that Turkey calls terrorist.
AKP spokesman Omer Celik tweeted that, “EOKA is a massacre network. This terrorist organization that killed the Turkis Cypriots ruthlessly can only be remembered with a curse,” he added.
He stressed that the Greek Cypriot administration's commemoration of EOKA shows that “it still supports this murder network,” Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency said.
“The Turkish-Cypriots existed and will continue to exist by fighting these murderous organizations,” he said, adding that Turkey will never stop aiding Turkish-Cypriots who have occupied the northern third of the island since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.
In a separate statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “EOKA, of which 66th anniversary was celebrated with commemoration ceremonies by the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, is a terrorist organization for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people.”
"The pain caused by the inhumane massacres carried out by this terrorist organization between 1963-1974, with the aim to eliminate the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the Island, remains fresh in the memories," the ministry said.
EOKAl’s aim was for the unification of Cyprus with mainland Greece and took part in a coup that led to Turkey invading, what it called a “peace mission,” where Turkish troops killed civilians and took captives.
EOKA, for Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston fought a campaign for the end of British rule in Cyprus, and for eventual union with Greece but after years of bloodshed relented and accepted a compromise.