AIR RAID sirens sounded across Cyprus 5.30am Wednesday to mark the moment in 1974 when an armada of 33 ships, including troop transporters, tanks and landing craft, alighted on the northern coast, near Kyrenia beginning the Turkish invasion and occupation of more than a third of the island for the past 42 years.
Turkish forces advanced and took control of nearly 40 per cent of the island making some 160,000 Greek Cypriots homeless in their own country. More than a quarter of the population was expelled from the area where Greek Cypriots once constituted 80 per cent of the population.
The invasion anniversary will be marked across the island with church services and other memorial events.
Despite the ‘black anniversary’ President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday he would be meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as planned on Friday. “I do not see any reason to cancel the talks that would normally take place,” he said.