Political parties on Monday condemned the second phase of the Turkish invasion which will be commemorated on Tuesday, and called for a resumption of Cyprus talks.
August 14 marks the 44th anniversary of the second phase, during which Turkish troops advanced further than they had in the first phase initiated on July 20, 1974, this time stopping at Varosha to the east and Morphou in the west.
The second phase saw some 200,000 Greek Cypriots displaced to the south, and all Turkish Cypriots living in the south moving north. Varosha, in Famagusta, remains a fence-off ghost town under the control of the Turkish military.
The anniversary will be marked with anti-occupation and memorial events islandwide on Tuesday.
Opposition Akel said on Monday the second phase had cemented the ‘Attila line’ and the occupation of 37 per cent of the island.
The party said the Cyprus issue was in a critical phase and that the recent visit to the island by UN envoy Jane Holl Lute to gauge prospects for a resumption of talks, should force “all sides to face up to their responsibilities”.
“Our hope and expectation are that it will pave the way for the resumption of negotiations, which this time will lead to a successful outcome,” the party said.
“Liberation from the occupation, and reunification of our country will be justification of our struggles and a new page for our people who can build their lives in conditions of permanent freedom, peace, security and cooperation,” it added.
Ruling Disy said: “Today’s black anniversary awakens memories in the Cypriot people. But 44 years is not enough to forget our occupied places.”
The party called for unity and a spirit of consensus and the putting aside of different political approaches in order to support the efforts of President Nicos Anastasiades to reach a settlement.
“We stress the need to reaffirm a national unity policy and common struggle for a comprehensive solution that would restore human rights and fundamental freedoms of all our people and ensure long-term peace in a democratic, European state, a common unified homeland for all Cypriots,” it added.
The Green Party said Cyprus was heading into the fifth decade since the invasion and that the generations that had lived in the northern part of the island were disappearing one by one.
“Thirty-seven per cent of the Republic remains under occupation, thousands of refugees are denied the right to return to their ancestral homes, while there are still missing persons and people still waiting for their children to come home,” a party announcement said.
The party called for the immediate implementation of UN resolutions and the return of Varosha to its lawful residents.
“With many people constantly talking about a solution to the Cyprus problem, although Turkish positions lead us to dangerous deadlocks… the Turks continue to want what they wanted in 1974 and that is geographic segregation but now within a federation. We must not succumb to their demands,” the announcement said.