Turkish military jets boomed over the capital Nicosia shortly after midday on Thursday during several flyovers to mark the 35th anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north.
The flyover by the Turkish air force was to mark the end of the military parade for a series of events to celebrate the 1983 anniversary while in the government-controlled areas, numerous protests, mainly by students took place islandwide in condemnation of the creation of the ‘TRNC’ and the Turkish occupation.
A message sent by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the Turkish Cypriot leadership through his Twitter account said Ankara would always be at the side of Turkish Cypriots. “Our country will always be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots, as it was on the happy day of proclaiming independence. Happy birthday for the 35th anniversary of the founding of the TRNC,” he wrote.
Student body Psem said in a statement they were demonstrating to fight for a free and reunited Cyprus and to thwart Turkey’s plans for partition.
“Psem continues its struggle for the resolution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible based on UN resolutions and high-level agreements,” the student body said.
“We believe that the solution cannot wait and it is with great concern that we are seeing stagnation on the Cyprus issue. We support the immediate resumption of the negotiation process in order to find a solution,” it added.
Greek Cypriot political parties also condemned the occupation and anniversary events in the north while the Greek foreign ministry issued a statement saying Athens would never accept the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion and occupation “and will continue to contribute steadily and responsibly to the restoration of international legitimacy in Cyprus, which can only be achieved through the end of the occupation, the abolition of the anachronistic status of the guarantees and the reunification of Cyprus, on the basis of the decisions of the United Nations Security Council”.