On Monday morning, 600 Turkish Cypriots crossed the checkpoint at Limnitis to attend anniversary celebrations for the events which occurred in Tylliria in August 1964, when the Turkish air force bombed the region with napalm. The crossing was done in parts.
About 50 small buses made their way through Limnitis towards the Turkish Cypriot village turned military enclave of Kokkina, for the celebrations.
Sunday marked the 58th anniversary of the Turkish air force bombing of civilian areas of Tyllirias with napalm bombs for three consecutive days from August 7 to August 9 in 1964.
The events are to be attended by ‘state officials’ from the north, as well as Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, arriving by military helicopter, shortly after the arrival of Turkish Cypriots by bus and by sea.
The community leader of Kato Pyrgos Tyllirias, Nikos Kleanthous, calling the event a “black anniversary”, said that August 8 is a day of remembrance for the heroic deeds of guerrilla fighters who defended the region, and for all the residents of the area who resisted and kept their region free until today. Tylliria, Kleanthous said, paid a heavy price in the struggle to keep the region intact and free from Turkish expansionism.
He also pointed out that this is the day Tylliria became isolated and cut-off from the rest of Cyprus, which still creates difficulties for its residents to this day.
The biggest problem, said Kleanthous, has to do with the Kokkina enclave, since the road that connects the area to Paphos and Nicosia remains indefinitely closed, restricting movement and development opportunities for residents.