Cyprus on Saturday marked the anniversary of the start of the 1955-1959 struggle for independence against British colonial rule with a series of church services and other events presided over by government officials.
President Nikos Christodoulides who attended a church service at the Apostolos Varnavas church in Nicosia, then attended a ceremony at the imprisoned graves, an area at the central prisons where Eoka heroes killed by the British are buried.
The struggle of Eoka fighters should be honoured every day through the struggle to end Turkish occupation of Cyprus, Christodoulides said during his address at the imprisoned graves.
“We honour the purest, most glorious struggle in the history of Cypriot Hellenism. This struggle that led to the most precious thing we have today, the Republic of Cyprus, and we must never forget this,” he said.
He added that honour should be given to the struggle every day through the actions of the government to end the Turkish occupation of the island and reunite Cyprus.
“The real honour is through our daily behaviour, it is through the way we behave, but in particular, because we speak for the Republic of Cyprus, through our effort, our struggle to end the occupation for the liberation and reunification of our homeland, something for which no matter how many problems, difficulties and obstacles there are, you can be sure that from our side we will do everything possible, so that we can break the deadlock and restart the talks to resolve the Cyprus issue,” he said.
Commenting on Turkish intransigence, Christodoulides said: “Surely, it is a very difficult fight because of Turkish intransigence, but under no circumstances will we be content with saying that the fight is difficult because of Turkish intransigence.”
He reiterated that the government wished the EU to play a leading role in breaking the impasse because they believe that it can and has the motivations to lead to breaking the deadlock, restarting the talks and resolving the Cyprus issue.
“We are here to fight and that is what we will do until we achieve our goal,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Government Spokeswoman Doxa Komodromou said the best tribute to Eoka fighters would be Cyprus continuing the struggle to bring justice to the country.
Speaking at a memorial service in Larnaca, Komodromou said: “Guided by the light of the sacred memory of the heroes of the Eoka struggle, we looked back today at the epic four years [1955-1959] that revealed the true Greek face of Cyprus, the fighting one, which founded our freedom.”
She added that beyond honouring the heroes of Eoka, Cyprus continues the struggle with the purest ideals.
“We recall in our memory the faces of the fighters who, with their soul and blood, fought and gave our people the supreme good of freedom,” she said.
Commenting on President Nikos Christodoulides goal for the future of Cyprus, she said that the top priority of the president is the resolution of the Cyprus issue within the agreed framework so that the country can finally become a reunited, free, modern, European state, a common homeland of prosperity and security for all its legal citizens, without any discrimination.
She added that Christodoulides repeatedly stated that there was a specific approach regarding breaking the deadlock and resuming the talks on the Cyprus issue with a leading role for the European Union.
“This is the time for diplomacy, which has begun to work towards the implementation of what was discussed in Brussels, with the Turkish elections on the horizon,” she said.
As Christodoulides has declared before parliament, with the solution of the Cyprus issue, the Republic of Cyprus will evolve to become a common home within the great European family, she added.
“This is the solution we envision,” she added.