Greek American Diaspora commemorates victims of 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Greek American Diaspora in New York has honoured the memory of all those who sacrificed their lives during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the coup that preceded. The memorial was held last Sunday at St. Nicholas Church, in Flushing NY, and was officiated by Archbishop Demetrios of America.

Following the church memorial, an event took place during which a 15-minute documentary titled “The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Occupied parts of Cyprus” was presented.

In a brief speech Archbishop Demetrios said that our destructive behaviour is a reminder that we need consensus and unity.

He praised the role of the Greek government during the UN talks in Crans Montana, Switzerland, saying that the proposals put forward at the negotiating table were ”very powerful”.

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou said that 43 years have passed since the Turkish invasion and still Cyprus is divided, the occupation continues and efforts for the reunification of the island must not stop.

He added that the recent talks in Crans Montana have once again proved who is responsible for the continuing division of Cyprus.

Korneliou said that we cannot accept a solution that will provide for the Turkish presence on the island and called for unity.

Greeces Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dionysis Kalamvrezos said that one must remember and honour the past, but also learn from it. He added that the events of the coup that paved the way for the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, in July 1974 should not be repeated and one must draw lessons in order to move forward with unity and cooperation.

He also pointed out that the abolition of the guarantee system and the withdrawal of all Turkish occupation troops are a constituent element of any solution to the Cyprus problem.

Vasilios Philippou, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, said that the best memorial to all those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom is to carry on the efforts having as a pillar their virtues.

The Consul General of Greece in New York, Constantinos Koutras, said that we ought to honor the fallen and try to present the events in a correct way and be consistent.

PSEKA President Philip Christopher said that the Diaspora carries on the struggle to reunite Cyprus and in these 43 years of struggle many passed away without being able to return to a free island. He said that a delegation of overseas Cypriots will be in Washington DC next week and will try to set up a meeting with the US Secretary of State in order to discuss the Cyprus problem and US Influence.

A military coup d’ etat on July 15, 1974, planned in Athens, paved the way for the Turkish military invasion five days later and the subsequent division of Cyprus. UN-backed talks aim to reunite Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency