Residents from Turkish-occupied Kyrenia condemn illegal declaration of pseudo-state

The Youth Councils of the Turkish-occupied Municipalities of Kyrenia, Lapithos and Karavas along with municipal authorities organised on Monday evening, in Nicosia, an anti-occupation rally condemning the illegal unilateral declaration of the pseudo-state in 1983 and expressed their request for return to their homeland. Representatives of political parties, organised groups and representatives of occupied municipalities and communities participated in the march.

Rita Elissaiou-Komodiki, Mayor of Kyrenia, said that “we want to bring together our young people, to whom we should pass on the sentiments we have felt for our homeland so that they can continue our work.”

Nicos Hadjistefanou, Mayor of Karavas, stated that “we condemn the declaration of the pseudo-state and demand the return to our homes and land, because that land is ours and we want to return under conditions of freedom, permanence and dignity. We will continue to fight until we achieve this goal.”

Neoptolemos Kotsapas, Mayor of Lapithos, spoke of “a dark anniversary for Cypriots.” “Where are the human rights, where are the principles and values? Are they only on paper?”, he asked, adding that hundreds of petitions have been made, questioning their effectiveness in the UN or the EU.

Rita Theodorou-Superman, a DISY MP for Kyrenia District, called on people to start taking part in such events because “Kyrenia is ours and only ours.” From his part, Christos Christofias, MP of AKEL for Kyrenia, stated that it is important “to remind everyone that we do not forget and to demand that the international community stands by the side of the Cypriot people in their quest for liberation and reunification.”

The Bishop of Tamasos and Orini, Isaias, noted that the Church must be present, stand by the just struggle for the restoration of the freedom of our homeland and must do this in practical ways. Sophocles Phyttis, on behalf of the Association of Former Members of Parliament, said that “the people of Kyrenia never forget their city and villages”, hence the organisation of this march.

People marched through main Nicosia streets and ended up at Ledras Street checkpoint, where a petition was handed over to a representative of the UN peacekeeping force. While marching, people chanted slogans in favour of terminating the occupation in the northern part of the island and of returning to Kyrenia.

The petition, which was addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said it called for “full respect for the UN Charter with actions, ideas and political acts that will restore the violations of the provisions of the Charter violated in 1974 by Turkey.”

Furthermore, the protestors demanded through the petition that the UN “act and exercise the role assigned to it in accordance with the Charter” and “restore its credibility as a true guardian of International Law.”

This was followed by an anti-occupation event in Eleftherias Square. organised by Cypriot artists.

An illegal breakaway state declared independence unilaterally, on November 15, 1983, in the areas under Turkish occupation, an action condemned by the UN Security Council and the international community as legally null and void.

The illegal declaration followed the partition of the island after the Turkish military invaded Cyprus in 1974, occupying one third of its territory ever since.

Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency