The members of the House of Representatives paid their respects to those who died defending the Republic of Cyprus during an extraordinary session to mark Monday’s 45th anniversary of the 1974 coup d`état in Cyprus and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that followed five days later.
A minute’s silence was observed for those who gave their lives for democracy and freedom.
Addressing the plenary, Speaker Demetris Syllouris said the House condemns the treachery and crime that have taken place and called on the international community to handle effectively the Turkish intransigence and provocation with its illegal activities within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and the recent statements and actions by the Turkish side to settle Famagusta, completely disregarding the relevant resolutions of the UNSC and the European Parliament.
He repeated the country’s “determination to continue the struggle to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, that will be based on UN Security Council resolutions, the principles of international law and the EU acquis”.
“We owe it to those who died defending the island and to give a peaceful, secure and prosperous homeland to the future generations”, he added.
Party leaders and representatives also took the floor, condemning the 1974 coup d`état and the Turkish invasion. They also criticised Turkey for not proactively defending the rights of Turkish Cypriots through a fair solution to the Cyprus problem. Instead, they said, it is trying to create new fait accompli in Famagusta.
Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.
A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast on Monday.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.