Melbourne: Massive demonstration for Cyprus to take place this year

25 June, 2024

A different way of protesting against Turkey’s invasion of the mainland has been chosen for this year, which sadly marks the 50th anniversary of the 1974 invasion, by the 50th Anniversary of the Invasion of Cyprus Action Group, which includes representatives from all the major organisations of the Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities and aims to organise special commemorative events to mark the anniversary.

Melbourne is preparing to host a historic event on Sunday 21 July in Federation Square with a rally to express solidarity and remembrance for the mainland.

The rally will begin with an important flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony for the fallen. This will be followed by speeches and songs by a choir and well-known artists, culminating in a performance by famous singer Marios Charalambous, who will select favourite national songs to highlight the spiritual heritage and suffering of the Cypriot people.

Participants will have the opportunity to express their emotional connection to their homeland and share a moment of compassion and hope.

This year sees a culmination of Turkish propaganda and misinformation as efforts to recognise the pseudo-state intensify and the brutal invasion is promoted as a ‘peace operation’.

Most importantly, it sends a resounding message in all directions that “justice for Cyprus must finally be done”.

As Theo Theofanous, President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria said, “let no one forget the bloodstained pages of Greek history, let no one forget the churches that stand silent and desecrated”. Theophanous thanked the Australian government “for its support for a united Cyprus, together with the United Nations and the EU” and called on the entire expatriate community “to come to Federation Square and unite our voices for a free Cyprus”.

For his part, Pavlos Andronikos, president of the S.E.C.A., stressed the importance of this black anniversary: “It is 50 years since our island was forcibly divided into two. It is imperative that we do not forget! Turkey has launched a campaign to persuade governments around the world to recognise its illegal state built on stolen, blood-soaked land. We must do all we can to prevent such recognition. The results of a criminal and barbaric invasion, partition by force and ethnic cleansing cannot be accepted”.

He also referred to the recent visit of the leader of the pseudo-state to Australia and the success of the SACA Victoria mobilisation “not to be recognised in any meaningful way by the Australian government” and called on expatriates “this year more than any other… to unite to raise our voices and demand what’s right! Justice at last!”

The full statement of the S.E.C.A. Victoria commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the tragic, illegal, Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Cyprus 50th Anniversary Action Group is calling on all members of the Cypriot and Hellenic communities, along with their friends and supporters, to join us in commemorating the 50th tragic anniversary of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

This solemn occasion will take place on Sunday, July 21st, 2024, at Federation Square beginning at 2:00 PM, with a flag-raising ceremony and Wreath laying at 2:30 PM. It will be followed by speeches from the Mayor of Melbourne, State and Federal Politicians, and Community and Church Leaders, a choir and well-known singers, including Marios Charalambous, who will sing beloved songs, which move and stir us, such as “Ena to Helidoni” and “Tis dikaiosynis Ilie Noite”.

We will be there to remember the following:

  • 50 years ago, Cyprus was invaded and 36% of the island occupied by Turkey.
  • Over 30,000 Turkish troops are still stationed in Cyprus.
  • 175,000 Greek Cypriots were forcefully removed from their homes.
  • Thousands were killed during the invasion, and more than 1,000 are still missing.
  • No country except Turkey recognises the puppet regime in the North.
  • The UN, EU, and Australia support a free, united Cyprus.
  • The occupation violates democracy, human rights, and international law.

We believe it is our duty to honour the memory of all those who died and are missing and express our solidarity with the thousands of displaced families. Let us honour them all as we continue our efforts to bring about peace and a free unified Cyprus.

We denounce the Turkish extremist propaganda that attempts to rewrite history by calling the invasion and occupation “50 years of peace”.

Version by PA English 1

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