October 1st, Independence Day for the Republic of Cyprus, was celebrated with a traditional military parade today. It has been 61 years since the republic was established, after Cyprus finally won full sovereignty from Britain.
The day was celebrated with festivals at schools and a large military parade in the capital. The effective date of the London-Zürich Agreements was August 16, 1960, but the public holiday was moved to October 1 to avoid the summer heat and the bustle of the tourist season.
This year’s Cyprus Independence Day military parade was described as impressive, both in terms of its organization and execution, as well as the military equipment presented.
Congratulations to our Cypriot friends on The Independence Day 🇵🇱🇨🇾 thank you Mr Minister @PetridesCh for inviting us to the Military Parade with @AnastasiadesCY @Christodulides pic.twitter.com/RbpdGIzqNQ
— PLinCyprus (@PLinCyprus) October 1, 2021
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades gave the traditional speech after the military parade in Nicosia to mark the day.
Anastasiades said he would be happier if Turkish Cypriots had also been present at the celebrations for Cyprus’ 61st Independence anniversary. He expressed his wish that in the future such events be celebrated on a free and united island.
“Today we celebrate the 61st anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, a state created because of the struggles to shake off the colonial yoke,” Anastasiades said.
Anastasiades wishes Turkish-Cypriots were present at celebration
“It is well known that for 61 years we went through trials. We started as a poor colony, to become a modern European state today with structures, institutions, international relations, and a very strong foundation of international law to defend the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus,” he added.
He expressed hope that Turkish Cypriots would soon realize how difficult the path is that they are on. A path which, he said, was not chosen by them, but by “those who want to turn the Republic of Cyprus into a Turkish protectorate.”
Anastasiades also congratulated the Cyprus National Guard, and in general, the efforts made to strengthen the Republic’s deterrent force. The president expressed his wish that soon, such celebrations will be held free from the occupation (of the northern part of the island) and from threats by Turkey.
The Greek government was represented by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos, who was accompanied by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros.
Cyprus President holds Independence Day reception
The President, and First Lady Andri Anastasiadou, held a reception at the Presidential Palace on the occasion of the Independence anniversary. Earlier, the president paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the country’s liberation.
Accompanied by the members of the Council of Ministers, he laid a wreath at the Graves of the Imprisoned and attended a prayer in memory of the fallen during the republic’s struggles and wars of the past 61 years.
The landmark occasions honored every year on Cyprus Independence Day are the 1955-1959 struggle for independence, the 1963-1964 bi-communal troubles, and the Resistance to the Turkish invasion of 1974.
Members of the public were allowed to attend this year following covid protocols, using their vaccination SafePasses and wearing a mask.