Cyprus marks October 1st, Independence Day, with a traditional military parade in Nicosia. It has been sicty-two years since the republic was established after Cyprus finally won full sovereignty from Britain.
“We remain focused on the liberation and reunification of Cyprus,” President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday.
President Anastasiades wished the Republic of Cyprus a long life in a tweet, adding that “we [honor] everyone that struggled for our homeland, and we remain focused on the liberation and reunification of our land.”
Anastasiades received the salute of the parade in the presence of the country’s political, religious, and military leadership.
The Greek government was represented by Minister of National Defence Nicos Panagiotopoulos and the head of the Greek Army, General Constantinos Floros.
Earlier, Anastasiades and members of the cabinet attended a memorial service to the honor of those who fell resisting the coup on July 15, 1974.
He also laid a wreath at the Imprisoned Graves in honor of the thirteen fighters of the 1955 to 1959 liberation struggle (EOKA) against British rule, who are buried there.
He then returned to the Presidential Palace to lay a wreath before the statue of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a statement: “We honor the anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus and the memory of the heroes of Cypriot Hellenism, who gave their lives for Freedom. We are always on the side of Cyprus to end the illegal Turkish occupation.”
Τιμάμε την επέτειο της ανεξαρτησίας της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας και τη μνήμη των ηρώων του Κυπριακού Ελληνισμού, που έδωσαν τη ζωή τους για την Ελευθερία. Είμαστε πάντα στο πλευρό της Κύπρου για τον τερματισμό της παράνομης τουρκικής κατοχής. pic.twitter.com/lDdA796Ie6
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) October 1, 2022
Cyprus Independence Day marks the end of British colonial rule
Cyprus was originally a colony ruled by the United Kingdom from 1878 until 1960. During the 1950s, the Greek people of Cyprus began to fight for unification with Greece, deciding to fight under EOKA.
The conflict lasted for four years, resulting in the British Governor Sir Hugh Foot declaring Cyprus’s independence.
Instead of unifying with Greece, Cyprus was declared independent due to the Turkish minority groups not wanting to become an even smaller minority group under the rule of Greece.