Memorial services held for those killed during Turkish invasion
Nicosia, Jul 17 (CNA) Ė Cypriots all over the world paid tribute today to those killed 31 years ago, during the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the islandís northern third.
Memorial services were held in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Paralimni, Polis Chrysochous and Evryhou and were attended by members of the cabinet and government officials.
Church services were also held in Greece, the UK and Australia, for those who lost their lives during the invasion, and prayers were offered for the people still missing.
The main ceremony will be held in Nicosia on 20th July, which marks the day of the invasion, in the presence of President Tassos Papadopoulos and the islandís political and church leadership.
The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus has decided that on July 20 flags will be half-mast at all churches in the government-controlled areas and church bells will toll dolefully for 15 minutes.
In Greece, the memorial service was held at the Metropolitan Church of Athens and was officiated by Bishop Evripos Vasilios. It was orgsanised by the Athens Municipality, the Cyprus Embassy in Athens and the Federation of Cypriot Organisations in Greece, in the presence of the islandís ambassador Georgios Georgi, former President of the Hellenic Republic Christos Sartzetakis, members of the Greek Parliament and political party representatives from Cyprus and Greece.
In Australia, Melbourne which has a sizeable Cypriot community, Labour Minister Christos Taliadoros conveyed a message of struggle by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos during a gathering to mark the 1974 military coup against the democratically elected President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios, engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece.
The coup was followed five days later by the Turkish invasion, which resulted in the illegal occupation of the island's northern third and its de facto division.
At Londonís Trafalgar Square on Saturday, members of Parliament from all political parties called on the British government to undertake its responsibilities against Cyprus and utilize the possibilities it now has as the EU president for this term so as to create the conditions for a solution to the Cyprus problem. The main speaker was Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister George Lillikas.
The gathering was organised by the Cyprus National Federation of Britain.