In July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, divided the island by force, and ethnically “cleansed” the massive area taken and occupied by the Turkish army. Almost four decades later, the island is still divided. This month marks the 39th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey.
PASEKA (Pan Australian Coordinative Committee for the Cyprus Struggle), a nationwide federation of Cypriot Organizations and its local arms are once again organising a number of events this year in various state capitals of Australia, in order to draw attention to the as yet unresolved Cyprus Issue.
The commemorative events started in Melbourne on Thursday, with a peaceful protest outside the Turkish Consulate (24 Albert Road, South Melbourne).
On Friday, 12 July, at 5.00 pm there will be a candlelight vigil and a human chain on the steps of the State Parliament in Victoria, with an aim to remind the Government and people of Australia of the plight of Cyprus.
A candlelight vigil will be followed by a ‘deipno litotitas’ that is a frugal supper, at 6.30 pm, at the premises of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria, 495-511 Lygon St, Brunswick East. The Frugal Supper will be held in memory of the sufferings of the many thousands of Cypriots from the north of the island who were forced to flee their homes and ancestral villages by the Turkish invasion of July 1974. Present at this event, representing the Cypriot Government, will be Dr Petros Petridis, Minister of Health. Dr Petridis will also be taking part in commemorative events in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.
On Sunday, 14 July, Liturgy in Memory of the Fallen will be held at the Church of Saint Efstathios, 221 Dorcas St, South Melbourne 3205, from 10.00 am.
From 12.30 pm on Sunday, demonstrators will gather in Lonsdale Street near the Greek shops, and at 1.00 pm they will march to the Parliament of Victoria, where speakers will address the rally.