The commemorative events throughout Australia demanding justice for Cyprus, forty years after the invasion of Turkey in the island, start next week.
In Melbourne, the Justice for Cyprus Committee of Victoria (SEKA) has organised the following activities for July 2014, in remembrance of the crimes committed against Cyprus in the summer of 1974.
On Thursday 17 July, at 1-2.00 pm, at 24 Albert Road, South Melbourne, there will be a protest outside the Turkish Consulate demanding an end to the illegal occupation of 37 per cent of the territory of Cyprus, and the withdrawal of Turkish Armed Forces from the island.
The following day, Friday 18 July, at 5.00 pm, there will be a candlelight vigil and human chain outside the Parliament of Victoria. This symbolic gesture aims to remind the government and people of Australia of the plight of Cyprus, and to ask that they continue to support the campaign for justice.
Immediately after this, at 6.30 pm, at the premises of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne & Victoria, 495-511 Lygon St, Brunswick East, there will be a
Frugal Supper in Memory of the Refugees. The Frugal Supper is 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.
On Sunday 20 July, the actual day of the first invasion of Cyprus in the summer of 1974, at 10.00 am, a Liturgy in Memory of the Fallen will be held at the Church of Saint Efstathios, 221 Dorcas St, South Melbourne, to be followed by the protest march. Demonstrators will gather in Lonsdale Street near the Greek shops, and at 1.00 pm will march to the Parliament of Victoria, where speakers will address the rally. Amongst others the rally will be addressed by the Director of the Office of the President of Cyprus Panayiotis A. Antoniou, and the High Commisioner of Cyprus to Australia Mrs Ioanna Malliotis.
In Brisbane, the Cypriot and the Greek community will demonstrate their support to the continued struggle of Cyprus on July 25.
In Sydney, the NSW Justice for Cyprus Committee’s annual mobilisations will culminate on Sunday July 27, with the annual Memorial service at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Redfern, followed by an anti-occupation march via George St to the Sydney Town Hall.
The commemorative events aim to remind the wider community in Australia that in July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, divided the island by force, and ethnically ‘cleansed’ the massive area taken and occupied by the Turkish army. Four decades later, the island is still divided, because none of the major powers have put real pressure on Turkey, despite numerous United Nations (UN) resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Turkish forces.
In defiance of the UN, and the Geneva Convention, Turkey still maintains 40,000 troops in the occupied territory, and has engaged in a huge program of colonisation. There are now approximately 300,000 illegal settlers from Turkey in Cyprus.