Cyprus – Reflections on the Shame
of Christmas 1963
By Chris Elliott
Today in North Cyprus it is a sunny Christmas Day and Christians are in their homes with their families enjoying the joys of the season of goodwill and looking forward to better times in 2014. Could the same have been said anywhere in Cyprus on Christmas Day 1963?
In the Turkish areas of Nicosia and the village of Ayios Vassilio survivors were numbed with grief and disbelief at the acts perpetrated by their Greek Cypriot brothers. Time moves on and heals they say and this week there have been memorial services held in memory of those that were snatched away by the acts of madmen and there follows a report on the BRT Radio and Television web page.
KUMSAL MARTYRS REMEMBERED TODAY AS PART OF WEEKLONG EVENTS.
The 21st – 25th December, National Struggle and Martyrs’ week is continuing with various events.
Kumsal Martyrs were commemorated today as part of the week-long events.
On Christmas Eve in 1963 Greek Cypriots attacked the house that Major Nihat İlhan’s family was residing in. In the attack Mr. İlhan’s wife and children were massacred.
Erdoğan Rıfat, Tuncer Hasan, Muhip Hüseyin, Aziz Güner, Mustafa Hasan and Mustafa Mehmet lost their lives while defending the area.
During the ceremony, wreaths were laid at the Martyrs’ Monument and a minute’s silence was observed and shots were fired in memory of the martyrs.
The ceremony here ended with participants visiting the museum. Meanwhile last night Cyprus Turkish fighters who fell during the defense of the Turkish Cypriot sector of Iskele between 1963 and 1974 were remembered with a ceremony last night.
Very soon we will enter 2014 and let’s all pray that all the people of Cyprus accept the truth of the past and the mistakes made and make a decision to at last move forward into the future, living in harmony and co-operation even if they live in two separate states. Cyprus is the jewel in the Mediterranean and should return to being Aphrodite’s island of love and then perhaps next Christmas, 2014, will be a happy time throughout Cyprus.
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