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President Tatar Commemoration message for the Arpalık martyrs

In his message, President Tatar called on the Greek Cypriot side to respond positively to calls for dialogue, to put an end to tension-creating activities and armament.

The President noted that the Greek Cypriots who had unleashed their attacks on Turkish Cypriots in Lefkoşa on 21st December 1963 with the aim of transforming Cyprus into a Helen island extended their aggression throughout the island in the areas populated by Turkish Cypriots. The village of Arpalık was also exposed to Greek Cypriot attacks on 5-6 February 1964.

Tatar said that five Turkish Cypriots were martyred during the Greek Cypriots’ attacks which started on 5th February and the village’s inhabitants were forced to flee their homes. The President stated that it is not possible to forget these attacks which have gone down in history as ‘black Thursday’, the atrocities carried out by Greek Cypriots and the martyrs.

He said “We continue on our way by learning lessons from the past. If we can live in sovereignty and freedom in our country and under the roof of our state it is because of the sacrifices of our martyrs, our people’s epic resistance and motherland Turkey.”.

Tatar pointed out that their aim was to prevent a return to pre-1974 conditions which were full of pain, death, and darkness as well as to protect the sovereignty and Turkish Cypriot peoples’ state.

Reminding that the negotiations aimed at a federal solution which had started in 1968 remained inconclusive due to the Greek Cypriot side’s uncompromising stance, he said that recent experiences, such as the Annan Plan and Crans Montana had once again revealed it was not possible to reach a federal solution in Cyprus.

“We put forward our solution model based on the existence of two sovereign equal separate states for the first time in Geneva. We will not take a step back from this position which we believe will benefit Cyprus and the region and which is fully supported by motherland Turkey. I urge the Greek Cypriot side to respond positively to our call for dialogue, end its activities that raise tensions, to abandon its armament campaign, and to stop playing with fire,” he said.

He concluded his statement by paying his respects to the martyrs and expressing his gratitude to the War veterans

Source: TRNC Public Information Office

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