“The legendary Turkish Cypriot Erenköy resistance in Cyprus can be compared to the legendary Çanakkale [Gallipoli] battle that was waged in Türkiye”.
The message of President Ersin Tatar in commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the legendary Erenköy battle of the Turkish Cypriot People is as follows:
“We celebrate with great pride the 58th anniversary of the Erenköy Resistance, which is a landmark event in our history which we call the ‘Canakkale Legend’ of the Turkish Cypriot people and we commemorate those who sacrificed their lives and our veterans with respect and gratitude.
Hundreds of Turkish Cypriot youth abandoned their educational studies at home and abroad and took up arms in order to defend the village and homeland in resistance of the fascist Greek-Greek Cypriot attacks that was initiated to exterminate our people, with the objective of annexing Cyprus to Greece (ENOSIS). Great many sacrifices were made for Turkish Cypriots to be able to live in freedom and in dignity. Many Turkish Cypriots, who heroically fought, were martyred whilst defending the strategically very important coastal village of Erenköy in 1964, which ended with a great victory.
The most important sign of solidarity shown by the Turkish Cypriot people against the attacks by Greek-Greek Cypriot forces and the EOKA terrorists, is the legendary struggle of hundreds of our students. First, they raised awareness of what was happening in Cyprus by organising themselves in student societies and carrying out activities and subsequently, travelling to Erenköy, they physically took up arms and defended the village for the honour and freedom of our people. It is an undeniable fact that great many sacrifices were made for the Turkish Cypriots to be able to live in these lands in safety, with honour and dignity.
The mujahideens of Erenköy lit the beacon of light under the slogan of freedom and independence for the Turkish Cypriots, which became a guide for our people in the most difficult of times, and became a milestone in our journey that led to the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Limitless was the bravery and sacrifice of these heroes, who organised for guns and arms to be transported from Anatolia to the island with boats, risking their lives, in order to help Turkish Cypriots who were defending Erenköy and the people there against the attacking Greek-Greek Cypriot fascists. We will never forget how our university students embraced the local people, and put forth a real example of patriotism, bravery, passion and determination in this historical struggle to live in freedom and we shall always remember and reflect these as the perfect example of the superior values of our people.
Whilst a struggle was put forward with great determination to defend our homeland and people in the face of Greek-Greek Cypriot attacks which the UN watched, Motherland Türkiye came to our rescue and prevented Erenköy from falling into the hands of the enemy. What happened in Erenköy is just one example that justifies why we can never, under any condition, give up on the guarantee of Türkiye.
In full solidarity and unity of thought and action with Motherland Türkiye, we will protect our rights and interests in both the Cyprus issue and the Blue Homeland, with the inspiration that emanates from our martyrs and from the strength of our people. We have learnt lessons from experiences that have been lived in recent history, and we look to the future with hope.
We will not give in to a fait accompli that will destroy the existence, achievements and future of the Turkish Cypriot people, and we shall continue to maintain and develop our State, for which we paid a heavy price and made great many sacrifices in order to be able to live freely in our homeland. This is our greatest debt to the future generations. . .
With these thoughts, I respectfully pay heartfelt gratitude to our fallen martyrs, may they all rest in eternal peace and I salute all our veterans with respect.”