TRNC and Turkey marks 46th anniversary of Cyprus Peace Operation today

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Monday, July, 20 marked the 46th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation.

A ceremony was held in Lefkoşa where top Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials placed a wreath on modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's monument.

Among the participants were TRNC's President Mustafa Akıncı, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, ministers, lawmakers, and military and diplomatic representatives. 

Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a written statement said;

The peace operation demonstrates the resurgence of a public, which was wanted to be erased from history. This operation showed the whole world what can be done when Turkish Cypriots' basic rights were violated [and] when their freedom was being threatened.

Erdoğan also added that a fair and permanent solution on Cyprus only possible with acceptance of equal status for Turkish Cypriots.

Greek Cypriots must acknowledge the political equality of Turkish Cypriots, and their equal rights over the island's natural resources without any delay, he said.

Akıncı, writing in the memory book at the event, hailed Atatürk, the founder of Turkey, and said Turkish Cypriots sought a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue with a peace-based approach.

Turkish Cypriot Leader, Mustafa Akinci
Oktay wrote that Turkey is the guarantor of peace and stability in the region, and both Turks and Turkish Cypriots are deeply connected. Turkey, he added, is determined to stand behind Turkish Cypriots whenever the need be. 

Turkey's Vice President, Fuat Oktay
Every year the TRNC celebrates July 20 as its Peace and Freedom Day to mark the operation -- a large-scale military intervention to protect Turkish Cypriots from violence that struck the island in 1974.

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the north, and Greek Cypriot in the south since a 1974 military coup aimed at its annexation by Greece.

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