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EOKA veteran objects to Kyrenia Remembrance Day ceremony

poppyThe head of the EOKA Veteran’s Association Thassos Sophocleus says the British have no right on Remembrance Sunday to erect a monument in Kyrenia to the British soldiers who died in the run up to Cyprus’s independence. He also opposes the description of EOKA as a “terrorist” organisation in literature aimed at raising money for the monument. The monument was paid for by donations from a campaign organised through the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK and will be attended by the British High Commissioner Peter Millet and a number of senior politicians and military personnel.

The monument will have inscribed on it the names of 371 British servicemen who lost their lives in Cyprus during the Cyprus Emergency. These servicemen were buried at the Wayne’s Keep cemetery in the buffer zone near Nicosia and because a ceremony there would be difficult Kyrenia cemetry had been chosen instead so that relatives would be able to gain access.

One critic wondered why “not one Turkish Cypriot” had been invited to the ceremony, especially as “Turkish Cypriots also died, many of them in British uniform.” Another complaint was that the Daily Telegraph campaign spoke of nearly 400 British servicemen having died “at the hands of the Greek Cypriot guerrilla organisation EOKA” when in fact only 105 had been killed in action, the rest having died from accidents or natural causes.

One organiser was quoted as justifying the ceremony by saying that “it’s the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Emergency. Many of the veterans are getting rather old. If we didn’t do it this year, when would we be able to do it?”

Full article in Cyprus Mail

in Kyrenia on Remembrance Sunday
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