Thousands of Greek-Cypriot refugees, who lost their homes in last year's fighting, marched through Nicosia yesterday (15 February) condemning the Turkish-Cypriot declaration of a separate state in the north of the island.
Thousands of Greek-Cypriot refugees, who lost their homes in last year's fighting, marched through Nicosia yesterday (15 February) condemning the Turkish-Cypriot declaration of a separate state in the north of the island. The declaration also sparked off big demonstrations in Athens.
In Nicosia, men, women and children marched in single file to the office of President Makarios. There they delivered a resolution supporting the joint Greek and Greek-Cypriot call to the Security Council to press for the withdrawal of foreign troops and the return of refugees to their homes.
During the Athens protest, thousands of Greek and Greek-Cypriot students marched on the United States' and British diplomatic missions. They carried placards denouncing "Turkish Imperialism", and also condemning United States and British policy.
SYNOPSIS: Reaction in Nicosia on Saturday to the Turkish-Cypriot declaration of the partition of Cyprus. It came from some of the people most effected -- Greek-Cypriot refugees who lost their homes in the north during last year's fighting and find they are now in the area declared a separate state by the Turks.
About two hundred-thousand Greek-Cypriots fled to the south in the face of the Turkish army last year, and about fifty-thousand Turkish-Cypriots are currently moving north, many to take over Greek houses and properties.
The demonstrators marched to the offices of President Makarios. There the President's secretary received a petition supporting the joint Greek and Greek-Cypriot move to press the Security Council for the withdrawal of foreign troops and return of refugees.
There was a bigger, and more vocal, protest in Athens on the same day.
Seven-thousand Greek and Greek-Cypriot students marched on the British and United States Embassy, still angry at their failure to influence the Turkish partition of Cyprus. Placards also spelt out their anger against what they felt to be Turkish Imperialism.
Outside the United States Embassy, placards reading "Kissinger Killer" and "Greece ask for help from the Soviet Union" also became prominent. Elsewhere in Athens at the time of the protest, visiting Greek-Cypriot negotiator Glafkos Clerides reached a measure of agreement with the Greek Foreign Minister on how they should handle the Cyprus issue.