The announcement this week of talks between Greece and Turkey in an effort to ease the strained relations between the two counties over Cyprus contrasted strongly with traditional military shows of strength which took place in both countries only a day apart.
The announcement this week of talks between Greece and Turkey in an effort to ease the strained relations between the two counties over Cyprus contrasted strongly with traditional military shows of strength which took place in both countries only a day apart. On Thursday (October 28) Greece celebrated Ochi-Day, which marks the entry of Greece in to World War II. Events included an impressive march-past, which is seen as a morale booster for Greeks near the Turkish frontier. Turkey's Republic Day parade followed a day later, (29 October) and included a line up of tanks.
SYNOPSIS: There was no mistaking the military character of the display in Istanbul. The Republic of Turkey was declared in 1923 and Republic Day is a public holiday. The parade coincided wit ha major conciliatory policy statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil, who publicly suggested for the first time the formation of an interim government on Cyprus, bringing together the island's divided Greek and Turkish communities. He said that this could both avert a separation between them and facilitate their reconciliation.
The Greek and Turkish communities have been governed separately since Turkish troops invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied nearly 40 per cent of the island. The invasion followed a coup by supporters of a union with Greece. Five rounds of talks involving both communities have been held under the auspices of U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim in a bid to end the divisions, but these have been deadlocked since February Mr. Caglayangil said in his statement that he present situation could lead to separation.
The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Athens, played an important part n the Greeks' celebration of Ochi-Day. Premier Constantine Karamanlis was one of those who paid his respects. Ochi-Day., which translated means No-Day, commemorates the day when Greece refused to accept an ultimatum from Italian Fascist forces which were poised to invade from Albania. This year marked the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Greeks' defiance against the enemy. The talks between Greece and Turkey will open in Paris and Berne on Tuesday (2 November) between delegations from the two countries.