Celebrations were held in Athens and Nicosia on Sunday (25 March) to mark the 158th anniversary of the liberation of Greece from Turkish rule.
Celebrations were held in Athens and Nicosia on Sunday (25 March) to mark the 158th anniversary of the liberation of Greece from Turkish rule. On Cyprus in particular, the occasion has assumed greater significance since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
SYNOPSIS: In Greece the day began traditionally with a visit to Athens Cathedral by Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis. The anniversary of the Greek revolution against the Turks in 181 is a religious as well as a national holiday, marked every year by a church service.
President Constantine Tsatsos was the senior representative of the country's leaders to attend the Te Deum. A philosopher and lawyer, he became President of Greece in 1975 after being the country's Minister of Cultural Affairs and Science. Earlier a 21-gun salute had been fired at dawn from Lycabettus Hill.
The climax of the celebration was a parade by the armed forces through the streets of the city. On this occasion a number of Greek-made machinery and arms were put on display, including G3 rifles, Leonidas armoured transport vehicles and Steyr Marathon trucks.
Made in the past by Steyr of Austria, the Defence Ministry announced that the trucks -- capable of transporting troops or pulling heavy weapons -- would be manufactured in Greece by the Steyr-Hellas subsidiary.
There was less evidence of military hardware in Nicosia but there, to, the day began with a religious service held by Archbishop Chrysostomos and attended by President Spyros Kyprianou as well as other leaders of Greek Cyprus. Mr. Kyprianou still faces serious problems with Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots.
Since the 1974 conflict, there has been little success in trying to reconcile the two sides.
The Greek-Cypriots lost much of their property in the war, and the Turks have shown no indication of giving it up. On the other hand Greek Cyprus has begun to prosper again in comparison with the Turkish Cypriots, who still face considerable economic difficulties.