"Those who criticise Turkey with the Cyprus Peace Operation continue to distort the historical facts", the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ersin Tatar, said on Tuesday.
"Foreign powers and some circles continue their efforts to portray Turkey as an 'invader'. However, the main occupier in Cyprus is Greece itself, who formed the EOKA terrorist organization, prepared the Akritas Plan, and carried out the fascist coup," Ersin Tatar said EOKA terrorist organisation was responsible for attacks on Cypriot Turks between 1957-1974.
Greek Cypriots launched Akritas Plan on December 21, 1963, which sought to eradicate Turkish Cypriots and gain control of the whole island within 48 hours, but Turkish Cypriots of all ages began to resist the persecution.
Tatar's remarks came at a ceremony marking the 47th anniversary of Cyprus Peace Operation launched by the Turkish Armed Forces to bring peace and safety to the island and to the Turkish Cypriots who had suffered years of persecution."Had the Cyprus Peace Operation not taken place, there would have been a second Crete disaster, and Cyprus, the most strategic place in the region, would have been annexed to Greece, and the southern coasts of Turkey would have been under siege," he said.
Tatar underlined that with the Cyprus Peace Operation, the "junta administration" was destroyed, the Greek people regained their freedom and democracy, the Greek Cypriots who opposed the coup also survived the massacre, and "an environment of peace and stability was created for both Turks and Greeks on the island of Cyprus."He also pointed out that "no blood has been shed" and peace has been established since 1974.
Every year, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) celebrates July 20 as 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.