It will be beneficial for Greece, the Greek Cypriot side, and the whole region if the Greek president adopted the discourse of peace and reconciliation instead of war, the Turkish vice president said on Tuesday.
Fuat Oktay said the Greek president’s accusation that Turkey was an invader and occupier of Cyprus was a “funny and futile propaganda effort, and also a provocation.”
He said if the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides saw the truth and intended to hold talks on the two-sovereign-state solution in Cyprus, Turkey would support the initiative.
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou is in Cyprus on a three-day official visit. After meeting President Nicos Anastasiades and other state officials on her first day, on Tuesday Sakellaropoulou visited the old town of Nicosia, including the closed crossing point at Ledra Street.
She also visited the Greek army contingent Eldyk, and the imprisoned graves, a small cemetery located in the Central Prisons complex, where 13 Eoka fighters, were buried during the 1955-1959 struggle for Enosis with Greece. Nine were hanged, three were killed in action and one died in hospital from his wounds.
The tombs are located in an area adjacent to the cells of the condemned and close to the gallows where they were executed.
“It is with deep emotion that we honour today the brave who fell for the freedom of Cyprus,” the Greek president said.
Sakellaropoulou then visited a military cemetery in Makedonitissa where soldiers killed during the Turkish invasion are buried.
The area was scene of fierce fighting in July 1974 and even saw 29 Greek commandos and four crew of a transport plane die from friendly fire because National Guard anti-aircraft batteries had not been notified of their arrival
They had been part of operation Niki, or victory, the airlift of a commando battalion to reinforce troops fighting the advancing Turkish army.
Later Tuesday, the Greek president visited the church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis near Kakopetria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.