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Thousands join dawn vigil to mark Turkish op in Cyprus

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Turkey’s military operation on the Mediterranean island

20.07.2018
Thousands join dawn vigil to mark Turkish op in Cyprus

Ankara

By Murat Demirci

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Thousands of people attended a dawn vigil Friday in Northern Cyprus to mark the 44th anniversary of Turkey’s military operation to protect the island’s Turkish population.

Friday marks July 20 Peace and Freedom Day in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which commemorates Turkey’s ‘Operation Atilla’ – a huge military intervention to protect Turkish Cypriots from inter-communal violence which struck the island in 1974.

Huge numbers of people gathered at a beach in northern Cyprus where Turkish forces entered the island on the day of the operation.

Turkish pop singer Kirac also gave a concert during the event.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in 2017 after two years of negotiations.

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