Wednesday 8 August marked the anniversary of the bombing of Pachyammos, Pyrgos, Pygenia, the wider Tillyria area, by Turkish military airplanes.

Since the opening of the Limnitis checkpoint Turkish Cypriots, from the North of Cyprus cross over every year on their way to the Kokkina enclave, to commemorate this event.

1,331 Turkish Cypriots, in 61 mini buses accompanied by an ambulance have crossed over this year to mark the 54th anniversary of the Tillyria bombings by the Turkish air force in 1964. A small number of Turkish Cypriots also arrived by boat from Kyrenia, which was once the only way to get to the enclave before the opening of the Liminits crossing.

According to the chairman of the committee responsible for the opening of the cross points the operation went very smoothly with no problems to report.

The Turkish Cypriot leadership was also expected at the event, including Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci the commander of the Turkish Cypriot “Security forces” Yilmaz Yiltirim as well as the commander of the occupied Turkish forces Tefik Algkan., who arrived by helicopter after the others have gathered.

On Sunday the republic of Cyprus will honour the victims of the Turkish army bombings at a religious ceremony held at the church of St Rafael, Pachyammos in the presence of defence minister Savvas Angelides.

Inter-communal clashes between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots erupted in December 1963, what followed was the Turkish Cypriots established a bridgehead at Kokkina in 1964, providing them with arms, volunteers and materials from Turkey.

Seeing this incursion of foreign weapons and troops as a major threat, the Cypriot government launched an attack on the bridgehead. Turkey retaliated by dispatching its fighter jets to bomb Greek Cypriot positions.

For three days in August, Turkish warplanes bombed the Tillyria area, hitting residential areas and a hospital whereby over 50 people were killed, including 19 civilians.

The threat of Turkish military escalation resulted in a resolution of the United Nations Security Council calling for a ceasefire ended the standoff on 10 August 1964.

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