Federation launches campaign to plant olive trees to mark commitment to peace and reunification in Cyprus on 50th anniversary of Turkish invasion in Norfolk
The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK is coordinating a campaign to plant olive trees across the United Kingdom to mark our commitment to freedom, peace and reunification in Cyprus, as we approach the 50th tragic anniversary of the illegal Turkish invasion and on-going occupation of the northern third of the island. The first three trees were planted on Wednesday 8 May at the War Memorials of Great Yarmouth and Caister-on-Sea as well as the Town Council of Cromer. The Guests at the three olive tree plantings included:

Great Yarmouth: Mayor Mrs Penny Carpenter; Councillor Mr Carl Smith; Mr Andrew Georgiou

Caister-On-Sea Parish Council: Parish Councillor Chair Mr Kevin Woods; Parish Councillor Mr Robin Wilkinson; Parish Councillor Mrs Susan Wilkinson

Cromer Town Council: Councillor Mr Tim Adams; Representatives from North Lodge Park Valerie McCampling; Mr Steve Baker; Mr Jim Bond; Andreas Yiasimi (Former Town Councillor)
The planting was coordinated by the Eptakomi Association that has a large diaspora in the Norfolk area. The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK was represented by Nick Yiannoullou (Member of the Federation’s Secretariat and President of the Eptakomi Association) and Michael Yiakoumi (Member of the Federation’s Executive Committee)
The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Cllr Penny Carpenter, began the event at the town’s War Memorial by commemorating V.E. Day and honouring all those who made sacrifices for our freedoms. She added that “We have also come together to mark a significant milestone—the approaching 50th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus by the Republic of Turkey.”
The invasion of Cyprus on July 20th 1974, Cllr Carpenter said, “stands as a somber reminder of the turmoil and conflict that engulfed Cyprus.” She said that, on this occasion, “it is fitting that we plant an olive tree sapling—a living testament to our commitment to peace,” as it’s “deep roots and outstretched branches, embodies the enduring resilience of the human spirit and the promise of a brighter future.”
Representing His Excellency, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Kyriacos Kouros, Political Counsellor Melivia Demetriou addressed the gathering at the Great Yarmouth olive tree planting. Ms Demetriou began by highlighting the UK and Cyprus’ joint role in defending the common values of our peoples and of their common efforts toward freedom and progress, as exemplified by VE Day.
Speaking about the illegal invasion of Cyprus, Ms Demetriou said that “More than two hundred thousand people were forced from their homes, becoming refugees in their own
country,”. She continued to highlight the human tragedy saying that there are “those who are still looking for loved ones,” and “those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods.” She concluded, “We plant today an olive tree to pay tribute to human resistance and resilience, for freedom and for peace.”
Speaking on behalf of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Nick Yiannoullou, said at the Great Yarmouth olive tree planting, “We plan to plant olive trees across the UK, promoting peace and reconciliation, but it’s with great satisfaction to the Cypriots of Great Yarmouth that this is the first one.” He added that “the Cypriots first started coming here in the 1940s from a small village in Cyprus called Eptakomi, now under Turkish military occupation, and then in 1974 after the invasion and occupation.”
If you would like to support our olive tree campaign for peace and reunification in Cyprus, please contact us at [email protected] for further information

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