Tomorrow, Sunday July 20, North Cyprus is celebrating peace and freedom day. It marks the 40th anniversary of the division of Cyprus. Now during the days leading to the celebration fighter pilots practice for the cool air show, see pictures below.
History behind the peace and freedom day:
On July 20,1974, after consultation with Britain, Turkey intervened with a peacekeeping operation to protect the Turkish Cypriot community. This was in exercise of power a guarantee agreed in the Treaty of Zurich.
Turkey launched with relatively few troops, and the Turkish landings had limited success in the beginning, which resulted in the occupation of Turkish Cypriot enclaves by the Greek forces everywhere on the island. But after securing a more or less satisfactory foothold Turkish forces agreed on a truce on July 23, 1974. A conference of the guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and Britain, met in Geneva on 25 July.
At the same time the Turkish troops did not abstain from extending their positions, as more Turkish Cypriot enclaves were occupied by Greek forces. In a two-stage offensive, Turkish troops took control of 38% of the island. 200,000 Greek Cypriots fled Turkish forces while up to 60,000 Turkish Cypriots were transferred to the occupied territories, and they agreed to a new cease-fire line.
On July 30, the powers agreed that the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island should be linked to a “just and lasting solution acceptable to all parties concerned.” The declaration also spoke of “two autonomous administrations – one for the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community.”