Tensions rise over 1964 Cyprus bombing anniversary celebration

Tensions rise over 1964 Cyprus bombing anniversary celebration

Tensions between Athens and Ankara were reignited Wednesday in the aftermath of celebrations on Tuesday by Turkish Cypriots to commemorate napalm bombs being dropped on the Tylliria region in northwestern Cyprus during intercommunal clashes on the island in 1964.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday dismissed as “unfortunate” a stern statement issued by its Greek counterpart on Tuesday, which denounced the celebrations as an “affront to international law.”

“The Greek statement contained allegations concerning the support provided by Turkey as a motherland and guarantor to the courageous and noble struggle of the Turkish Cypriots in 1964 against the common enosis aspirations and ethnic cleansing attempts of the Greek Cypriots and Greeks,” the Turkish statement said, adding that it “deplores and condemns these completely baseless and false allegations.”

On Tuesday, some 1,000 Turkish Cypriots were bused through the Limnitis checkpoint into government-controlled areas en route to the Turkish-Cypriot enclave of Kokkina to take part in the celebration.

For his part, Cypriot deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos described the event Wednesday as “a heinous anniversary.”

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