Ceremonies to commemorate 20 July Peace and Freedom Day began on Sunday with a 21 gun salute at midday and a speech by President Mustafa Akıncı, broadcast by BRT.
President Akıncı said that war causes great suffering and those who have experienced it know it the most. He went on to say:
“Therefore, each of us must do our part for the construction of a new future in peace and tranquility in our island, region and world. This beautiful island is big enough for both communities” he said.
Stating that martyrs died so that the Turkish Cypriot people could exist in Cyprus, be a minority and live with dignity with their free and original identity, Akıncı referred to Atatürk’s principles, a democratic, secular structure and international law, where social justice prevailed, He emphasised that future generations and those who had died in the conflict were owed the establishment of a self-governing and cooperative society.
President Akıncı pointed out that the insolubility of the Cyprus problem had not led them to a better situation and that the unsolvable problem had accumulated other new problems along the way. All parties had to continue to strive for a solution that will cater for their legitimate rights and interests.
Stating that if the natural resources in the region are handled in a fair manner and with a shared understanding, President Akıncı said that if human resources are used not to consume each other, but to produce together and to share them fairly, everybody will benefit from this. It is never too late to begin, he said.