Declaration of Independence
April 1, 1955, marks the start of EOKA rebellion for the independence of Cyprus from British rule and is celebrated as Greek-Cypriot National Day. On August 16, 1960 Cyprus achieved freedom from the UK.
The Greek-Cypriot National Day is observed in memory of the National Organization of Cypriot Struggle (EOKA), which had started its campaign to free Cyprus from British rule. EOKA, which was formed by Archbishop Makarios in the 1950s to get the country its freedom, also aimed to attain enosis, which meant the unification between Greece and Cyprus. On April 1, 1955, EOKA carried out bomb attacks on the British. EOKA's struggle continued till February, 1959 under the leadership of George Rivas. Though the people of Cyprus were against violence and war, the persistent attitude of the British rule compelled them to resort to armed struggle. The fighting continued for more than four years, and finally on August 16, 1960, as a result of the Zurich agreement, a cease fire was announced by the EOKA. On the same day the British granted them independence, however, Cyprus unification with Greece was denied.
Both Greece and Cyprus share the same national anthem. The translated version of the national anthem is as follows:
I recognize you by the fearsome sharpness,
of your sword,
I recognize you by the gleam (in your eyes)
with which you rapidly survey the earth.
From the sacred bones,
of the Hellenes arisen,
and valiant again as you once were,
hail, o hail, Liberty
I shall always recognize you
by the dreadful sword you hold
as the Earth with searching vision
you survey with spirit bold
From the Greeks of old whose dying
brought to life and spirit free
now with ancient valour rising
let us hail you, oh Liberty!
We knew thee of old,
O, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes,
And the light of thy Sword.
From the graves of our slain,
Shall thy valour prevail,
As we greet thee again,
Hail, Liberty! Hail!
The day starts with march-pasts through the streets. You will find people waving flags and playing drums. Various students from high school follow the crowd and set off various firework displays. The celebrations continue till midnight. The students also attend the church on this day. Besides, many schools organize programs to educate students about the glorious past of the country and the struggles of the freedom fighters.
President: Nikos Anastasiades (2013)
1. Area: 9,251 square kilometers
2. Population: 1,172,458 (July 2014)
3. Capital and largest city: Lefkosia (Nicosia)
4. Religion: Greek Orthodox, Muslim
5. Exports: Citrus, pharmaceuticals, potatoes, cement, clothing
6. Monetary unit: Euro
7. National name: Kypriaki Dimokratia-Kibris Cumhuriyeti
8. Languages: Turkish, Greek (both official), English
9. National Holiday: Independence Day, October 1
10. Agriculture: olives, vegetables, citrus, grapes, barley, vegetables; pork, poultry, lamb; dairy, cheese
11. Industries: food and beverage processing, tourism, cement and gypsum manufacture, ship repair and renovation, light chemicals, textiles, wood, paper, metal products, stone, and clay products.
12. Natural resources: marble, pyrites, copper, gypsum, asbestos, salt, timber, clay earth pigment
Last Updated : August 3rd, 2018