Although Cyprus had been under the control of the Ottomans since 1570, for a number of years there was agitation for the Greek peoples to gain independence. This was largely attained in the 1820s, although loss of Ottoman lands to Greece continued till after the Second World War.
Greek nationalists had hoped that Cyprus would be included, but to no avail. Again in 1878, when the British arrived, there was hope that Cyprus would be ceded to Greece, but again with no avail. Greece was disappointed again when Britain decided to annexe Cyprus for herself during the First World War. (Although Cyprus had been offered to Greece who had refused the opportunity, not liking the conditions attached)
In the run up to the Second World War, there was a general feeling against the colonial power. The Greek Cypriots, who were numerically superior to the Turkish Cypriots generally wanted union with Greece (Enosis). This was resisted by the British, and Cypriots of Turkish extraction.
In 1955, with the sponsorship of Greece, the secret organisation, EOKA, was formed. Its aim was to rid the island of anything and anybody that stood in the way of Enosis. Initially that meant terrorist attacks on the British as a precursor to independence. However their main aim was union with Greece, and after independence, there were repeated attacks on Turkish Cypriots in order to further their claim. It is generally accepted that this attempt at "ethnic cleansing" started in December 1963, and lasted till the Turkish intervention in 1974.
This cemetery, which is close to the Canbulat Bastion, contains graves of Turkish Cypriots killed during this period.
The memorial inscription in Turkish Reads
These graves belong to those who were martyred during the struggle to free Cyprus - which has for centuries been Turkish - from invaders, and Cypriots from enslavement. They created a free and Turkish infant state so that Turkish people may live there in freedom and prosperity.
See the location on Google maps.
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