Thousands of spectators gathered at Kyrenia Harbour today to celebrate Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı). A pleasant and relaxed atmosphere on a warm autumn day was the backdrop for the celebrations and military display. A brass band, army parade and aerial display marked the 29th year since the foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
School children paraded along the harbour front, followed by laying of wreaths, songs and poem recitals at the Ataturk Monument, culminating in an exciting display from the Turkish Airforce aerobatic team – the Turkish Stars.
North Cyprus Republic Day celebrates the declaration of independence as a sovereign state in response to the wishes of the Greek Cypriot government who wanted a united island ruled by the Greek majority in the south. Whilst the new country received recognition from Turkey, it has yet to be formally recognised by other countries, even though, functioning as a separate independent state, it meets the requirements for statehood under international law.