Cyprus has marked the 35th anniversary of its division in contrasting mood. In the Turkish-dominated north, a show of military strength underlined just how far apart the two sides remain, three decades after Ankara’s forces landed on the island. On the Greek south side of the border, the date was marked in more sombre fashion, with air raid sirens piercing the silence before dawn to commemorate the invasion of the north.
The attacks were sparked by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Five days afterwards, the paratroopers landed, Cyprus was divided and thousands of people were forced from their homes. There have been reconciliation attempts, the most-recent collapsed in 2004 when the Greek south rejected a plan already accepted by the north. And the division has wider implications: Greek Cypriots represent Cyprus in the European Union and will block Turkey’s membership hopes while the island remains split.