Blue seas and green mountains are the main attractions for most people coming to North Cyprus but this week, the cloudless summer skies shook to the roar of F16 fighter planes as the country celebrated Peace and Freedom Day.
Airshow by the Soloturk jets
Thousands gathered in Kyrenia on Wednesday evening to witness an airshow by the Soloturk jets from the Turkish Air Force. Unless you have had to endure the “real thing” on the battlefield, the awesome sound of these war machines speeding and twisting over the normally placid seafront, is an unforgettable, not to say, unnerving, experience.
Overnight, as part of the annual Dawn Vigil, beacons were lit around Escape Beach in Alsancak, where the Turkish troops landed in 1974.
On Thursday, flag-waving crowds cheered a military parade in the capital, Lefkoşa, witnessed by the President, Ersin Tatar and Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Ceremonies were also held in Famagusta, Kyrenia, Güzelyurt, İskele and Lefke.
President Erdoğan ( centre, with President Tatar) had flown in to inaugurate the expanded international airport of Ercan. “The new terminal has been enlarged six times compared to the old one. Now, it will be able to serve 10 million passengers,” Erdoğan said during the inauguration ceremony. “As of today, Ercan Airport is the airport with the largest passenger capacity on the island of Cyprus.”