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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:22 pm 
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NORTHERN CYPRUS

1st January New Year's Day

15th January Death of Dr Fazil Kucuk.
Dr Kucuk died in London in 1984. Although not a public holiday, flags will fly at half-mast & schools will have ceremonies. Sirens will sound, and there will be a 2 minutes silence at time of his death, 10.30am.


23rd April National Sovereignty and Children's Day
By 1920, after the first world war, the Ottoman empire was in tatters. Not only were the victors intent in sharing out the remnants of the empire among themselves, but there was an internal movement to separate Turkey from the former empire. Hence, the Ottoman army found itself fighting an external war with internal intentions.
The seat of government at this time was with the Ottoman court in Istanbul. On the 23rd April 1920, however, a new, but as yet unrecognised, Turkish National Assembly was opened in Ankara, laying down the foundations for a new, independent, secular, and modern republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
After the defeat of the invasion forces in September 1922, and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923, Ataturk started to establish the institutions and infrastructure of the new state. April 23rd was chosen as the National Sovereignty and Children's day. This was in recognition that Turkey was a new country, and its future lay in the hands of the children and that "Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people". This was a remarkable gesture by a man who had no children of his own, but adopted eight, and reflected the love and deep esteem he had for children.
The children, of course, are hugely grateful for this, as not only do they get a day off school, but adults have to be nice to them, and generally give them presents.
Throughout the TRNC, in most towns and villages, children take part in displays, folk dancing and traditional songs.
In 1979, UNICEF recognised this important national day as an international event. There is normally a major event in Nicosia, with children from all over the world helping to celebrate this day, known world wide as the International Children's and Peace Festival.


1st May Labour Day


19th May Youth and Sports Day
May 19, 1919 is the day Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, then Mustafa Kemal, who would become independent Turkey's first president, landed at Samsun on the Black Sea coast of Turkey to begin leadership of the liberation effort. This date is recognised as being the start of the Turkish War of Independence.In early 1920, Kemal convened the first Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, and by 1922 all of Anatolia was freed from foreign rule. The independent Republic of Turkey was declared a year later. During the course of his term as president, Ataturk himself proclaimed May 19 as "Youth and Sports Day."
The aim of the holiday is to create a self-confident and productive youth movement that protects national values and democracy.
The day also honours the founder of Turkey.


20th July Peace & Freedom Day
During the presidential elections of 1974, President Makarios clearly renounced the cause of enosis, (unification with Greece), and was re-elected with 95% of the cast votes. He subsequently ordered the withdrawal of mainland Greek officers. On the 15th July, the National Guard, which was under the command of Greek officers, stormed the presidential palace in Nicosia, with the aim of uniting the island with Greece. Makarios escaped, but this attempted coup, sponsored by the military junta in Greece, prompted considerable violence against Turkish Cypriots. During the days following the attempted coup, many Turkish Cypriot villages were razed and their inhabitants slaughtered.
On the 20th July 1974, after consultation with Britain, Turkey intervened with a Peace-Keeping Action to protect the Turkish Cypriot community. This was in exercise of the powers of guarantee agreed in the Treaty of Zurich.
Launched with relatively few troops, the Turkish landing had limited success at first, and resulted everywhere on the island in the occupation of Turkish-Cypriot enclaves by the Greek forces. After securing a more or less satisfactory bridgehead Turkish forces agreed to a cease-fire on 23 July 1974. A conference of the guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and Britain, met in Geneva on 25 July. Meanwhile Turkish troops did not refrain from extending their positions, as more Turkish-Cypriot enclaves were occupied by Greek forces. In a two-stage offensive, Turkish troops took control of 38% of the island. 200,000 Greek Cypriots fled the Turkish forces while up to 60,000 Turkish Cypriots were transferred to the occupied areas, and a new cease-fire line was agreed. On 30 July the powers agreed that the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island should be linked to a “just and lasting settlement acceptable to all parties concerned.” The declaration also spoke of “two autonomous administrations - that of Greek-Cypriot community and that of the Turkish-Cypriot community.”
Since the events of 1974, the island has remained divided, roughly one third being occupied by Turkish Cypriots. July 20th is celebrated as an anniversary of the peace keeping operation, with parades in all the major towns
.

1st August Social Resistance Day
On the 1st April, 1955, Eoka began its terrorist activities (A date that is celebrated with a public holiday in south Cyprus). After that date, there was constant tension between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority.
In early 1958, the Turkish Resistance Movement (TMT) was founded. This was in answer to EOKA whose aim was Enosis, or unification with Greece.
TMT organised a boycott of Greek Cypriot products and shops, in the same way that EOKA was presiding over a Greek Cypriot boycott of British products.
This day commemorates the founding of TMT, and there is usually a folklore festival in Nicosia and other major towns
.


30th August Victory day
In 1918, the Ottoman Empire found itself on the losing side in Word War One. Following the surrender of the Empire, the Treaty of Severes placed the Ottoman government in Istanbul under the control of the allied forces. The empire ceded all its Balkan and Arab provinces to the Allies, and the eastern and southern parts of Anatolia were occupied.
In 1919, 20,000 Greek soldiers had landed in Izmir, taking control of the city and its surrounds under cover of the Greek, French and British navies. In May 1919, General Mustafa Kemal was sent to Anatolia as the 9th Army Inspector. It is generally accepted that his landing at Samsun on the 19th May marks the start of the War of Liberation.
In June 1919 he published a circular letter. The aim of this circular was to make public that the unity of the country was at stake, the Istanbul government weak and helpless, and that the nation was determined to be independent.
Under pressure from the British, the Istanbul government relieved Kemal from his duties. In response, he resigned from the army and held the Erzurum Congress in July 1919, where he was elected president. In September the Sivas Congress re-examined and ratified the Erzurum Congress.
The Istanbul government unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Congress, and relations between Anatolia and Istanbul were broken off. In September 1919, Mustafa Kemal informed the Sultan that the Council of Representatives would represent the Turkish nation and that for security reasons it would meet somewhere other than Istanbul. In December 1919, Mustafa Kemal moved his base of operation to Ankara, acting independently of the Ottoman government.
During the following summer, the Greek zone of occupation was extended over western and north western Anatolia. By June 1921, the Greek army had advanced to within 60 miles of Ankara. Despite being desperately short of supplies, the Turkish army prepared to meet the Greeks. Owners of private rifles, guns and ammunition had to surrender them to the army, and every household had to contribute clothing.
It was assumed that the Turkish army would be drawn into a battle of attrition and destroyed. (In fact a victory dinner in Ankara had already been planned). However, the advance of the Greek army was met with fierce resistance by the Turks under Mustafa Kemal, who had been appointed commander in chief. During the Battle of Sakarya which lasted 21 days, the Greeks reached 20 miles south of Ankara, but the Turks held out. Although both sides were exhausted and contemplating withdrawal, the Greeks were the first to do so.
After this defeat, allied support for Greece began to cool. In addition, Russia began to supply arms and money to the Turkish nationalists. In 1922, Britain, France and Italy, having decided that the Treaty of Severes could not be enforced, withdrew their troops, leaving the Greeks in isolation. In March 1922, the allies proposed an armistice, but Mustafa Kemal refused as long as the Greeks remained in Anatolia.
On August 26th 1922, the Turks launched a counter attack, and the major Greek defences were soon overrun. On 30th August, the Greek army was finally defeated at the Battle of Dumlupinar, losing half of its soldiers and all of its equipment. The victorious Turks followed the fleeing Greeks to Izmir, from where the remaining Greek army and civilian population fled. The last Greeks left Anatolia on the 16th September, and an armistice was signed by Turkey, Italy, France and Britain in mid October, with Greece following a few days later. At the end of October 1922, the Allies invited the nationalist and Ottoman governments to a conference at Lausanne, Switzerland, but Kemal, now known as Ataturk, was determined that the nationalist government should be Turkey's sole representative. In November 1922, the Grand National Assembly stated that the Ottoman regime had ceased to be the government of Turkey when the Allies seized the capital in 1920, in effect abolishing the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Lausanne, concluded in July 1923, and with this treaty, the Allies recognized the present-day territory of Turkey.
The victory of the 30th August 1922, is seen as a turning point in the foundation of Turkey, and is celebrated as a public holiday


29th October Turkish Republic Day

10th November
Although not a public holiday, at 9:05 a.m., the time of Atatürk’s death, the country will pause in remembrance.


15th November Northern Cyprus Republic Day

In 1974, the Greek military junta, which was then ruling Athens, overthrew the democratic government of Cyprus in a coup. The new regime engaged in widespread persecution of the island's Turkish minority, forcing Turkey to intervene to protect the human rights of the ethnic Turkish population of the northern half of the island. The move also stopped the attempt of Greece's dictatorship to annex the island to Greece, an act which would have been illegal under international law and which was similar to Saddam Hussein's later attempt to annex Kuwait to Iraq.
Eager to avoid annexation to Greece, on 13 February 1975, the north created the Turkish Cypriot Federated Republic. The Federated Republic wanted first of all to maintain Cyprus as an independent state, and avoid an illegal annexation to Greece.
That goal was met. Secondly, it wanted the Turkish north to unite with the southern Greek Cyprus in a federation similar to the arrangement which currently is in place in Bosnia. But the Greek Cypriots resisted since they wanted a unitary state which could be ruled by the majority in the south, and after nearly nine years of no progress towards the federation that the north wanted, it was clear that talks led nowhere. This prompted the north to instead declare full independence. On 15 November 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared its independence as a sovereign state based on the right of its people to self-determination.
The new country obtained international recognition from Turkey, and also receives support from Azerbaijan, but its 'de facto' independence has not yet been formally recognized by any other countries. Functioning as a separate independent state, it meets the requirements for statehood under international law.
The day is one of great celebration throughout north Cyprus, frequently involving air displays and military parades





In addition to the above, there are three religious holidays:-
Seker Bayram (Sugar Festival), a three day holiday immediately following Ramazan and Kurban Bayram, a four day holiday around two months later.
Mevlid Kandili, sometimes known as Mawlid al Nabi, celebrating the birth of the prophet Mohammed. These, like the Christian Easter, are celebrated on different dates every year, being linked to the dates for Ramadan (known as Ramazan in North Cyprus). Because of the differences between the Islamic and the Gregorian calendars, these dates are about 10 days earlier every year. This movement sometimes see the holidays being celebrated twice in a single year.

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Moira And Dave

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”


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