TRNC Flag on the Kyrenia Mountains is a memorial to Turkish Cypriots' existance.
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TRNC Flag on the Mountains

TRNC Flag on Mountains
TRNC Flag on Mountains
photo by: TAK News Agency
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A Memorial to Turkish Cypriots

From almost any high point in Nicosia, you can see a giant Turkish Cypriot (TRNC) flag painted onto the side of the Kyrenia Mountains. Beside this flag is a quote in Turkish from Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. It translates as "How fortunate is the person who can say I'm a Turk".

This giant TRNC flag is not just a statement of existence by the people of North Cyprus. It is a memorial to a harrowing incident that took place during the violent summer of 1974.

The village of Tokhni lay to the north east of Limassol, where five hundred Turkish Cypriots and an equal number of Greek Cypriots lived and worked. By the 14th August, the struggle was at its height, and the two sides were engaged in bitter attacks and reprisals. On that morning, a group of armed Greek Cypriots from an EOKA-B contingent rounded up all the able-bodied Turkish Cypriot men of military service age in the village, and fifteen others from the nearby villages of Man and Zyyi. The men were put onto buses, and thought they were being taken to a prison near Limassol. Instead, all were shot and their bodies dumped in a mass grave. Only one man survived the massacre, and eighteen others escaped from the villages to the mountains.

TRNC Flag during Night Video
TRNC Flag during Night Video
video by: si(s)tem
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The remaining Turkish Cypriots in Tokhni fled north to the village of Taskent (Dohni or Vouono to the Greeks) and safety in the new North Cyprus. It was these survivors, the widows, orphans and few surviving men, who painted the rocky mountainside to form the flag.

Today the giant flag sits next to the village of Taskent, a reminder of the dreadful day when 87 Turkish Cypriot civilians lost their lives. In the village itself, the Martyrs’ Museum is dedicated to those who died, whose bodies have now been exhumed from their mass grave by the Red Cross.