The event was held in Erenköy, now under military control, which saw fierce fighting in August 1964 when the bridgehead came under attack by the Greek Cypriot National Guard and Greek Army units led by General George Grivas.
The onslaught forced the village’s Turkish Cypriot defenders, including some 500 university students who had returned from studies abroad, and the civilian population to retreat to a narrow area until Turkey launched airstrikes.
Protecting Erenköy was crucial to the survival of the Turkish Cypriot community after it had been forced into pockets of land comprising just three per cent of the island’s territory.
Located in the west of the island by the coast, it provided the Turkish Cypriots’ only sea link with Turkey, allowing for the delivery of food, aid and weapons for defence.
A convoy of 53 vehicles took those attending the ceremony from the Yeşilırmak checkpoint to the TRNC exclave via South Cyprus.
Visitors laid flowers at the graves of loved ones who fell defending the village.
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