Summers are usually the time of the year that are related to rest and holiday. However several tragedies have taken place in Cyprus during the summer period.
Summer 1974: Coup and Turkish invasion
In the summer of 1974, Turkey found the reason it has been searching for years, in order to impose its plans on Cyprus after the military coup of the Athens Junta on 15 July 1974 against the government of Archbishop Makarios. On 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus violating all rules of international legality. The first phase of the illegal invasion was followed by the second one on 14 August during which Famagusta was taken. Since then more than 36% of Cypriot territory has been under Turkish occupation, while 162,000 Greek Cypriots became refugees in their own homeland.
Summer 1996: Murder of Tasos Isaak and Solomos Solomou
Twenty two years later, following incidents at the Green Line in the area of Deryneia, 24-year-old Tasos Isaak was beaten to death during an international protest by motorcyclists against the ongoing occupation on Cyprus on 11 August 1996. Isaak’s funeral became the cause for the murder of Solomou since a group of protesters went to the Deryneia checkpoint to leave some flowers. The cousin of Isaak, Solomos Solomou escaped from the UN soldiers and attempted to get on a mast and pull down the Turkish flag but as a result he was shot dead.
Summer 2002: Cyprus National Guard lost its leadership
Commander of Cyprus’ National Guard, Lieutenant General Evangelos Florakis, and four other army officers were killed when their helicopter crashed near the southwestern town of Paphos.
The other four army officers are Air Force Commander, Brigadier Stelios Demenegas, Lieutenant Nikos Georgiou and the two helicopter pilots, Flight Lieutenant Paris Athanasiades and Flank Officer Michalis Shiakallis.
Summer 2005: Air tragedy of Helios
Helios Airways Flight 522 was a flight from Larnaca, Cyprus to Prague, with a stopover to Athens. It crashed on 14 August 2005, following loss of pressure that incapacitated the crew, killing all 121 passengers and crew on board. The aircraft was left to fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed near Grammatiko, Greece. It was the deadliest aviation accident in Greek history.
Summer 2011: Explosion at “Evangelos Florakis” naval base at Mari
On 11 July 2011, at Evangelos Florakis Naval Base, situated at Mari, Larnaca, a large amount of ammunition and military explosives self-detonated, killing 13 people, including the Commander of the Cyprus Navy, Andreas Ioannides, the base commander, Lambros Lambrou, and six firefighters. A further 62 people were injured. The explosion was the worst peacetime military accident ever recorded in Cyprus, with a yield of approximately 481 tons TNT equivalent, as determined by the official investigation into the accident
Summer 2016 Fire in Solia
Huge fire during which two firefighters died.
Summer 2021: Fire in mountainous area of Limassol and Larnaca
Huge fire during which four workers from Egypt died.