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Tassos Markou: 47 years without the heroic major

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Tassos Markou: 47 years without the heroic major

No matter how many years pass, the greatness of the soul and the heroism of Tassos Markos against the Turkish invader, in the mountains of Pentadaktylos, in the black August of 1974, cannot be forgotten.

“Tassos Markou is not going to back down. “Only the enemy will pass over our corpses”, was the response of the heroic major when he was asked by radio to retreat to Attila 2. A brave officer, who refused to retreat in the face of Turkish supremacy. From a young age, Tassos nurtured unlimited love for his homeland and Greece, contributing in every possible way to the national liberation struggle of EOKA 55-59. A graduate of the Guards School, he was also active during the Turkish uprising in December 1963. His rivals, then, have to say about the unique friendly approach that T. Markou had towards the Turkish prisoners. With the outbreak of the Turkish invasion in July 1974, Major Tassos Markou organized, with a small number of reserves, a defensive line in the area of the village of Hamit Mandres, where paratroopers had been dropped by Turkish invaders. In the afternoon of the same day, T. Markou became the leader of the forces for the neutralization of the Bekkiogiou pocket.

According to testimonies, during the battle, Major Mark showed rare traits of heroism and self-sacrifice and his contribution to the success of the offensive was crucial. On the night of July 21, 1974, he was promoted as the leader of about 100 men in the area of Dikomou, where he strengthened the defensive divisions of 361 TP. to stop the advance of the Turks. On July 23, after the ceasefire agreement, Tassos Markou was assigned to build a defensive line from Mia Milia to Koutsoventis. By July 29, he formed his own battalion, 315, which consisted of reservists and soldiers from disbanded units, constructing fortifications and mining the area. August 14, 1974 was to be a dark date for Cyprus and Tassos. His battalion is being ruthlessly bombarded by the Turkish air force. Tassos Markou requests support from the GEEF, from the artillery units operating in the area, and further reinforcement with men and ammunition. Unfortunately, the GEEF's response never reached the heroic major.

Then he decided to deal with the current situation with the meager means at his disposal. According to the testimonies of his rivals, the battle was unequal, but Tasos and his men defended with stubbornness and bravery. At 10 in the morning, the line of defense in the area was broken and the Turkish tanks had entered the road Nicosia – Famagusta. In a last-ditch attempt to repel the advancing Turkish tanks, the major moved north towards the area of Kythrea with two of his men. A little later, he ordered his men to leave and he himself moved to the area of Kefalovrysso, Kythrea. He was last seen injured in his left hand. The last contact with him was made by radio by the commander of the Ordinary Group of Kythrea. He has been missing ever since.

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Source: politis.com.cy

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