Karavas was the first victim of Turkey’s invasion. The Turkish invaders first landed on the coastal area of the town, known as “Pente Mili”, on July 20, 1974, without encountering any organized military resistance.
The small number of forces of the Cyprus National Guard and especially the men of 286 and 251 Infantry Battalion which rushed to the area could not fight off the invaders, who had already landed.
The inhabitants of Karavas, under the leadership of Yiannis K. Kitsios from Karavas, improvised a defensive line in order to protect the town, extending from the coastal area of “Pente Mili’ up to the hills of the mountain. Their resistance lasted until August 6th, when the Turks managed to capture the entire area of Karavas and Lapithos during the ceasefire. The Cypriot men of the National Guard in the area did not exceed 300, most of which belonged to the 256 Infantry Battalion. During the 1974 battles, many officers and enlisted men lost their lives fighting heroically the Turkish invaders.
A lot of people from Karavas also fought in other parts of Cyprus. A total of 58 Karavas residents lost their lives in battle or were killed in cold blood during the invasion. After the capture of the town by the Turkish army a small number of residents remained trapped in the town; they were all gradually expelled by August 1976.