15 July 1974 Turmoil (1/2)

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 15 Ağustos 2014 Saat : 8:10


15 July 1974 Turmoil (1/2)


I was in Cyprus on the very day July 15, 1974 when a Coup d’etat was organized by the military junta in Greece, against Archbishop Makarios, the then President of Republic of Greek Cyprus, to achieve immediate Enosis (union with Greece). The next day, on July 16 “The Hellenic Republic of Cyprus” was proclaimed and the notorious murderer of EOKA, Nikos Sampson, who ruthlessly killed many English and Turkish civilians in the late 50’s and 60’s, appointed as the President of the Hellenic Republic of Cyprus. On July 17, he dared to declare Enosis without the consent of the remaining two guarantors England and Turkey,  many Greek Cypriots and the whole of the Turkish Cypriots.


It was a unilateral declaration of unification with Greece without approval of the international organizations, UN, EEC, Russia, USA, etc.


Within the first 5 days of the coup d’etat more than three thousand Greek Cypriots, including civilian supporters of Makarios, some of his armed police force members and supporters of the Communist party AKEL were ruthlessly exterminated by the coupists. On July 18, 1974 the annihilation plan called AKRITAS was put into effect to exterminate Turkish Cypriot people.


The coup d’etat aiming immediate Enosis (Union with Greece) ended with a tragedy on August 16, 1974 remaining behind thousands of dead bodies, hundreds of thousands immigrants and a divided island.


Tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots were held as prisoners of war in the southern part of the island. Thousands of Greek Cypriots fled to south as immigrants. The coup d’etat turned into a big disaster and catastrophe rather than a smooth unification with Greece as planned by the military junta in Greece.


To understand the reasons of the Coup d’etat, one most go back in the history of Cyprus as back as to Dec ember 21, 1963.


On this notorious day, the armed Greek Militia attacked to Turkish Cypriot quarters by the command of the President of Republic of Greek Cyprus.


Makarios wasn’t happy with the constitutional rights given to the Turkish Cypriots by the 1959 Treaty for the foundation of the Cyprus Republic, which was signed by England, Turkey, Greece, Makarios himself and  Dr. Küçük.


On November 1963 Makarios proposed thirteen amendments in the constitution of Cyprus Republic to eliminate the partnership rights of Turkish Cypriots and convert the existing republic into a unitary Cyprus Greek Republic, run solely by the Greeks.


His amendment proposals were rejected by Turkey, one of the guarantors of the Republic and by the Turkish Cypriots, founding partners of the Republic of Cyprus. These both rejections ignited the armed assaults of Greek Cypriots towards Turkish Cypriots with the intentions to convert the island into a sole Greek Cypriot soil….. (to be continued)







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