The Coup of 1974

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 15 Ağustos 2014 Saat : 8:14


The Coup of 1974


The coup d’eta which took place on July 15, 1974 to oust the President Archbishop Makarios was organized solely by the junta in Greece which ended by the intervention of Turkey. It wasn’t he first attempt but the last one against Arcbishhop Makarios.


In addition to the above coup d’eta he survived four assassination attempts which took place between the years 1964 to 1974. On the one before the last, his helicopter was shot down immediately after the takeoff in Nicosia on March 8, 1970. The pilot was seriously wounded but no bullets hit him.


It was believed that the master mind of the assassination was Polycarpos Georgadjihes, the Minister of Interior who was forced to resign due to the tremendous pressure exerted by the Junta in Greece to Makarios.  He was in connection also with the extreme nationalists of Cyprus and Junta in Greece without knowing his resignation rooted from there. After a week or so, Polycarpos Georgadjis was found dead outside the village of Mia Milia, shot from the scruff with a single bullet. The execution was very professional and till today the murder case couldn’t unveiled.


The coup staged by EOKA B and officers around 650 from Greece serving in the Greek Cypriot National Guards, put Turkish Cypriots under threat for a possible cleansing afterwards.


After a mere 7 years the President of the self declared “Cyprus Helen Republic” Mr. Nikos Sampson, spilled out his intentions as  “Had Turkey not intervened I would not only have proclaimed ENOSIS—I would have annihilated the Turks of Cyprus.” to the correspondent of the Greek newspaper Eleftherotipia in an interview on 26 February 1981.


The Turkish Cypriots, after being forced out of the government offices on gunpoint in 1963,    had suffered for eleven years in ghettos squeezed in only a mere 3 percent of the island, under inhuman conditions like the Gazza victims of today.


After quite a short period the notorious Cyprus born Greek military Colonel Georgios Grivas was invited to Cyprus by the president Makarios to lead EOKA to realize the ENOSIS, the Greek Cypriot’s big dream to annex the island of Cyprus to Greece.


Colonel Grivas was a lieutenant in the Greek army totaling over 20 thousand, stepped to the soil of Anatolia in the port of Izmir, on May 15, 1919 with the intentions to occupy the whole of western half of Anatolia.


The retreat of the Greek army after a three years long exploit in the depths of Antolia, from the port of Izmir on August 30, 1922 was quite deplorable. The amount of the surviving soldiers and officers, who managed to stay alive totaled to only one tenth of the gallant Greek Army who landed on 1919. Georgios Grivas was among the retreating Greek soldiers.


His hatred of Turks, twice blinded his eyes and forced him to make strategic military offences during the dark years between 1963 to 1974 that couldn’t be pardoned and he paid for them bitterly.


The first one was on August 8, 1964. With 5,000 infantry, most of them from Greece and armed coast guard home filotilla under his command he attacked to Kokkino (Erenköy), a strategic foothold under the control of 500 Turkish Cypriot students, situated on the north west of the Cyprus island. He did not take into consideration the diplomatic protests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. His retreat was quite shameful. The loss of the Greek National Guards was countless.


The second and the last one was on November 15, 1967. Again irrespective of the warnings and diplomatic protests from Turkey and Turkish Cypriots, he attacked to two Turkish villages, Kofunie (Geçitkale) and Ayios Theodoros (Boğaziçi) jointly controlling the main road between Nicosia-Limassol and Larnaca. Although he captured both villages and ruthlessly burned to death 32 Turkish Cypriots by sloshing petrol and setting fire on them, he and the commando division from mainland Greece, totalling 20,000 had to vacate the island,  due to the military note given to Greece by Turkey…


He returned back to Cyprus on 1970, acvtually sent by the junta in Greece after three years, to oust the President Makarios.



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