Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have offi-cially protested the presence of 1,000 Greek mercenaries from mainland Greece in southern Greek Cyprus.
The official number of troops from mainland Greece deployed in south Cyprus is 6,000. The number of Greek mercenaries, who portray themselves as local Cypriots and dress as Greek national guardsmen (Ethniki Fruro) is 1,000. Of course, this Greek trick staged recently on the island of Cyprus, is not the first one.
Not long after the inter-communal clashes, enflamed by the Greek Cypriots on Dec. 21, 1963 in June of the following year, the House of Representatives, functioning with only its Greek Cypriot members, after expelling Turkish MPs with brutal force from the Parliament, passed a bill that established a National Guard, to which all Cypriot Greek males between the ages of 18 and fifty-nine were liable for compulsory service. The right of Cypriots to bear arms was then limited to this Greek-only National Guard and to the Greek-only police.
Invited by Makarios, Gen. Grivas returned to Cyprus in June to assume command of the National Guard; the purpose of the new law was to curb the proliferation of irregular Greek Cypriot bands and bring them under control in an organization to be commanded by the notorious Grivas. Around end of June 1964, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots charged that large numbers of Greek regular troops were being clandestinely infiltrated into the island of Cyprus, to lend some professionalism to the Greek-only National Guard.
Grivas and the National Guard reacted to Turkish pressure by initiating patrols into Turkish Cypriot enclaves. Patrols surrounded two villages, Ayios Theodhoros (Boğaziçi) and Kophinou (Köfünye), about twenty-five kilometers southwest of Larnaca, and began sending in heavily armed patrols. Fighting broke out, and by the time the National Guards withdrew, 26 Turkish Cypriots had been killed. Turkey issued an ultimatum and threatened to intervene in force to protect the Turkish Cypriots.
After heavy diplomatic protests and pressures, in June of 1967 Grivas and 10,000 of the Greek troops from mainland Greece were forced to evacuate the island.
In 1971 Gen. Grivas returned to Cyprus to form EOKA-B (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston [Greek for National Organization of Cypriot Fighters]), which was again committed to making Cyprus a wholly Greek island and annexing it to Greece.
In a speech to the Greek Cypriot armed forces (as quoted in “New Cyprus,” May of 1987), Grivas said: “The Greek forces from Greece have come to Cyprus in order to impose the will of the Greeks of Cyprus upon the Turks. We want enosis (union) but the Turks are against it. We shall impose our will. We are strong and we shall do so.”
By July 15, 1974 a powerful force of mainland Greek troops had assembled in Cyprus and with their backing the Greek Cypriot National Guard overthrew Makarios and installed Nicos Sampson as acting president.
The Turkish Cypriots appealed to the guarantor powers — Turkey, Greece and England — for help, but only Turkey was willing to make any effective response. After only four days, on July 19, 1974, while addressing the UN Security Council, Archbishop Makarios III accused Greece of having invaded Cyprus.
In July 1998, the Greek Cypriot administration requested S-300 missiles for the island. The S-300 missiles were ordered from Russia and an initial payment was given. Parts of the radar system arrived on the island and members of the Greek Cypriot Armed Forces were sent to Russia for training. Again, after loud protests and reactions, the final destination of the S-300 missiles were changed and placed on one of the Greek islands.
Now it is again the Greeks sending mercenary soldiers from Greece to southern Cyprus. It is time to blame Greece for its hostile operations in the island, which always lead to crises and inter-communal friction.