On July 15, 1974, Reuters, The Associated Press and United Press International announced to the world a distressing event:
“The coup staged by Greek officers from Greece on Cyprus has met with success and the island’s administration has fallen into putschist hands. According to broadcasts from Nicosia Radio, which is in rebel hands, the president of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, has been assas-sinated.”
The same day, the Turkish Cypriot Bayrak radio broadcast to the world for the first time at 3:20 p.m., revealing that Makarios was not dead and that he had taken refuge in a part of the island where violent clashes were continuing. Thus the world learned not only that the archbishop was living but that the island was engulfed in the bloody turmoil of a civil war among Greeks.
Hundreds of Greek Cypriot supporters of Makarios were ruth-lessly killed by the Greek National Guard under the command of officers from Greece, and by members of the notorious terrorist organization the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA-B).
The bodies of the Greek Cypriots were later dumped together, with no consideration being given to whether they were dead or merely wounded, in the already-dug mass graves.
Everybody realized from the outset that the callous slaughtering of Greeks by Greeks on the island and the events endangering the so-vereignty of the Republic of Cyprus had been plotted by the military junta in Athens. Govern¬ments all over the world unhesitatingly con-demned Athens for this.
The well-known American magazine, Newsweek, reported that the CIA in Nicosia had intercepted a message from the putschists to the Athens government an hour before the coup, reading, “Operation President is underway and on schedule.”
To this Newsweek added that 100 Greek officers had been flown from Athens to Nicosia on July 14, 1974 — the night before the coup.
In a statement published by Le Nouvel Observateur, Foreign Mi-nister of the Greek Karamanlis civilian government George Mavros said, “It is clear that the Greek General Staff can prevent a coup by a telephone call, or can stop it even if it has started.”
The reason no official or private Greek source could deny that the coup was engineered by the Greek junta is that well before July 15 there had been a considerable amount of correspondence and friction between Makarios and the junta.
On July 1, 1974, only two weeks prior to the coup, Reuters gave the world the following news from Nicosia: “According to well-informed sources, Archbishop Maka¬rios, by attempting to expel 650 Greek offic-ers on duty with the National Guard, appears ready for a showdown with Greece. Archbishop Makarios’s decision to expel these officers is based on the claim that they have been plotting against the Govern-ment in the National Guard and that this organization has become a source of supply for the EOKA-B group. Maka¬rios’s decision is to be finalized today in the Council of Ministers. The Makarios administration has been the target of armed attacks by the EOKA-B organization, founded by Gen. George Grivas, and which is fighting for Enosis (union with Greece).”
This was a short summary of the true background of the 1974 events based on reliable and trustworthy press publications, eyewit-ness accounts and sworn testimonies.
The Cypriot Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was founded 24 years ago to ascertain the fate of missing Turkish (203) and Greek (33) Cypriots who disappeared during the 1963-1964 inter-communal fighting, the 1974 coup by Greek officers and the subsequent war. Ac-cording to the documents and statements in their files, more than half of the Greek Cypriot missing persons were victims of the 1974 coup rebels and not the 1974 war, as falsely alleged by the Greek Cypriot authorities