When inter-communal talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots started in 1968, two main ideas surfaced within the Greek Cypriot community.
One of these ideas envisaged a harsh military operation be launched to suppress the Turkish Cypriot resistance and enosis (the uniting of the island of Cyprus with the Greek mainland state) to be proclaimed after the ethnic cleansing. The other envisaged the sup-pression of the Turkish Cypriots through economic and political pres-sure within the framework of a long-term program so that enosis could be carried out.
The former was supported by senior members of the Greek Cypriot National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA), which fought for the expulsion of British troops from the island, while the latter was supported by Archbishop Makarios, a ıÜüleading advocate for enosis and well aware that a military operation would be destined to end in failure due to Turkish intervention.
Makarios, on one side, intensified economic pressure on Turkish Cypriots through embargoes and sanctions and facilitated the depar-ture of Turkish Cypriots from the island. He offered free one-way airline tickets and pocket money — enough to live abroad for a period of three months without a job. His generous offer was subject to the condition of not being able to return to the island.
To strengthen his policy, Makarios instructed Glafkos Klerides, the Greek Cypriot negotiator in the inter-communal talks, to extend the period of these talks and reject all Turkish Cypriot proposals leading to an autonomous status for the Turkish Cypriots of the island. His aim was to destroy the hopes of Turkish Cypriots for a decent, peaceful life in the island, as the partner citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, and force them to emigrate elsewhere.
On the other side, those choosing military action and removing the Turkish Cypriots for enosis enlivened EOKA and founded a secret junta-assisted organization named “EOKA-B” under Greece’s control. The leader of this notorious organization was Gen. Grivas Digenis, al-though he was expelled from the island in 1967, together with the 20,000 Greek troops.
Greece’s military officers, deployed in the Greek Cyprus National Guard (Ethniki Froura) of the Greek Cypriot administration, controlled all of the EOKA-B organization.
Inter-communal talks went on and on, and nothing came out of them. There was no hope of an agreement even in the most mutual points.
The impatient EOKA-B commanders started groaning and raising their objections loudly for a better action to remove Turkish Cypriots with solid results.
The first effective action of EOKA-B was firing on a helicopter that was carrying Makarios in March 1970. The helicopter was hit but it did not cause serious damage and the helicopter was able to land. Everybody on board, including Makarios landed safely with no injures.
Right after this attack of EOKA-B, 10 senior members of the old EOKA were arrested. The interior minister of the era, Polykarpos Yor-gacis, the bright swindler and drainer of American anti-communist funds, was killed suspiciously with no trace and no suspect.
Upon these developments, Grivas returned officially to the island on Aug. 28, 1971, and took control of EOKA-B.
EOKA-B senior members and militants controlled by Grivas or-ganized the theft of arms from Greek Cypriot National Guard Army camps and organized various acts of arson.
Three prominent priests in the Sen-Sinod Assembly of the Ortho-dox Church of Cyprus refused to stand by Makarios.
Makarios, encircled partly by the priests and officers in the Greek Cyprus National Guard felt obliged to send a letter to Grivas, who started implementing the idea of Enosis to Greek Cypriots through his non-stop statements, and called on him to cooperate on Feb. 21, 1971.
Grivas rejected Makarios’s proposal.
Makarios made another statement on Oct. 29, 1971, and said, “If all the Greek governments reach an agreement, he would declare eno-sis right away without reservation. But if the stakes for success or failure are to be considered, it would be impossible to do that.”
EOKA-B wanted to overthrow Makarios so as to reach the goal of enosis goal sooner and duly intensified their acts of sabotage toward him and his regime.
In the face of increasing violence, Makarios made a statement on Jan. 31, 1973 and referred to EOKA-B as the “grave-diggers of enosis.” This triggered the end of Makarios’s regime and the Greek Cypriot Em-pire on the island.
The coup d’etat on July 15, 1974, organized by EOKA-B, incorpo-rating high-ranking Greek officers in the Greek Cyprus National Guard, with a full support of the Greek junta generals in Greece, was the end of the brainless fight of the both parties for enosis.