The leader of the “Greek Republic of Cyprus,” Tassos Papadopou-los, played a chief role in the Greek Cypriot administration during the notorious “Dark Era” — 1964 to 1974 — in Cyprus.
“We will exterminate all the Turks” (Papadopoulos, 1964)
Following the bloody attacks by Greek Cypriot guerillas against Turkish Cypriots in 1964, Turkey declared it would carry out a military operation on Cyprus if the bloodshed did not stop. Today’s Greek Cypriot leader, Papadopoulos, was a minister at the time and sent a message to the US on behalf of the Greek Cypriot government.
In his message Papadopoulos wrote: “According to the estimations we have made, by the time the Turkish fleet arrives on the island we will within 75 minutes, in order to provide our own defense, exterminate all the Turks on the island. We possess the necessary plans and means in order to see this through.” (Greek daily Eleftherotypia, July 21, 2006 and NTV’s Web site, July 22, 2006)
Papadopoulos also made similar threats in 1967. Again in 1967 Turkey threatened to carry out a military operation on Cyprus if fight-ing didn’t cease and the 20,000 Greek soldiers did not return to Greece with Gen. Georgios Grivas, a.k.a. Digenis.
According to statements by the then Greek Land Forces com-mander during an extraordinary military council meeting, the Greek Cypriot leader suggested Turks on the island would be wiped out if Turkey followed through with an operation.
“Klerides: Akritas plan written by Papadopoulos”
Former Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Klerides stated that Papa-dopoulos had written a large part of the Akritas Plan and had always seen the Turkish Cypriots as a minority (“Glafkos Klerides — Tarihten Güncelliğe Bir Kıbrıs Yolculuğu” [Glafkos Clerides -- From history to contem-porary, a journey of Cyprus] by Niazi Kızılyürek)
This acknowledgment by Klerides confirmed that, by personally going to the US Embassy in Cyprus in 1964, Papadopoulos was re-sponsible for the following notorious statement: “If Turks try to land their soldiers on the island, we have one hour and 45 minutes to erase Turks from Cyprus.”
In pointing out that the 1960 Constitution was functional and Turkey’s wish was the continued implementation of the constitution, Klerides stated that extreme nationalists from both sides were discuss-ing the issue at the time.
Klerides said: “In the 1960 Constitution all subjects apart from tax issues, one of the main subjects, were functional. A separate majority was needed for elections and municipality laws. If the tax issue had been solved the government could have functioned. The Turkish Cypriot side did not approve the increase in income tax since it would mean their paying extra. To solve this problem, it was proposed that the government undertake the education expenditures of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots accepted this solution proposal and asked for a protocol. The protocol was signed by the president, the vice president, the parliament speaker and leaders of the two communities.
“Then the Greek Cypriot side asked for a constitutional amend-ment.
The Greek Cypriots request was emotional rather than reasonable and the Greek Cypriot leadership — Archbishop Makarios III, Polikarpos Yorgacis and Tassos Papadopoulos — wanted to show the people that constitutional amendments had begun. Despite the fact that the Greek Cypriots received positive external responses on the validity of the protocol, the problem could not be resolved and the 1964 events followed.” When the Turkish Cypriots opposed constitutional amendments aimed at ending their partnership rights in the Republic of Cyprus, Makarios, Yorgacis and Papadopoulos put into effect the Akritas Plan to use brute force to deny Turkish Cypriots partnership and duties in the Cypriot government.
Problems in Cyprus did not start in 1974 but on Dec. 21, 1963.