Polycarpos Yorgadjis, a man who ran his ministry as if he were still in EOKA and who attracted to himself attributions of the most intricate plotting, used the constitutional breakdown over tax collection as an excuse for getting Makarios’s authority for building up a “secret army” of ex-EOKA men. There were also other freelance gangs of armed irregulars on the Greek side.
On Nov. 30, 1963, President Makarios wrote to Vice President Dr. Fazıl Küçük proposing 13 amendments to the constitution which, he said, would “remove obstacles to the smooth functioning and devel-opment of the state.” He did so apparently with the knowledge and encouragement of the British high commissioner, Sir Arthur Clarke, whether personally or officially is not clear: The full story of this re-mains obscure. Taken together, the amendments would have had the effect of resolving all outstanding issues in the Greek favor.
• The president and vice president would lose the right of veto.
• The necessity for separate majorities of Greek and Turkish members for the passage of certain laws, including taxes, to be can-celled.
• No separate municipalities.
• The ratio in the public services and in the army and police would be the same as the ratio of population.
• The Public Service Commission would be smaller and take deci-sions by a simple majority.
• The separate Greek Communal Chamber would be abolished.
• The administration of justice would be unified so that a Greek could not demand to be tried by a Greek judge and a Turk by a Turkish judge.
It must be said in favor of these proposals that they streamlined the administration and removed many of the features that laid stress on whether a Cypriot citizen was Greek or Turkish.
But from the Turkish Cypriot point of view they removed almost all the props to their claim to be the “co-founders” of the republic and demoted them to the status of a minority. In the view of Greek Cypriot constitutional lawyer Polyvios Polyviou, who is a sharp critic of the 1960 constitution, the course followed by the archbishop was “a grievous error” which “could not but have appeared to the Turkish Cypriots as a dangerous development that might change the internal balance of power and be taken internationally as a sign that the bi-communal nature of the state was giving way to unitary and majority principles.” In Polyviou’s opinion it would have been much better to have tried to change things gradually; a view shared at the time by the Greek gov-ernment which, not having been warned in advance, told Makarios that if he had asked their advice it would have been against.
The archbishop’s proposals were hastily rejected by the vice president, Dr. Küçük, and by the government of Turkey, as one of the guarantors of the RoC. The atmosphere after the presentation of the 13 proposals was very tense, with the Turkish Cypriots interpreting the move as a preparation to slide into enosis. On Dec. 21, 1963 a street brawl in a Turkish quarter in Nicosia between a Turkish Cypriot crowd and Yorgadjis’ plainclothes special constables was followed immediately by a major Greek Cypriot attack by the various paramilitary forces against the Turks in Tahtakala region at Nicosia and in Larnaca. At first an attempt to calm the situation was made jointly by the President Makarios and the vice president Küçük and by other leaders, but it had clearly gotten out of hand and in any case the ex-EOKA element was strong in the security forces.
Although the TMT organized the defense of the Turkish minority and there were a number of acts of retaliation directed at the Greek Cypriots, there is no doubt that the main victims of the numerous in-cidents that took place during the next few months were Turkish Cy-priots. Seven hundred Turkish Cypriot hostages, including women and children, were seized in the northern suburbs of Nicosia. During the first half of 1964, fighting continued to flare up between neighboring villages. One hundred ninety-one Turkish Cypriots and 133 Greeks were known to have been killed while it was claimed 209 Turks and 41 Greeks remained missing and could also be presumed dead.
There was much looting and destruction of Turkish villages. Some 20,000 refugees fled from them, many of them taking refuge in Kyrenia and Hamitköy (Hamid Mandres) of Nicosia. Twenty-four wholly Turkish villages and Turkish houses in 72 mixed villages were abandoned. Houses were demolished by the Greeks with the intention of destroying the hopes of Turkish Cypriots returning one day. Food, clothing, medical supplies and monetary aid to the immigrants were organized immediately by Turkey, one of the guarantors of the RoC, and shipped in. Most of the evacuation seems to have been after planned Greek assaults, with the people leaving clothing, furniture, food, machinery and hopes behind. But in some cases orders were received for the people to immigrate safely to Turkish Cypriot areas before any expected Greek Cypriot assaults took place. The partition of the island inevitably started after these Greek assaults.