Today’s Zaman, January 12, 2008
Conscription does not cover Christian minorities on the island: the Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics (the Latins). Male Greek Cypriots in the 18 to 49 age range were required to serve in the newly established “Greek National Guard.”
Young men planning to complete their undergraduate and graduate studies abroad and fresh graduates from the local Greek Cypriot high schools, academies and English schools were forced to serve in the Greek Cypriot National Guard before commencing their undergraduate studies.
The arms of the Ethniki Froura, the Cypriot National Guard, were obtained from the Cyprus Army’s Greek regiment, deployed by Greece according to the 1960 agreements and treaties. The commander general of the National Guard and high-ranking officers were sent from Greece. All Turkish Cypriot privates, sergeants and officers in the Cyprus Army were disarmed and detained on the eve of Dec. 21, 1963.
Ignoring the three guarantors — Turkey, Britain and Greece — and the legality of the 1960 Agreements and Treaties of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, the then president of the government of Cyprus, declared the existing 1960 Constitution “null and void” on Jan. 1, 1963, only eight days after the first organized assaults on Turkish Cypriots. His aim was to use his illegal assaults on Turkish Cypriots in a way to pave the way to enosis (the reunification of Greece and Cyprus), through inter-communal clashes which Turkish Cypriots would be blamed, accused of rebelling against the government of Cyprus.
While Makarios was quite busy with organizing assaults on Turkish Cypriots and giving orders to his comrades to draw an effective extermination plan which would lead to enosis in the long run, in Greece George Papandreou was in power and busy with detailing the “Greek National Center,” aiming to give full support to Makarios on his so-called “struggle for enosis.”
The aim of the “Greek National Center” was to defend the Greek island of Cyprus if Turkey dared to attack. Papandreou took the responsibility and the initiative.
Accordingly, the generals in the National Army of Greece drafted a plan to sneak in troops and arms to Cyprus. As if the Greek Cypriot government had no idea at all of this clandestine operation, shipments of arms and troops in huge amounts lasted for four months. The first wave of Greek troops and officers stepped onto the soil of Cyprus on the night of April 17, 1964. By the end of July 1964, around 20,000 soldiers and officers with ammunition and arms enough for an army of 40,000 successfully infiltrated the island, without the knowledge of the UN peace keeping force and guarantors of the island except Greece, who was the organizer.
ASDAK (Cyprus Supreme Defense Military Command) and EMEK (Special Mixed Staff Cyprus) were established immediately in 1963. EMEK transformed into GEEF (General Staff of the Cyprus National Guard) in 1964. (http://www.army.gov.cy/eldyk/enhmerotiko.pdf)
Greek Cypriot newspaper To Vima, on Feb. 7, 1999, printed the disclosures of Gen. George Karousos, which gives official and reliable information on this clandestine transfer of troops from Greece to Cyprus. So does Kathimerini, another local Greek Cypriot newspaper, in its issue dated February 2002.
Andreas Papandreou, the then Prime Minister of Greece, clearly details this ingenious and unlawful “sneak in” operation in his memoirs, titled “Democracy at Gunpoint.”
The Greek education system also lists this clandestine transfer and places it on April 17, 1964. It names the event the “Secret deployment of Greek Division in Cyprus.” (http://www.netschoolbook.gr/cal4.html)
In June 1964 the National Assembly unanimously accepted Act No. 20, on the establishment of the Cypriot National Guard, which also allowed employment of Greek officers from mainland Greece to train the Cypriot National Guard and to serve in the Cypriot armed forces as well.