Todays Zaman, January 21, 2008
While Archbishop Makarios was making clear his thoughts on the future of Cyprus, similar statements were also being made by Greek leaders in Greece. Some 15,000 Greek troops had actually occupied Cyprus since 1964.
Greece and Makarios were confident that Turkey could not risk a major war with Greece in order to save Turkish Cypriots and their rights in the face of such military reality.
Indeed the two partners knew of the anxiety of the US government about a Greco-Turkish war and its repercussions on the NATO alliance and banked on the knowledge that any attempt by Turkey to come to the aid of Turkish Cypriots would be prevented by US action.
Only a few days into 1965, Makarios received some bad news. The Soviet delegation officially announced the existence of “two communities” with sovereignty and legal rights on the island. Following this bad news, a series of top-level reciprocal visits took place between the Soviet Union and Turkish politicians and bureaucrats in 1965, which softened the strong and blind support of the Soviets for the Greek government of Cyprus and of Archbishop Makarios.
On Feb. 5, 1965, the Cyprus Mail newspaper was to report this gem from Makarios: “Their presence in Cyprus (the Greek mainland army divisions) is evidence not only of the support but of the presence of Greece in Cyprus, and that the struggle is common, and so are the aims.”
He made his point even clearer on March 1, 1965, by saying, “Cyprus is part of Greece and enosis is written in the future of Cyprus… the goal of our struggle is enosis.”
On April 27, 1965, at Limassol Stadium surrounded by Greek mainland officers, Makarios, accompanied by the ambassador of Greece, drew wild cheers from his listeners as he announced: “The ideal is enosis… which has not yet been realized. But the struggle for its realization continues and will continue! … and no power in the world, no adversity, no obstacle, can deflect us from this destiny.”
In the meantime, combined Greek mainland and Greek Cypriot forces were harassing the Turks of Cyprus, and at the UN the representatives of Greece and of the Greek Cypriot administration were acting in concert to conceal the fact that their actions in Cyprus were aimed at doing away with its independence.
A smokescreen was raised to make it look as if Turkish Cypriots and Turkey were trying to partition the island and were the cause of all the trouble. The UN was repeatedly invited “to stop Turkey from interfering in the internal affairs of Cyprus, an independent republic whose independence was being continuously threatened by Turkey.”
It is crystal clear that everything that happened in Cyprus was the result of the combined efforts of Greek and Greek Cypriot leaders. There would have been no trouble, no inter-communal conflict or civil war in 1963 had Greece not been involved. And the trouble would not have continued the way it did had Greece backed out of this plan to destroy the republic and achieve enosis by a series of illegal and inhuman acts. But Greece was in up to its neck and saw no reason for withdrawing.
As an aside, here is a reminder that “the union of Cyprus with Greece, enosis,” is part of a bigger plan which has been successfully implemented for more than a century. On July 29, 1970, a group of Greek tourists from the island of Rhodes came to Cyprus. Makarios addressed them, saying: “The hearts of Greek Cyprus, of Rhodes and of all Dodecanese islands have a common beat. You have achieved your aspirations, but we, beset by difficulties and frustrated by foreign meddlers, are still struggling for ours. Bet despite all difficulties Cyprus will march on to Hellenism.”
At the United Nations, and within the Afro-Asian group, Makarios’ representatives were urging their listeners that the struggle in Cyprus was “for full independence and self-determination.” For years and years they managed to deceive these people with such disinformation. The Greek mainland representatives were in full agreement and support.
Shipments of Soviet arms and ammunition to Cyprus continued until May 1965 and then apparently stopped.