The Journal of Turkish weekly, Janury 15, 2008
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
* By Ata ATUN
Cyprus gained her sovereign independence by virtue of a constitution and three treaties — the Treaty of Guarantee, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Establishment, all of which came into force on the same day — Aug. 16, 1960. They were interrelated so that, for example, the 48 “basic articles” of the Constitution were incorporated into the Treaty of Guarantee while the two Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance were in turn mentioned to “have constitutional force” in Article 181 of the constitution. The third treaty, the Treaty of Establishment, makes it clear that the boundaries of the Republic of Cyprus do not coincide with those of the island, in that Britain retains absolute sovereignty over two enclaves, totaling 99 square miles which contain the military bases of Ağrotur (Akrotiri) and Dikelya (Dhekelia). Britain is also given certain military rights (such as exclusive control of the Nicosia airport in the event of an emergency) on the territory of the republic. The constitution was drawn up explicitly in terms of the two people — and was referred to subsequently by the Turkish Cypriots as a functional federation, though that expression does not actually appear. The official languages were Greek and Turkish. The Greek and Turkish flags could be flown without any restrictions, though there was also to be a national flag. The Greek and Turkish national holidays were to be observed. The country was defined as “an independent and sovereign republic with a presidential regime, the president being Greek and the vice president being Turkish elected by the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus respectively.” There were 10 ministers, seven chosen by the president and three by the vice president (in practice a Turkish Cypriot was appointed to defense). Decisions in the Council of Ministers were to be taken by absolute majority, except that either the president or the vice president had an absolute veto over decisions relating to foreign affairs, defense or internal security and a delaying one on other matters.
The legislative system was unicameral. The House of Representatives had 50 members: 35 Greek and 15 Turkish. This ratio was unilaterally changed to 56 Greek and 24 Turkish by Greek Cypriots without the consent of Turkish Cypriots during the “Dark Era,” namely between the years 1963-1974. According to Article 78(2), “any law imposing duties or taxes shall require a simple majority of the representatives elected by the Greek and Turkish communities respectively taking part in the vote.” This provision also applied to any change in the electoral law and the adoption of any law relating to the municipalities. This last question baffled the constitution makers. In five of the towns, separate Greek and Turkish municipalities had emerged as a consequence of the communal confrontations of 1958 and had been recognized by the British. They would now be officially established, thereby becoming the only organ of the constitution based on the idea of territorial separation, but for only four years during which the president and the vice president were supposed to decide between them whether they were to continue.
Legislation on other subjects was to take place by simple majority but again the president and the vice president had the same right of veto — absolute on foreign affairs, defense and internal security, delaying on other matters — as in the Council of Ministers. Outside the House of Representatives there were to be elected two communal chambers, one Greek, the other Turkish, which were given separate functions not entrusted to the House. These included education, religious matters, personal status, sport, culture, producer and consumer cooperatives and credit establishments. For these purposes they were entitled to impose taxes, set up courts and conduct their own relations with the Greek and Turkish governments over help with funds or with personnel. The judicial system was headed both by the Supreme Constitutional Court and by the High Court of Justice, each consisting of Greek and Turkish Cypriot judges, each with a neutral president (who should not be Cypriot, Greek, Turkish or British). The High Court had mainly appellate jurisdiction but could also deal with “offences against the constitution and the constitutional order.” The Supreme Constitutional Court had exclusive jurisdiction over the allocation of functions and powers between the various institutions. Either president or vice president might appeal to this court whenever he thought that a law including, specifically, the budget, would have the effect of discriminating against one of the communities. Moreover human rights were strongly protected. A long series of guarantees against discrimination and in support of fundamental rights and liberties (Articles 6 to 35) were closely based on the appropriate European conventions. Finally, the constitution recognized the bi-communal nature of Cyprus in its arrangements for administration. The public service should approximate in all grades of its hierarchy to a 70:30 ratio. The Public Service Commission was to consist of 10 members, seven of them Greek, but a number of decisions were made dependent on the approval of at least two of the Turkish members.
There was to be a Cypriot army, 2,000 strong, of which 1,200 should be Greeks and 800 Turks, together with security forces, comprising police and gendarmerie, also totaling 2,000, but this time with 1,400 Greeks to 600 Turks; forces stationed in parts of the republic inhabited almost totally by one community should have policemen drawn entirely from that community.
A first reaction to this document must be that for a nation of 556,000, this was a very elaborate and very rigid constitution. It runs to 199 articles and of these the 48 “basic” ones were to remain unalterable in perpetuity.
The remainder could in practice only be altered by mutual agreement of the two communities. Drafted with the help of a Swiss constitutional adviser, the constitution was of the consociational variety which gives the preservation of the ethnic balance higher priority than majority rule.
Moreover the constitution, thus heavily freighted, was screwed into the international system by the accompanying treaties. Under the Treaty of Guarantee with Britain, Greece and Turkey, the Republic of Cyprus undertakes to uphold its own independence and its own constitution; not to participate in any political or economic union with any state whatsoever; and to prohibit any domestic action likely to promote union with another state or partition. In return Britain, Greece and Turkey recognize and guarantee not only the independence, integrity and security of Cyprus but also “the state of affairs established by the Basic Articles of its Constitution.” They also will ban activity favoring “Enosis or Taksim” (union or division). In the event of a breach of the provisions of the treaty, the three guarantors “will consult together” about “measures necessary to ensure observance.” Then follows the most critical wording of the treaty, currently cited to support the Turkish position. If, says, Article IV, concerted action should not be possible, “each of the three guaranteeing powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by this present Treaty.”
The Treaty of Alliance, which was between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, thus not including Britain, was intended to reinforce the rationale of the whole series of arrangements: that Greco-Turkish friendship was in the last resort worth more than the strict arithmetic and practical convenience of Cypriot politics. A committee of the three foreign ministers was “the supreme political body” of the alliance. Under its authority there should be a tripartite headquarters established on the island, with military contingents of 950 Greeks and 650 Turks to provide for the defense of the new republic and to train the new Cypriot army
The extent to which this complex of arrangements, redolent of old-fashioned diplomacy, was legally valid in the light of the United Nations Charter has been the subject of much debate among international lawyers. The question was whether a constitution so rigid and unalterable was compatible with the equal sovereignty which was recognized in the charter and whether its unchangeable nature could validly be enforced under a treaty which permitted any one of the signatories individually to take action.
It is a complex argument which has not been resolved.
Certainly Professor Ernst Forsthoff, the German who was the first president of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was to say [in 1963]: “I consider it wrong to regard Cyprus under the present agreement and constitution as an independent state.” The guarantees, he added, “include also a right of actual intervention — there can be no guarantee without the right of intervention.” Clearly the signatories, it may be presumed, thought they were signing valid documents. Archbishop Makarios subsequently claimed that the settlement was imposed on him by force majeure and that he did not feel morally bound by it.
Archbishop Makarios was elected the first president of Cyprus by the Greek voters in December 1959 and Dr. Fazil K+-+ğ+-k the first vice president by the Turks. The archbishop had critics both on the right from supporters of Grivas — who left the island for a hero’s welcome in Athens and the rank of a retired general — and on the left because the settlement had been brought under the aegis of NATO. He moved swiftly to consolidate his position — by appointing EOKA people to key positions, most notably Polycarpos Yorgadjis as minister of the interior, and by launching a vigorous foreign policy of friendship with the non-aligned powers which served to disarm the potential opposition of the communists in AKEL who were given five unopposed members in the first House. But the same process of satisfying the political needs of the Greek Cypriot community straightaway led to a series of conflicts with the Turks, in which the feelings of the two communities about the constitution were made plain.
The Greek Cypriots’ feeling was that the constitutional privileges accorded the Turkish community were preposterous; the Turkish Cypriots’ that these were the bare minimum, to be exercised to the last ounce.
The disputes concerned:
(a) The 70:30 ratio in the public service: The Turkish Cypriots required that the proportion should be attained within five months of independence as had in fact been stipulated in a pre-independence agreement between the president-elect and the vice president-elect.
The Greek Cypriots in the Public Service Commission argued that they could not draw from 18 percent of the population which was poorly qualified suitable candidates to fill 30 percent of the jobs overnight. After three years the Greek Cypriots published figures to show that real progress had been made in all grades towards the objective. But the subject rankled and aroused resentment in both communities. At the end of 1963 there were 2,000 appeals outstanding in the Supreme Constitutional Court about public appointments.
(b) Taxes: Since a majority vote of Turkish deputies in the House was needed to pass tax legislation, Turkish Cypriots sought to use this as leverage to force compliance over the 70:30 ratio, over legislation for separate municipalities and a more generous approach towards the grant of subsidies to the Turkish Communal Chamber.
As a result the colonial income tax law expired whereupon Makarios ordered that existing taxes should continue to be collected. In December 1961 the government at last came out with its own proposals, but whereas the Greeks wanted a permanent law, the Turks wanted it to be renewable annually, which would enable them to use their bargaining power each session. Since there was again deadlock, the personal income tax was abandoned by the House and the Greek Cypriots enacted it instead through the Greek Communal Chamber.
(c) The Cypriot army: The minister of defense, who was a Turkish Cypriot, proposed an army of five battalions, each composed of three companies. At the battalion level they should be mixed, but at the company level the units should be from one community or the other. The majority of the Cabinet decided that on the contrary the units should be mixed at every level. On this issue the vice president used his power of final veto. The president therefore decided not to have an army at all.
(d) Separate municipalities: Existing colonial laws had to be extended eight times while Greeks and Turks conducted a dialogue of the deaf about whether fresh legislation should establish separate municipalities as the constitution required and the Turks demanded. In December 1962 the Greek majority rejected further continuation of the status quo. The Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber then purported to confirm the position of the Turkish municipalities while the Council of Ministers fell back on a pre-1959 colonial law to replace all the existing elected municipalities by appointed development boards. The president offered Turkish Cypriots compensation safeguards but made it quite clear that he had no intention of implementing the provisions of the constitution which he regarded as opening the way to partition.
(e) The status of the vice president: Dr. Fazil K+-+ğ+-k complained that since he had an absolute veto over foreign policy, he should be told what that policy was about. Spyros Kyprianou, the foreign minister, was not, he said, showing him the papers. He objected strongly to Makarios adopting on his own a policy of non-alignment and going to the Belgrade non-aligned summit without his approval.
The record of the first three years of the new republic could not therefore be described as an unqualified success. The necessary restraint on both sides if such a delicate mechanism of checks and balances is to work or, alternatively, if by informal arrangements it is to be short-circuited, was absent. Already by the end of 1961 the Turkish language press was calling for an intervention by Turkey, Greece and Britain and the resignation of Archbishop Makarios over the income tax issue.
The question of whether President Makarios ever meant the 1960 constitution to work or whether from the outset his acceptance of it was a maneuver first to obtain independence and then to clear the ground for union with Greece is still highly controversial. As an archbishop he was predisposed to see the whole island as Hellenic. In both his capacities he took part throughout the remainder of his career in what is called “verbal republicanism,” namely the celebration of anniversaries of heroic deaths during the war against the Britis with many references to his own fidelity to the cause for which they had died, specifically the cause of enosis. But to what extent and at what periods this sentiment was purely verbal it is rather difficult to say .
Certainly there are many Greek Cypriots who think that Makarios did for a time support the constitution until he concluded that, unless amended, it was unworkable. Turkish Cypriots rather naturally call attention to a confidential document called the Akritas Plan, which was later published in the Greek press. (Patris Newspaper, Feb. 7, 1967).
This, which is generally thought to have been circulated in great secrecy by Polycarpos Yorgadjis, the minister of the interior, lays down a scenario according to which the “negative elements” in the constitution should be stressed in public while lavish use should be made of such internationally acceptable concepts as “self-determination” and “minority rights” to describe the case for amending it. By this means Cyprus would win control over her own institutions and thus effectively nullify the Treaty of Guarantee since the constitution it was to guarantee would by then be no more.
The Turkish Cypriots had made some preparation for a breakdown since they were determined that independence should not mean, as Rauf Denktaş put it, “a change of colonial masters for the worse.” But many of the Turkish Cypriot political leaders counted on the constitution to settle down. They were encouraged in this by the first Turkish ambassador to Nicosia, Emin Dirvana, who was a philhellene and who tended to discount the warnings of Denktaş, the president of the Turkish Communal Chamber of the era, who claimed through intelligence sources to know better. According to Denktaş, who was political adviser to the Turkish Defense Organization (TMT), most of that organization had been stood down and there were only 40 active members in it when the fighting started.
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 K+-+ğ+-k proposing 13 amendments to the constitution which, he said, would “remove obstacles to the smooth functioning and development 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 remains obscure. Taken together, the amendments would have had the effect of resolving all outstanding issues in the Greek favor.
TÀ The president and vice president would lose the right of veto.
TÀ The necessity for separate majorities of Greek and Turkish members for the passage of certain laws, including taxes, to be cancelled.
TÀ No separate municipalities.
TÀ The ratio in the public services and in the army and police would be the same as the ratio of population.
TÀ The Public Service Commission would be smaller and take decisions by a simple majority.
TÀ The separate Greek Communal Chamber would be abolished.
TÀ 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 government 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. K+-+ğ+-k, 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 K+-+ğ+-k 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 incidents that took place during the next few months were Turkish Cypriots. 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 Hamitk+Ây (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.
In Nicosia the guarantors — Turkey, the United Kingdom and Greece — began to move over the Christmas week of 1963. The 650-man Turkish army contingent in Cyprus under the terms of the Treaty of Alliance moved out of its barracks and positioned itself astride the Nicosia-Kyrenia road in Ortak+Ây (Ortakeuy).
Turkish jets from the mainland buzzed Nicosia. The Turkish fleet set sail for Cyprus. President Makarios, by now alarmed that a Turkish army might indeed land, agreed that the British should intervene from the sovereign bases in order to avoid a worse situation. This produced a cease-fire in Nicosia, an exchange of hostages and the establishment of a “Green Line,” a neutral zone between the Greek and Turkish quarters in the capital which has existed till the present day. Turkish Cypriots expelled from their side of that line the entire Armenian community of Nicosia on the grounds that it had aligned itself with the Greek position.
What the guarantors did not do was carry out the one purpose for which they existed: the restoration of the 1960 constitution. The establishment of the Green Line brought peace to Nicosia, though not yet to other places, but it did not bring the fractured government together.Greek and Turkish Cypriot ministers remained on opposite sides of the line.
According to the Turkish Cypriot thesis, there was, from this time on, no legal government in Cyprus — only provisional bodies on both sides pending the establishment of a new legal order — the old one having been overthrown by force. Turkish Cypriot deputies and all the Turkish Cypriot civil servants were removed from their posts in Cyprus’ government by brute force and never allowed to return.
According to the Greek Cypriot thesis, there continued to be a legitimate and democratically elected government representing the great majority of the people which had, as many ex-colonial countries were doing, asserted its right to gain control of its institutions and had done so at a time, moreover, when the Turkish Cypriot vice president and ministers had willfully continued to absent themselves.
At a conference in London of the three guarantor states and the two Cypriot communities, Makarios demanded the termination of the 1960 agreements as unworkable and their replacement by “unfettered independence,” a unitary Greek government with freedom to amend the constitution. He offered the Turkish Cypriots minority rights, which as usual they rejected out of hand. The Turks said that the December fighting proved that the two communities should be physically separated. Consequently they demanded a fully federal state of Cyprus with a border between Turkish and Greek provinces known as the Attila line, which is not unlike the present cease-fire line, or, failing that, “double enosis” which would bring a frontier across Cyprus between Greece and Turkey themselves, both solutions that would imply a population transfer.
The London conference broke down with no chance of agreement. Greek Cypriots preferred to hold their position of being the only recognized government of Cyprus internationally and did not fancy sharing the power with Turkish Cypriots.While the cease-fire held in Nicosia, the British were unable to prevent Greek Cypriots from attacking Turkish Cypriots at Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos, causing widespread casualties and damage.
Turkey announced for the second time that her fleet was sailing for Cyprus and the British, desperately anxious not to get bogged down in another Cyprus conflict, insisted on the peace-keeping burden being shared. Aiming above all at preventing a clash between two NATO partners, but wanting to keep the dispute within the NATO family, the United States tried to organize a NATO intervention, but Makarios would not consider it. It was necessary after all to bring in the United Nations. By the March 4, 1964 Security Council resolution, UNFICYP (UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus) and a UN mediator were set up and despite a further severe Turkish warning, the danger passed. Makarios interpreted the UN resolution as recognizing “unfettered independence,” which he sought, and appointed Greek Cypriot ministers to take over the Turkish portfolios and the seized state to be the only recognized government of Cyprus.The UN force which was set up and remains till the present day was originally of over 6,000 men and is now  about 750. It has always had a substantial British contingent, often over 1,000, but quite few at present, making it unusual among UN forces which normally exclude contingents from the permanent members of the Security Council.
It has achieved a good deal but not what was expected of it by either side since, as is usual with peace-keeping operations, it does not use force except in self-defense.The force’s main deterrent was its presence. By use of persuasion they were able to prevent many killings that would almost certainly have happened, but they could not be everywhere and they could not stop a determined attack. In the first few months the UN had the greatest difficulty in getting a purchase on events because there were repeated outbreaks of fighting in different parts of the island.
Since there was no Cypriot Army, President Makarios now formed a National Guard, Ethniki Fruro, introducing conscription and ignoring the veto of Vice President K+-+ğ+-k. Arms supplies came in from Czechoslovakia and a Greek general from the mainland took command.
The articles published in my column under the titles “Cyprus: The complete history from 1960 to 1974″ and “Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 1974″ on Dec. 17, 24, 29, and 31 of 2007 and Jan. 5 and 7 of 2008 were unintentionally taken in part from “The Cyprus Conflict, the Main Narrative,” written by the late British journalist and historian Keith Kyle and Professor William Hale
The complete article can be read on the Internet at http://www.cyprus-conflict.net/narrative-main.htm and http://www.cyprus-conflict.net/narrative-main-%203.htm. Part of “The Cyprus Conflict, The Main Narrative,” written by Kyle, is excerpted from the book “Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000,” London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000, authored by Professor Hale.
The first paragraph of the “The Cyprus Conflict” published on the Internet is as follows:
“A narrative is a descriptive account of what happened over a period of time. In any complex history, there may be many competing narratives, and these will vary according to the competence, bias, resources or goals of the narrator. Every historical document, even scholarship, will suffer from some bias or incompleteness. In Cyprus, each community has its own quasi-official narrative, relaying and justifying its interpretation of events in the light of current political discourse. These aspects of narratives are discussed elsewhere in this site, in the section titled ‘Historiography & Nationalism.’
“This main narrative was authored by Keith Kyle, a distinguished British journalist and historian, who wrote this in 1983 for the Minority Rights Group, an independent human-rights organization in London. Kyle’s narrative is a balanced, well-researched history, and provides an excellent axis for all the documents on the site. The final segment of the main narrative was authored by William Hale, a British scholar. ”
This narrative tells the true story of the Cyprus issue as written by an unbiased journalist and authored by an unbiased academician, making it very reliable, academic and citable.
I offer my appreciation to Kyle and Hale for their research and publication and to the Minority Rights Group for requesting and financing such a high-quality and priceless work, detailing in depth the Cyprus issue, which has caused many hidden and suppressed facts to surface.
The above-mentioned book and the excerpted narrative will play a significant role and will serve as a reliable source of reference for scholars, bureaucrats and politicians in their hard work on the road to finding a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus dispute.
To understand the main causes, or the roots, of the Cyprus dispute, more unbiased information other than pro-Greek publications should also be read. I recommend all my readers who are interested in the detailed facts on the Cyprus dispute or who are researching the Cyprus problem in depth to obtain this book or visit the Web sites provided above.
The 1960 Republic of Cyprus agreements were based on equality and partnership between the two peoples for the independence and sovereignty of the island. The 1960 Constitution required a joint presence and effective participation on both sides in all aspects of the state to be legitimate.
Neither community had the right to rule over the other, nor could one of the communities claim to govern the other. The aim of the basic articles of both the constitution and subsequent treaties was to safeguard the rights of the two peoples as equals.
It was hoped that the two peoples of the island and their new partners would be able to live peacefully together under this new political partnership.
It soon became obvious that this was not going to be possible. It became clear that the Greek Cypriots and Greece did not intend to abide by the constitution. They did not give up their ambition for the annexation of the island to Greece, and the Greek Cypriot leadership sought to unlawfully bring about constitutional changes.
The only way the Greek Cypriots could achieve their aims was to destroy the legitimate order by the use of force and to take over the joint state. The rule of law collapsed on the island in 1963 after Greek Cypriot militia attacks on Turkish Cypriot communities across the island, killing many men, women and children. Around 270 mosques, shrines and other places of worship were desecrated. An inhuman Turkish Cypriot genocide took place on the island during the “Dark Age,” 1963-1974. The constitution became unworkable because of the refusal on the part of the Greek Cypriots to fulfill the obligations to which they had agreed.
The bi-national republic that was imagined by the treaties ceased to exist after December 1963. The Greek Cypriot wing of the “partnership” state took over the title of the “Government of Cyprus,” and the Turkish Cypriots, who had never accepted the seizure of power, set up a Turkish administration to run their own affairs.
In the end, the Greek Cypriot state was internationally recognized under the title of the “Government of Cyprus” and brought into the EU, while the Turkish Cypriots were forced in 1985 to unilaterally declare their own administration under the name of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which still is not internationally recognized.
The two main peoples on Cyprus, the Turks and the Greeks, share no common language besides English, no common religion and no common literature, nor have they, except on the surface, shared any common culture, from the past up until the present.
A “United Cyprus” or “Cypriot Nation” is a utopian idea that has no hope of realization.
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.
The Turkish Cypriots, after severe inter-communal armed clashes, began moving from isolated rural areas and mixed villages into safe enclaves to save their lives, leaving behind all of their wealth, property, houses, memories and graveyards. In just a short time a substantial portion of the island’s Turkish Cypriot population were crowded into the suburbs of the Turkish quarter of Lefkosa in tents and hastily constructed shacks. Slum conditions resulted from lack of money. All necessities and necessary utilities were sent by the Red Cross from mainland Turkey. The Greek Cypriot government took no notice of these harsh conditions or the refugees. Many Turkish Cypriots who had stayed in their homes in safe Turkish areas, shared their land, houses, food and water for the security and welfare of the refugees.
Spurred by the screams and non-stop calls for help of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey decided to step in and do something.
Archbishop Makarios had not taken into consideration the protests and warnings coming from Turkey. He believed that Turkey would not attempt a military intervention and but would protest only. Accordingly, the assaults on Turkish Cypriots increased day by day and got bloodier.
In June 1964, İsmet İn+Ân+-, then-prime minister of Turkey, decided on a military intervention. US President Lyndon Johnson barely managed to stop the Turkish army, which had already sailed from the port of Mersin destined for Cyprus.
The diplomatic note sent by Johnson to İn+Ân+- demanding a stop to the expedition deeply damaged Turkish-American relations, which had been improving since 1950. But this brutal note put a stop to any improvements. Suddenly anti-American sentiment fell into the hearts of the Turkish people and numerous protest rallies were held in Turkey’s major cities.
The Turkish Cypriot administration decided to establish a Turkish-controlled area on the northern shores of the island to bring in food, medicine, clothing, arms and other supplies from Turkey over the sea and officially asked for help from the Turkish government, which eventually volunteered its assistance.
The Turkish government, highly disappointed by Johnson’s diplomatic note, decided to send Turkish Cypriot students pursuing undergraduate studies in Turkey to a beachhead at Erenk+Ây (Kokkina) on the northern shore of the island, northwest of G+-zelyurt Bay (Morfou Bay), rather than sending in professional Turkish troops.
The transportation of these students in groups of not more than 12, by small fishing boats, from Anamur to Erenk+Ây, began on March 30, 1964 and ended after countless trips in early August. A total of 322 students were carried to the beachhead. A further 200 local Turkish Cypriot volunteers joined this group and the number of these amateur fighters rose to 522. They had very limited arms and ammunition, just enough to defend their entrenchments.
Meanwhile, Georgios Grivas used the popularity he gained in era of the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters to coerce Makarios and the Greek government into allowing him to return to Cyprus. He returned to Cyprus in June 1964 to take over the command of the Greek Cypriot forces organized under the National Guard as well as the Greek military division sent to Cyprus by the Greek government of George Papandreou to assist in the extermination of the Turkish Cypriots.
Grivas rapidly took over the Greek Cypriot National Guard and restored discipline. Noting that possession of the beachhead at Erenk+Ây was enabling the Turkish Cypriots to bring in food, medicine, clothing, arms and students from Turkey, he decided to organize a heavy attack on Erenk+Ây with an infantry of 5,000 on Aug. 6, 1964. His plan was to reach the shore within two hours and exterminate the Turkish Cypriot beachhead.
He felt so assured of victory that days before he invited civilians to the area for a joyful spectacle with a public invitation in the newspapers.
The result was a disaster. On Aug. 8, the mighty Greek Cypriot force had to retreat with countless wounded and dead, leaving behind most of their armory.
15 January 2008