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Cyprus Declaration of Independence of Cyprus, 16 August 1960


The Greek Military Junta
(Regime of the Colonels)
The Cyprus Dispute and fall of the Junta
1960-1974: Constitutional breakdown

According to constitutional arrangements, Cyprus was to become an independent, non-aligned republic with a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice-president. General executive authority was vested in a council of ministers with a ratio of seven Greeks to three Turks. The Greek Cypriots represented 78% of the population and the Turkish Cypriots 18%. The remaining 4% was made up by minority communities.

Within a short period of time the first disputes started to arise between the two communities. Issues of contention included taxation and the creation of separate municipalities. Because of the legislative veto system, this resulted in a lockdown in communal and state politics in many cases.

Repeated attempts to solve the disputes failed. Eventually, on 30 November 1963, Makarios put Turkish Cypriot women and children flee from the attacks on Kucuk Kaymakli (Agios Vasilius) in 1963forward a thirteen-point proposal designed to eliminate impediments to the functioning of the government. Turkey initially rejected it. A few days later, on 2 December 1963, fighting erupted between the communities in Nicosia. In the days that followed it spread across the rest of the island.

At the same time, the power-sharing government collapsed. How this happened is one of the most contentious issues in modern Cypriot history. The Greek Cypriots argue that the Turkish Cypriots withdrew in order to form their own administration. The Turkish Cypriots argue that they were forced out. In reality, as is often the case in these situations, there is truth to both arguments.

UNFICYP, Kato Pyrgos, Cyprus, April 1964. The United Nations Security Council established the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus to help prevent a recurrence of hostilities between Turk and Greek Cypriots. The force was comprised of contingents from Canada, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the United KingdomMany Turkish Cypriots chose to withdraw from the government. However, in many cases those who wished to stay in their jobs were prevented from doing so by the Greek Cypriots. Also, many of the Turkish Cypriots refused to attend because they feared for their lives after the recent violence that had erupted. In the days that followed the fighting, a frantic effort was made to calm tensions.

In the end, on 27 December, an interim peacekeeping force, the Joint Truce Force, was put together by Britain, Greece and Turkey. This held the line until a United Nations peacekeeping force, UNFICYP, was formed following UN Security Council Resolution 186, passed on 4 March 1964. Top




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