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“Where are my parents…”


The Greek Military Junta
(Regime of the Colonels)
The Cyprus Dispute and fall of the Junta
1974: Turkish invasion of Cyprus

On 20 July 1974 the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit ordered a military invasion of Cyprus After 1967 tensions between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots subsided. Instead, the main source of tension on the island came from factions within the Greek Cypriot community. Although Makarios had effectively abandoned enosis in favor of an ‘attainable solution’, many others continued to believe that the only legitimate political aspirations for Greek Cypriots was union with Greece.

In September 1971, Grivas secretly returned to the island and formed EOKA-B, a pro-union organization. Over the next few years it would repeatedly try to overthrow Makarios. In early 1974 Grivas died and EOKA-B fell under the direct control of Taxiarkhos Dimitrios Ioannides, the new head of the Junta in Athens. Ioannides was determined to bring about enosis as soon as possible. Fearing the consequences of such a step, in early July 1974 Makarios wrote an open letter Turkish parachutists being dropped over Cyprusto the military dictatorship requesting that all Greek officers be removed from the island. On 15 July 1974, Ioannides replied by ordering the overthrow of the Archbishop.

Turkey immediately started planning its response. After failing to secure British support for a joint intervention under the Treaty of Guarantee, Bulent Ecevit, the Turkish prime minister, decided to act unilaterally. On 20 July 1974 Turkey ordered a military invasion of the island (Turkish Invasion of Cyprus). Within two days Turkish forces had established a narrow corridor linking the north coast with Nicosia.

The intervention led to turmoil in Greece. There was well-founded fear that an all out war with Turkey was imminent and senior Greek military officers withdrew their support of junta strongman Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides. On 23 July 1974 the military Junta collapsed.

Turkish troops as they are landing on the beaches of PenterniliOn 14 August, Turkey demanded from Clerides acceptance of a proposal for a federal state in which the Turkish Cypriot community (who, at that time, comprised about 18% of the population and owned about 10% of the land) would have got 34% of the island. Clerides asked for 36 to 48 hours to consult with the Cypriot and Greek governments but Turkey refused to grant any consultation time, effectively ending the talks. Within hours, Turkey had resumed its offensive. By the time a new and permanent ceasefire was called, 36% of the island was under the control of the Turkish military. The partition was marked by the UN Buffer Zone on Cyprus or "green line" running east to west across the island.

Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot refugees, about 200.000 in totalThe effect of the division was catastrophic for all concerned. Thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriots had been killed, wounded or missing. A further 200.000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots had been displaced. In addition to the entire north coast (Kerynia, Morfou) and the Karpas peninsula, the Greek Cypriots were also forced to flee the eastern port city of Famagusta.

The vast majority of the Turkish occupied area was predominantly owned by Greek Cypriots prior to The “Green Line” that separates the Turkish Cypriots in the north from the Greek Cypriots in the south1974. In the process about 200.000 Greek Cypriots who made up 82% of the population in the north became refugees; many of them forced out of their homes, the rest fleeing at the word of the approaching Turkish army.

Since 1974, the ceasefire line separates the two communities on the island. It is commonly referred to as the Green Line. Over the months that followed, 51.000 Turkish Cypriots that had not left their homes in the south moved to the area under Turkish control.

Two versions

To this day, there are two (official) views on the events that took place in Cyprus in 1974. There are a lot of propaganda, even hatred spreading, sites on Internet that reflect one side only using false and/or greatly exaggerated data. Because of their clear nature and context, these sites loose every historical value and credibility. They are nothing more than a crusade of half-truths and false data. Thus, they are a distortion of history doing wrong to al those who lost their lives as well as to the millions of peace loving people on both sides.




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