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Cyprus News Agency 96-07-14.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] Sirens to remind people of coup d'etat against Makarios
  • [02] Overseas Cypriots do denounce Turkish invasion
  • [03] Events to denounce 1974 military coup against Makarios

  • 1310:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Sirens to remind people of coup d'etat against Makarios

    by George Penintaex

    Nicosia, Jul 14 (CNA) -- The sound of sirens at 0820 local time (0520 GMT) tomorrow will remind the people of this war-divided east Mediterranean island of the tragedy that has befallen Cyprus 22 years ago on the same date, marking its destiny.

    Monday morning, July 15, 1974: The sirens sounded at 0820. A coup d'etat engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece and executed by Greek officers based in Cyprus and with the help of the local extreme-right outlawed EOKA B terrorist organisation, was well under way to topple the legitimate President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios.

    The Cyprus state radio captured by the coupists announced that President Makarios was killed during an attack on the Presidential Palace.

    But Makarios escaped unscathed. He rushed to the western city of Paphos. Three days later he spoke to the Cyprus people through a local private radio station. ''You know this voice... I am Makarios and I am alive...'', he told the people, encouraging them to resist the military junta.

    Makarios was the first President of the Cyprus Republic, which gained independence from Britain in 1960, after a four-year liberation struggle.

    With the help of the British bases in Cyprus, Makarios flew by helicopter to Malta and from there to London and New York to speak before the United Nations, urging the international community to help restore legality on the island of Cyprus.

    What actually the coupists succeeded was not the union of Cyprus with Greece or to kill Makarios but to open, five days later, the floodgates to Turkey and offer a pretext to the Turkish army to launch an invasion campaign against the defenceless island, which is only 75 kilometres south of Turkey.

    The pretext was the alleged security of the Turkish Cypriot population on the island, who made up 18 per cent of the total population.

    A long-term ambitious expansionist plan against Cyprus was being implemented on July 20, 1974.

    Air raids, destruction, devastation and widespread abuse of human rights followed on a big scale. Violating repeatedly a ceasefire agreement, the Turkish invasion troops occupied in a few days 37 per cent of the island's territory, killing thousands of people.

    Some 200.000 Greek Cypriots (one third of the island's population) were forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties.

    Thousands of people were taken as prisoners of war. Many of them have returned to their families while a total of 1619 were listed as missing persons.

    Prisoners of war, who were released, testified that they saw or heard other Greek Cypriots held in prisons in mainland Turkey long after the cessation of hostilities. Many of them were listed as prisoners of war by the International Red Cross Society.

    Turkey still refuses to come up with any information about their fate to put an end to the pain and suffering of the relatives of the missing, although a UN investigatory committee set up in 1981 has tried too hard.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash told cynically during a television interview recently that all missing persons were killed by Turkish Cypriot paramilitary groups. Violating international conventions the Turkish army handed prisoners of war to those Turkish Cypriot militia men.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides admitted recently that some of the missing persons' cases are ''weak'', announcing that 126 of those listed as missing persons are presumed dead.

    In the wake of the Turkish invasion the military chiefs who took power with the use of force, returned to their military camps trying hopelessly to defend the country.

    Nicos Sampson, who became ''President'' for eight days, left and Glafcos Clerides, then President of the House of Representatives, (now President of the Republic), took over until December 1974, when Makarios returned to Cyprus.

    Makarios died of a heart attack in August 1977.

    CNA GP/1996

    [02] Overseas Cypriots to denounce Turkish invasion

    London, Jul 14 (CNA) -- A rally to denounce the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern third will be held this afternoon in the British capital, organised by the Cypriots living in Britain and attended by British MPs.

    The rally coincides with tomorrow's 22nd anniversary of the Greek junta coup against Cyprus President, Archbishop Makarios III, on July 15, 1974, which led to the Turkish invasion five days later.

    Cyprus's Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou will be the main speaker while a total of eight British MPs, representing the House of Common's three parties, and Pauline Green, the President of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament, will address the rally, which will be held at Trafalgar Square.

    A representative of the missing persons' committee, Father Economos Christoforos and the President of the World Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus, Philip Christopher, will also address the members of the Cypriot community.

    The rally will be preceded by a march starting off at Hyde Park at 3 p.m. (local time) and will pass through Park Lane, Picadilly, Haymarket, before arriving at Trafalgar Square.

    Similar events denouncing the Turkish invasion will be held in other parts of the world where there are Cypriot communities.

    In Australia, anti-occupation events will climax on Sunday, July 21, when a mass rally will be staged in Melbourne.

    CNA KT/EC/GP/1996

    [03] Events to denounce 1974 military coup against Makarios

    Nicosia, Jul 14 (CNA) -- The government and the people of Cyprus were condemning today with various events the military coup d'etat on July 15, 1974, which toppled then President, Archbishop Makarios, and offered Turkey the pretext to invade the island.

    Memorial services were held in the free areas of the Republic for those killed during the coup, which was engineered by the military junta then ruling Greece. Government ministers attended the memorial services.

    The events will climax tomorrow with a memorial service to be held in Nicosia to honour the dead, in the presence of President Glafcos Clerides and the island's political leadership.

    The church service at St John Cathedral will be officiated by the Primate of the Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    The House of Representatives, in a special session tomorrow morning, will condemn the 15 July 1974 coup while the sirens will sound at 8.20 a.m. to remind the people of the tragedy.

    The city's Eleftheria (Freedom) Square, will be ''dressed up'' in black drapes for those killed during the coup.

    Meanwhile, a campaign to collect as many signatures as possible for a petition to be sent to the United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali began today and will last until Saturday, July 20.

    Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974, occupying 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Leaflets, containing information about the plight of the Cyprus people are distributed to tourists at airports, ports, hotels and the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia.

    On July 19, an anti-occupation gathering will be held at the Ledra Palace hotel, the only checkpoint leading to the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    CNA EC/GP/1996

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