By Prof. Dr. Ata Atun
Without being embarrassed or bored, the Greek Cypriots continue the diplomatic games and lies of Byzantium, of which they are a relic.
The official statement issued by the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (Greek Cypriot Administration) in 1974 regarding Turkey’s “Peace Operation” that brought permanent peace to the island is based on completely false and biased justifications. Their goal is to justify themselves by concealing the truth from the rest of the world.
Saying that the facts are not what they appear to be, that history cannot be falsified, let us emphasize once more: Turkey did not invade the island in 1974; it came to save the wholly occupied island.
After months of planning, Greece’s ruling Junta of Colonels launched a military coup on July 15, 1974, to depose the then-President of the Republic of Cyprus, Makarios, and to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus and replace it with the “Hellenic Republic of Cyprus.”
Following the success of the military coup, the final step was to annex Cyprus to Greece and implement Article 8 of the “Megali Idea.”
After two days of internal conflict, the “military coup” that began on July 15th was successful. At the time, Makarios, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, was forced to flee his palace in Nicosia.
Makarios supporters were massacred and imprisoned by EOKA B militias. Known and well-known Makarios supporters, such as “Tassos Papadopoulos,” who would become President of the Greek Cypriot Administration about 30 years after the coup, were imprisoned in the RMMO camp in Famagusta, which now houses the “Gülseren Training Battalion.” They also slaughtered AKEL supporters, a left-wing political party. Many Greeks, who are still mourning their loss, have been brutally executed by the EOKA B’ists simply because they are leftists.
The Junta of Colonels in Greece proclaimed EOKA hitman Nikos Sampson President on the afternoon of July 15, 1974, before the coup d’état organized by the Junta of Colonels in Greece had yet to succeed. Nikos Sampson, who appeared on the CRBC (Cyprus Radio Broadcasting Corporation) television broadcast, which was not available on any other TV channel at the time, made a speech informing about the coup and finally announced that Makarios had been killed and declared the “REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS HELEN.” Nikos Sampson’s speech, mannerisms, gestures, voice, and proud and rowdy demeanor that day remain vivid in my memory.
On the morning of July 16, I listened to the deposed President Makarios’ people, who began with a tearful voice saying, “Ime Makarios” – I am Makarios. The weeping voice of Makarios, who sees himself as the future President of Greece, surprised me.
Nikos Sampson was unable to form a ten-member Council of Ministers three days after being appointed President. He was able to find five people, but none of the remaining five ministries were accepted. He announced on the radio a few days later that he was annexing the “Hellenic Republic of Cyprus” to Greece.
Although all of these events, which began with a coup in Cyprus on July 15, are written historical facts, Greek Cypriots have always based their propaganda on the day on July 20, when Turkish troops arrived on the island. They never mention the July 15 coup or the genocide they committed against Turks between December 21, 1963 and July 20, 1974, because it did not suit them.
Makarios, who fled the island with a bloody coup supported by the Greek Junta, revealed the facts with full clarity in his speech to the United Nations Security Council on July 19, 1974, and said, “Greece has invaded our island.”
If Turkey had not intervened in accordance with international law on July 20, 1974, the island of Cyprus would have become Greek territory today, leaving only a few hundred Turkish Cypriots who were allowed to live in Cyprus for propaganda purposes. Most importantly, the United States and the European Union would not speak out against Greece’s annexation of Cyprus. July 15, 1974 was to be declared the “Day of Victory” in Hellenic history, to be celebrated every year with great zeal and in a manner that would impress the Turks.
While the facts are as stated, we owe it to ourselves to tell and spread the truths that the Greeks keep hidden even from their own youth. Even Makarios’ UN speech emphasizes the importance of Turkey’s presence on the island.
Prof. Dr. (Civ. Eng), Assoc. Prof. Dr. (Int. Rel.) Ata Atun
Dean, Cyprus Science University
Political Advisor to the President of the State