The Cypriot House of Representatives yesterday received documents from the Greek Parliament on its Finding in relation to the Cyprus File (Note: a special all-party commission set up by the House to investigate the 1974 events of the coup and subsequent Turkish invasion). On behalf of AKEL, I want to thank Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis for their response to our legitimate request. This was a long-standing demand that was met when a left-wing government was elected to power. I would also like to thank the Presidents of the House of Representatives, Dimitris Syllouris and Yiannakis Omirou, for the role they played in securing this material.
For the sake of history, we would like to point out that it was AKEL that raised this matter to Ms. Zoi Konstantopoulou, immediately after her election to the post of President of the Greek Parliament
The material is huge. I hope it will further reveal the treason that took place in 1974 and the conspiracy that led to the twin crime committed against Cyprus and our people. To do this, it is imperative that researchers, journalists, historians and others must be given unrestricted access to the documents. In particular as regards the study of the relevant documents, perhaps an inter-party committee, not necessarily elected Members of Parliament, should be set up. Only in this way will it be ensured that the material is fully utilized.
The more than four decades that have passed since the treacherous coup d’état and barbaric Turkish invasion hasn’t closed the wounds quite simply because the actions and days of the coupists inflicted on our country the severest of wounds that is still bleeding, namely the occupation.
Every year on such days we hear a lot and various things said. We hear lame excuses and pretensions, distortions and falsifications of History.
Every year the same effort is underway, but this attempt is completely refuted by the resistance that took place, inter alia, at the Presidential Palace, the Archdiocese, the Police Headquarters and in the popular neighborhood of Kaimakli.
By the resistance at the police stations, at the region of the “Roundabout” and at the 3rd Gymnasium in Limassol.
By the resistance at the police station in Larnaca. In Paphos too, where Makarios refuted the news being announced on the state-owned Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation under the control of the coupists that he was dead with Makarios addressing a call to the people to resist.
This attempt to distort and falsify History is refuted by the cold marble tomb of the graves of those who were tortured to death; by the wounds of all those who were arrested and beaten in every village and district of Cyprus.
Where the modern history of our country was written.
Every year on such days our people honor and pay tribute to the memory and sacrifice of their heroes. It honors those who resisted, putting their lives in the throes of the struggle against fascism of EOKA B and the Greek junta.
Those who resisted the Turkish invader and imperialist aggressions.
Those who ran to the front line of the battle to defend the dignity, democracy and our homeland, even though they knew they were fighting a battle that was betrayed and lost.
We humbly bow our heads in respect of their sacrifice and we take the oath to vindicate their sacrifice.
No matter how many years will pass, we will not stop talking about the treason and betrayal that was committed. Since the beginning of the 1970’s, plans were being made to assassinate President Archbishop Makarios. According to the Commission’s Conclusion on the “Cyprus File”, all these attempts were coordinated by the Commander of the Commando Forces D. Papapostolou and Polykarpos Giorkatzis. The latter also provided the necessary weapons for the would-be murderers. Anastasios Poulitsas, the Archbishop’s guardian himself, was also aware of the plans to murder Makarios. All through the years of the activity of the treacherous underground armed EOKA B organization, plans were being hatched for operations aiming at murdering President Makarios; plans that took the name of “Apollo”, “Gronthos”, “Hermes”, “Response”, “Victory”, “Thunderbolt”. Some of these plans bear the signature of Grivas, others of other leading EOKA B leaders Syros and Karousos. The first phase of the crime committed against Cyprus was prepared years ago at all levels: ideologically, politically and organizationally.
With the coup d’état, half of the crime against Cyprus and the Cypriot people was executed. The other half was completed with the Turkish invasion. When the invader was literally in front of the gates, the coupists of the Greek Junta and EOKA B showed how traitorous and cowards they were. Very characteristic are the testimonies that many of the so-called “super-patriotic Greeks” of EOKA B dressed up as doctors and nurses to escape enrolling in the army to fight at the front line. Also characteristic is the testimony of one of the Greek Junta leaders General Bonanos that on the dawn of 20th July 1974, the day of the Turkish invasion, although he knew about the imminent Turkish invasion, he did not communicate with Cyprus because he had “prioritized other things to do.” Also indicative is Junta Head of Cyprus’ National Guard Georgitsis’ testimony that Bonanos had given instructions to let the Turks “for reasons of honor and prestige land somewhere in the region of Kyrenia”.
Imperialism played the principal role in the preparation and implementation of the twin crime against Cyprus. Turkey grabbed the opportunity to carry out its expansionist designs on our island. However, neither of the two could achieve its goals if there weren’t the mercenary obedient tools to serve them within the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community. Fascism, encouraged by the unpunished crimes it committed against the Left before the establishment of Cyprus Independence and heartened by the cover that was given to it, both inside and outside Cyprus, consciously committed crimes against our island and people.
Turkey, violating every principle of International Law, invaded Cyprus. Forty three years onwards Turkey is still occupying approximately 40% of our country’s territory. It separated through the force of arms the Cypriot people; it filled Cyprus with tombs, missing persons and refugees. To this very day, Turkey continues to commit crimes by colonializing our land with settlers, illegally usurping the land of Greek Cypriots and retaining a large number troops on our island.
Since the beginning of 2014 when President Anastasiades began substantive talks, he has taken care to build up many hopes for the solution of the Cyprus problem: expectations that he regrettably didn’t fulfill. Of course we do not exonerate Turkey, which bears the main responsibility for what happened in Crans Montana. It is Turkey with its intransigence that did not allow us to take advantage of the opportunities for a solution presented over the years. But we have to be honest: neither did our side made use all the possibilities that existed in the talks as a result of the proposals submitted by the UN Secretary-General, the European Union and in general, the international factor in the talks in Crans Montana.
As AKEL, we were under no illusions that we would manage to reach an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem. But we should have made every effort to take the decisive step forward. If we did not do that at least, we shouldn’t allow the procedure to collapse. Unfortunately, the result was disappointing: not only did we not move towards the solution, but regrettably we have moved away from it.
What is important right now is to make a proper evaluation of the situation. Let us not forget that day by day the occupation and its consequences are being consolidated. The presence of 40,000 occupation troops and the de facto partition is continuing. The Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance remain in force. The refugees are still waiting to return to their homes and properties.
What is important right now is not to give up. It is logical and to be expected that Turkey will seek to ensure that we abandon our goals. I am sure that we have all heard Turkish Foreign Minister Tsavousoglou’s statements for a solution beyond the UN parameters. We mustn’t do Turkey a favour. We must persist on the solution of the Cyprus problem; a solution that will end the occupation and colonialization of the occupied areas and that will be based on the United Nations Resolutions, the High-Level Agreements, International and European Law; a solution that will demilitarize Cyprus and exclude any interventions and guarantees from foreign powers; a solution that will reunite the land, people, institutions and the economy; a solution that will provide for a bi-communal, bizonal federation with political equality as described in United Nations texts; a solution that will lead to a united country with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.
From the podium of the House of Representatives, we want to reiterate that the period we are going through is indeed critical and there is no room for slogans, fanaticism, extremism and nationalist fever.
A lot is being said and written, for example, about the need to abandon federation and pursue a new strategy for a unitary state solution.
If after so many years of supposed concessions we didn’t succeed in achieving federation, what makes us believe that we will succeed if we put forward maximalist positions?
What kind of strategy is this “new strategy” being advertised so much and that relies solely on slogans?
Where will it lead us to?
What is the name and content of the solution that some are proposing?
How do certain circles and forces believe that we will be able to go back to the 1960’s and return to the unitary state?
If we follow such a strategy, the only thing we will be left with will be half a homeland, partition and the permanent threat of war and demographic extinction.
If the Right and the extreme-right in Cyprus fail once again to understand the anguish and aspirations of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to live peacefully in their common homeland, they will cause irreparably damage this time to the whole of Cyprus.
As AKEL we will continue to work with all our strength for the dawn of the day when the reunited federal Cyprus will be a beacon and example for the world; for the day when it will represent a modern model of harmonious coexistence of two communities of different nationality, language and religion who will be co-managing their common state; for the day when Cyprus will be a country that will have managed to get rid of the armies and channel all its forces and resources towards social investment and economic growth.
The President of the Republic must create those conditions and prerequisites that will allow us to work collectively in order to achieve the vision of a peaceful Cyprus. Otherwise, he will be accountable to the future generations that instead of these generations, he opted to focus on the upcoming presidential election.
At some time History will pass its judgement on us all and it will be damning.
Let us all therefore assume our responsibility to those who have sacrificed their lives defending democracy, our homeland and the cause of our homeland’s reunification so that the future generations can live in a different Cyprus that the one existing today.