ya da bilinen adıyla
Tarih 21 Aralık 1963,
Yer Lefkoşa’nın Kumsal bölgesi, Mehmet Akif Caddesi ve Mürüvet İlhan Sokak (olay günkü ismi İrfan Bey Sokak).
Saat akşam üstü 18.00 civarı. Hava kararmış, ısı yaklaşık 8o C.
Bir gün evvelki 20 Aralık gecesi, ev sahibi Hasan Yusuf Gudum, karısı Feride Hasan Gudum, Meriç’li (eski ismi Mora) Ayşe (Cankan), kucağında iki yaşındaki kızı Işıl (Cankan) ve Ayşe hanımın kız kardeşi Növber İbrahimoğlu daha güvenli olduğu düşüncesi ile Kıbrıs Türk Alayında görevli Tabip Binbaşı (Em. TuğGn) Nihat İlhan ile eşi Mürüvet hanımın evine sığınmışlardı.
EOKA milisleri ve Yunan Subaylarının komutasındaki küçük bir Rum birlik ise evin 120 m. kuzeyindeki Severis un fabrikasına mevzilenmiş, fabrikanın en üst katına da kum torbalarından yüzü Türk bölgesine dönük küçük bir korugan yaparak içine 1 adet A4 tipi makineli tüfek yerleştirmişti. A4 tipi makineli tüfek binanın damına, ellerinde 1959 yapımı CZ vz.52/57 tipi otomatik tüfek, 1936/57 yapımı M1 Garand tipi yarı otomatik tüfek ve Stengun makineli tabanca olan Rum çetecilere, masum Türk evlerine yaptıkları saldırılarda atış desteği vermek ve düşman ateşinden korumak amacı ile kurulmuştu.
Hasan Yusuf Gudum dışarıda durup bir nevi gözcülük yaparken, Mürüvet hanım da çocuklarını pijamalarını giydirmiş, kahvaltı türü bir şeyler yedirmiş ve onları yatırmaya hazırlanıyordu. Evdeki komşu bayanlar ise hep birlikte yiyecek bir şeyler hazırlayıp masaya oturmuşlardı.
Evin batı tarafından geçen Kanlıdere’nin diğer kıyısından silah sesleri duyulmaya başladığı vakit Hasan Bey büyük bir telaşla içeri girmiş ve “Rumlar bizi basıyor” diyerek heyecanlı bir şekilde bağırarak evdekileri uyarmıştı.
Çok geçmeden Kanlı Dere tarafından eve kurşun yağmaya başladı. Kurşunlar yağmur gibi geliyordu. Mutfağın önündeki yemek odasının tehlikeli olduğunu ve eve pencerelerden giren kurşunlardan kendilerini koruyamayacağını hisseden masum ve savunmasız dokuz insan, elektrikleri kapattılar ve evin güvenli olduğunu düşündükleri yerlerine saklanmak çabası içine girdiler.
Dr. İlhan’ın eşi Mürüvet Hanım, eşi kendisine “Eğer ateş olursa duvardan duvara geçecek kurşunlara hedef olmazsınız, banyo sizi korur” dediği için hemen daha 6 aylık olan Hakan’ı kucaklar, 6 yaşındaki Murat ile 4 yaşındaki Kutsi’yi de ellerinden sıkı sıkı tutarak evin sol arka köşesinde yer alan banyoya doğru koşar. Arkasından Növber hanım ve kucağında kızı Işıl’ı sıkı sıkı tutan Ayşe hanım ve Hasan dede, hep birlikte banyoya girerler ve saklanmaya çalışırlar. Kalın taş duvarları ve küçük de bir penceresi olan banyo gerçekten de iyi bir korugan gibidir.
Üzerinde gri bir palto olan Mürüvet hanım, çizgili pijamalarını giymiş olan çocuklarını kucaklar ve hep birlikte banyo küvetinin içine uzanarak pencerelerden giren mermilerden kendilerini korumaya çalışır. Ayşe hanım, kucağında kızı Işıl ile sağ köşeye, lavabonun sağ tarafına çömelir. Növber hanım ise kapıyı eli ile sıkı sıkıya kapatabilmek için kapının hemen yanına sağ tarafa oturur. Ev sahibi Hasan Efendi eşi Feride Nine'yi tuvalete kapının arkasına saklar ve banyoya gelerek lavabonun sol tarafına büzüşür.
Kumsal bölgesinde yıllarca Türklere kapı komşuluğu yapan Ermeniler, bölgenin savunmadan yoksun olduğunu telsizle Rumlara bildirdikten sonra, Akritas Planı, Genel Harekat Planı bölümü, Birinci Kesim (Ayios Pavlos, Ayios Demetios bölgeleri) bölge komutanı “Terezepilos” kod adlı Yunan subayının komutasında sayıları 150 olan EOKA’cı milisler, Severis Un Fabrikası’ndaki makineli tüfeğin koruması altında önce içinde su seviyesi az olan Kanlıdere’yi yürüyerek geçmişler ve sonra da Akritas Planında belirtildiği şekilde bölgelere dağılmışlardı.
Mehmet Akif caddesi, Mürüvet İlhan Sokak (eski ismi İrfan Bey sokak), Murat İlhan sokak ve Gültekin Şengör sokak, Kıbrıs ordusunda teğmen olan (Emekli Binbaşı) Savvas Selis ve Thisoas kod adlı EOKA'cının komutasındaki ekibin görev alanı olarak belirlenmişti.
Savvas Selis’in grubu, “Enosis” naraları atarak ateş açmaya başlar ve İrfan Bey sokağı tarafından Türk bölgesine saldırıya geçerler. Severis Un fabrikası üzerindeki makineli tüfeğin koruması altında evlere önce uzaktan ateş ederler. Özellikle de köşedeki beyaz tek katlı evin kuzeye bakan, kapının hemen yanındaki odasının pencerelerini ateş yağmuruna tutarlar, olmaya ki eve yaklaşırken o odada olan birisi kendilerine ateş edip vurabilir düşüncesi ile. Üç kişi yolun solundaki eve doğru yönelirken, beş kişi de sağ köşedeki beyaz tek katlı binaya yönelir.
Ermenilerden gelen bilgiye göre bu binada Türk Alayında görevli bir Türk subayı, eşi ve üç çocuğu yaşamaktadır. Bu aile yok edilmelidir ki, Rumların, Kıbrıslı Türklerden ve Türkiye’den korkmadıkları dünyaya gösterilsin.
Beyaz evden kendilerine karşı ateş açılmayınca daha da cesaretlenen Rum caniler, giriş kapısının önüne gelip kilidine ateş ederler ve sonra da tekmelere kapıyı kırarak içeri girerler.
Ellerinde otomatik tüfek tutan iki cani, “Taksim istersiniz ha!” diye bağırarak her tarafa gelişi güzel ateş eder ve soldaki odaya çabucak göz attıktan sonra ileri seğirterek, önlerindeki kapıdan hole geçip soldaki yatak odasına yönelirler ve tekrar ateş etmeye başlarlar.
İçlerindeki hınç önlerine çıkan her tür canlıyı öldürmelerini emrediyordu. Bu odada işleri bitince hızla önlerindeki ara kapıdan geçip, mutfağın önündeki hole gelirler ve soldaki ikinci yatak odasına da ateş ederler. Yataklara, yatak altlarına ve dolaplara. Arkadaki grup da önce sağdaki misafir odasına dalar, sonra da ateş ederek mutfağa geçer.
Ufacık banyo odasının içine sığınan masum ve savunmasız Türkler ise birbirlerine sarılmış Rumların kendilerini bulmaması için dualar ediyorlardı. Küvetin içinde Mürüvet hanım, üç çocuğuna sıkı sıkı sarılmış, bedenini siper etmişti. Ayşe hanım kızı Işıl’ı kolları ile sarmalamış, sırtını köşeye dayamış, lavabo ile köşe arasına sokulmuştu, Növber hanım, kapının açılmasına mani olabilmek için kapının dibine çökmüştü. Hasan dede de, o küçücük banyonun içinde, lavabonun sağ tarafı ile küvetin arasına büzüşmüştü. Nefes bile almıyorlardı. Sadece Allah’a dua ediyorlardı.
Evin sol tarafındaki odaları boş bulan iki Rum cani, evin arka sol tarafındaki kapıları sıkı sıkıya kapalı olan banyo ve tuvalete yönelirler ve “Enosis” çığlıkları altında tüm mermilerini kontrplak kapıların üzerinden içeriye boşaltırlar.
Kapıyı eli ile sıkı sıkı kapalı tutmaya çalışan Növber hanım, elinden kötü bir yara alır ve yana kaykılarak kapının önüne yığılır. Kapının tam karşısında yer alan banyo küvetinin içindeki Mürüvet hanım ve üç çocuğu ise küvetin içine yığılırlar. Kapıyı kırarcasına açmaya çalışan Rumlar, Növber hanımın kapının önüne yığılması nedeni ile kapıyı birazcık aralayabilirler ve o aralıktan sağa ve öne doğru tekrar ateş ederler. Vefakar anne ve çocukları o anda şehit olurlar. Etraf bir anda kan gölüne döndüğü için Rum caniler hepsini öldürdüklerini sanarak hemen yan taraftaki tuvalete yönelirler. Kapıyı açamazlar ama kontrplak kapıdan içeriye onlarca mermi sıkarlar. Kapının arkasına saklanmış olan Feride nine başına isabet eden kursunlar nedeni ile anında şehit olur ve yere yıkılır.
İçerdekilerin öldüğüne inanan iki cani geri çekilir ve diğer üç cani de banyo kapısının önüne gelip sıra ile aralıktan içeriye ateş ederler. Acımasızca silahsız, korumasız ve masum insanlara ateş eden Rumların silahından çıkan kurşunlardan birisi, önce kızı Işıl’ın dizini parçalar sonra da Ayşe hanımın bir bacağından girip diğer bacağından çıkar. Ayşe hanımın ayağında büyük bir yara açılır.
Feride nine ile banyoya çocukları ile saklanan Mürüvet hanım ve çocukları şehit olurken, Hasan Yusuf Gudum ile birlikte Ayşe hanım, kucağındaki kızı Işıl ve Növber hanım ağır yaralanırlar.
Eve kimlerin ya da kaç kişinin girdiğini tam olarak bilen yok. Baskın sırasında CZ vz.52/57 tipi otomatik tüfek ile 15 el, Stengun otomatik tabanca ile 12 el ve 1936/57 yapımı M1 Garand tipi yarı otomatik tüfek ile de 6 olmak üzere toplam 33 el ateş edildiği, şehitlerin vücutlarındaki yaralardan ve duvarlarda hala yeri belli olan kurşunların izlerden anlaşılmaktadır.
Bilahare incelenen kovanlar, iğnenin vuruş yerlerindeki farklılıklarından dolayı olayda 5 ayrı silahın kullanıldığını göstermektedir. Kovanlar bilahare Albay (Major) Meysi tarafından eve ilk giren (GA Kurucular Kurulu Bşk) Memduh Erdal’dan alınmış ve kayda geçirilmiştir.
21 Aralık gecesi Lefkoşa’nın batı mahallesi Kumsal’ a yapılan baskın arkasında, Yunan Alayı’na mensup subayların ve askerlerin de katliama bilfiil katıldıklarını belgeleyen kanıtlar bıraktı. Saldırganların geri çekilirken terk ettikleri malzeme arasında, özellikle de Severis Un Fabrikası damında, Yunan subay şapkaları, Yunan ordusuna ait çelik başlıklar ve NATO’ya ait bazuka mermileri ile mermi kovanları vardı.
Kumsal bölgesinde yıllarca Türklere kapı komşuluğu yapan Ermenilerin bölgenin savunmadan yoksun olduğunu telsizle Rumlara bildirdikleri, daha sonra TMT tarafından belirlenmesi nedeni ile Kumsal, Köşklüçiftlik ve Arabahmet bölgelerinde oturan Ermeniler, bu hainliklerinin ortaya çıkmasından sonra evlerini terk etmek ve Rum bölgesine kaçmak zorunda kaldılar.
Rum çeteciler, Kumsal bölgesinden çekilirken, kadın, erkek, yaşlı ve çocuk ayırımı yapmaksızın yüzlerce Türkü de dipçik darbeleriyle önlerine katıp götürdüler. Kaçırılan Türklerin bir bölümü kurşuna dizildi.
Rumca gazetelerde son zamanlarda çıkan itiraflara göre, beraberinde erkek, kadın çocuk ve yaşlı yaklaşık 200 Kıbrıslı Türk esir getiren EOKA’cı Tasos Marku, operasyonu fiilen idare eden Rum Bakan’a telefon eder ve ne yapması gerektiğini sorar. Eli silah tutabilecek erkeklerin öldürülmesi talimatını verir kendisine telefonun öbür ucundaki Rum Bakan.
Akritas Planının mimarlarından o dönemde Bakan olan sadece Yorgadjis ve Papadopulos’dur. İtiraflar, Yorgadjis’in öldürülmesinden çok seneler sonra yapıldığından, emri veren Bakanın Yorgadjis olması durumunda, dile getirilmesi sorun yaratmaz, konuşanı sıkıntıya sokmazdı. Geriye “Kumsal Katliamı”nın mimarının Papadopulos olduğu varsayımı kalmaktadır.
Katliamdan sonra eve ilk giren kişi ise, 22 Aralık 1963 te, öğleden sonra Severis Un fabrikasından açılan makineli tüfek ateşine rağmen eve ulaşmayı başaran, TMT’nin o dönem en gözü pek kişilerinden olan Memduh Erdal ve fotoğrafçı Mustafa Mehmet Özünlü olur. Resimleri Memduh Erdal çeker.
Severis Un fabrikasındaki Rum makineli tüfek yuvası da ertesi gün, 23 Aralık 1963, Kıbrıs Türk Alayı’ndan gelen küçük bir ekip tarafından susturulur ve fabrika Türklerin eline geçer. Aynı gün Türk jetleri Lefkoşa üzerinde alçaktan uçarak Makarios’a ihtar verirler.
Not: Bu yazıda anlatılan “Kumsal Katliamı”nda geçen olayların derlemesi, SAMTAY VAKFI arşivindeki belgelerin ve o günü yaşayan kişilerin anılarının, Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN tarafından derinlemesine incelenip, kronolojik olarak sıralanması ile yapılmıştır. Eşinin ve çocuklarının şehit edildiğini Binbaşı Nihat İlhan, ancak 4 gün sonra öğrenebilmiştir.
Barbarlık Müzesi olarak anılan ev , Başkent Lefkoşa'nın Kumsal Mahallesi İkinci İrfan Bey Sokak'ta bulunuyor. Müze tek katlı, bahçeli bir ev aslında. Günümüzde sokağın adını Nihat İlhan'ın eşi Mürüvvet İlhan Sokak olarak değiştirmiş. Müzenin duvarlarındaki siyah-beyaz fotoğraflar Rumların 21 Aralık 1963'teki katliamları sonucunda kadın, erkek, genç, ihtiyar Kıbrıslı vatandaşların şehit edilişlerini, bu vatandaşların evlerinin, köylerinin nasıl yakılıp yıkıldığını yansıtıyor. 1963-74 arasında 103 Türk köyü yerle bir edildi. Murat Ağa, Sandallar, Atlılar ve daha birçok bölge soykırım yapılan yerlerin başında geliyor.
Müze, O Günleri Fotoğraflarla Anlatıyor.
Barbarlık Müzesi'nin bahçesinde de aynı yılda yaşayan 'Kumsal Katliamı'nda şehit edilen 11 Kıbrıs Türk vatan evladının anısına bir anıt bulunuyor. Kumsal Şehitleri Anıtı'da bu evi ziyarete gelenler tarafından açık havada ziyaret edilerek, hatıra fotoğrafları çektirilen önemli bir mekan. Anıt üzerinde şehitlerin fotoğrafları da bulunuyorlar.
Bu anıt, Şehit Aileleri ve Malul Gaziler Derneği'nin katkılarıyla yapılmış. Anıtta ,Kumsal Şehitlerinin isimleri; Hakan İlhan, Kursi İlhan, Murat İlhan, Mürüvvet İlhan, Feride Hasan, Erdoğan Rifat, Tuncer Hasan, Mustafa Hasan, Mustafa Mehmet, Muhip Hüseyin ve Aziz Güner olarak yazıyor.
Barbarlık Müzesi 49 yıl önceki bu soykırımın adeta belgeleyicisi gibidir. video (Museum of Barbarism)
Tüm Şehitliklerin ( I. Dünya Savaşı’nda esir düşen askerlerimizin şehitliği dahil) görülebileceği adres :
Prof.Dr.Ata Atun'un makalesi 2015
BLOODY CHRISTMAS OF 1963 IN CYPRUS IN THE LIGHT OF
Atılım Üniversitesi, 2013 /pdf
The island of Cyprus is, throughout the history, supposed and believed to be that of the immigration and that of the issues. Taking a glance at the last century, it is obviously seen that, even though the island seems to be out of the wars and the struggles in some points, the island itself just takes a place in the very midst of those above-mentioned struggles, disputes and the conflicts. Especially starting from the WWI, the island occupies a very unusual place both in the conflict of interest and the struggles of the island-centered and various conflicts surrounding Cyprus, and in addition to the Enosis conflict caused by the Greek Cypriots, the efforts for the annexation of the island to Greece, and the British policy towards Greece all increase the problems more and more.
Considering the position of the island especially starting from April 1, 1955 on which Greek Cypriot terrorist organization named EOKA started terrorist activities not only against British, and Turkish Cypriots but also against Greek Cypriot ones up to August 16, 1960 on which the Republic of Cyprus was founded on the guarantee of the UK, Turkey and Greece, the island spent a long way of atrocity and bloodyshed period causing the death of a good many innocent persons on the island. Turkish Cypriots trying to get rid of the atrocity committed against themselves have also established some underground organizations such as Volkan, 9 Eylül (9th September symbolizing the salvation of Nicosia as well as that of Izmir), and Türk Mukavemet Teşkilatı (Turkish Resistance Organization) but except the last one, all the efforts have come to an end with failure since EOKA was backed by Greece and donated by the well-trained and experienced military personnel. Despite the fact that Republic of Cyprus has been founded, Greek Cypriot attacks against the Turkish people continue and the republic comes to an end with a tragic end, that is to say, with Bloody Christmas.
As the first and the last president of Republic of Cyprus, and Archbishop Makarios frankly declared, Republic of Cyprus seemed to be just a springing point towards the annexation of the island to Greece at long last. In this scientific study, it is aimed, in priority, starting from the first day of 1963, to focus on the political developments and the traps created by Makarios himself up to the end of 1963 in the light of the US documents.
In its combination of scenic beauty and romantic historical associations, Cyprus holds a unique position among the islands of the Mediterranean. From the dawn of history Cyprus has been the meeting place of East and West. The modern traveler will, as the poet naturally expresses in his line, find it ideal alike for capturing the atmosphere of the past as well as purely enjoying peace and relaxation on its sandy beaches or among its pine-clad forests under the seldom hidden Mediterranean sun. On the other hand, Cyprus has never, unfortunately been such an island of silence throughout the history. Especially taking World War I and World War II periods into consideration, it is hardly possible for almost all manner of people to say or to confess that the island of paradise has got such a shelter to relax for the people living on.
The island of Cyprus has always been that of immigration and the problems throughout the history. Starting from April 1, 1955, the rising EOKA organization and activities firstly against the British subjects on the island and then against Turkish and Greek Cypriots, who did not support EOKA activities, caused several disruptions in communication and communication means. Despite the founding of the Republic of Cyprus dated 16th August 1960 seemed to put an end to the political crisis at first soon problems continued to exist leading to Turkey’s intervention of 15th July 1974 on the island to protect Turkish Cypriot rights.
Starting from 1st April 1955 up to 1960, EOKA terrorist organization turned the island of Cyprus into a bloody spot, and the life on the island became very unbearable for the Turkish community as well as the Greek Cypriots and the British communities. On the other hand, at two conferences held in both London and Zurich, the Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes negotiated a settlement of Cyprus issue, consulting Archbishop Makarios, and Dr. Fazıl Küçük. Finally the treaties were signed by the above-mentioned leaders and by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on February 19, 1959 so as to establish an independent, bi-communal Cyprus Republic. As soon as the treaties were put signatures, everybody involved in the issue on the island thought that Enosis idea and the obsession of Megali Idea would officially be abandoned by the Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriots would get the legal protection they always needed and longed for.
Unfortunately none of these happened, and neither did the Greek Cypriots leave their Megali Idea purpose nor did the Turkish Cypriots live in safety. Thus the new Republic of Cyprus came into being on August 16, 1960, 18 months after the signing of the London Agreement. Republic of Cyprus, being a bilingual, with Turkish and Greek languages, was administered by Archbishop Makarios as the first President of the country, and a Turkish vice -president- Dr.Fazıl Küçük under the supervision of a Council of Ministers, seven of whom were from the Greek Cypriot community and 3 of whom from Turkish Cypriots according to %70-%30 proportions that seemed to be adapted for all the official assignments, as would be applied for the police and security forces of the country. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, consisted of 50 seats, 35 of which were occupied by the Greek Cypriots, and 15 of which were taken by the Turkish Cypriots.
Similar to the Presidency, the president of the House of Representatives was a Greek Cypriot while the vice-president was to be a Turkish Cypriot deputy. Out of the official and legitimate position of the government, For the purpose of the local administration, the five major towns of Nicosia, Limassol, Famagusta, Larnaca, and Paphos had their own separate Turkish and Greek Cypriot municipalities to be elected. Thus, a Treaty of Guarantee between Turkey, Greece and Great Britain was put into the signature so as to provide “the recognition and maintenance of the independence, territorial integrity, and security of the Republic of Cyprus by preventing direct or indirect Enosis or Partition or annexation by any of the three guarantor states”.
Besides the guarantee of the social and legitimate situation on the island, a Treaty of Alliance between the above-mentioned guarantor states was signed and a military contingent of 950 Greek and 650 Turkish soldiers landed on the island under the command of a Tripartite Headquarters. The command of the joint army was to be rotated annually among the guarantor states, and the newly-established Cyprus Army was to be trained by them as well.
Unfortunately Archbishop Makarios who was thought to be a man of peace by some since he broke the relations against Georges Grivas who up to 1960 ruled and commanded EOKA terrorist organization backed by Greece appeared once more that he was still committed to bringing about Enosis as did Minister of Interior Polikarpos Yeorgadjis who was the area chief of Nicosia, declaring frankly and with no hesitation on April 1, 1960;
“The realization of our hopes and aspirations is not complete under the Zurich and London Agreements. The glorious liberation struggle, whose fifth anniversary we celebrate today, has secured for us advanced bastions and impregnable strongholds for our independence. From these bastions we will continue the struggle to complete victory.”
What he announced as a president not as an ordinary EOKA member there showed that the struggle for Megali Idea and for the annexation of the island to Greece would continue using all the possible means he has had. Similarly, he continued to threat Turkish Cypriots and cheer the Greek Cypriots as he did on August 15, 1962;
“Greek Cypriots must continue to march forward to complete the work begun by the EOKA heroes. The struggle is continuing in a new form, and will go on until we achieve our goal.”
Similarly he also adds that “Until this small Turkish community that forms part of the Turkish race which has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism is expelled, the duty to the heroes of EOKA cannot be considered as terminated”. Archbishop Makarios, never holding his official positions impartially, instead of acquiring the importance and the necessity of the unity, and developing closer relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots thus made mostly use of the Greek Cypriot schools, Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, all the official institutions, associations, and the organizations so as to create Greek Cyprus, declaring “Cyprus is Greek, and that the Turks are intruders.”
Not the Republic of Cyprus one but the Greek flag hoisted over the Presidential Palace in additional to Presidential black Cadillac, bearing the number plate AK1. What Makarios and his team on the island desired to do was to present the situation to the United Nations and argue the Zurich-London Accords claiming that the accords had never been submitted for approval to the Cypriot people, and the principle of self-determination which can be, out of the ethnic communities living in a colonial territory, a noble right so as to serve the highest humanitarian ideals so as to supply the freedom and the liberty of the people from the colonial administration or the tyrannical dictatorship should be applied to see the will of the majority of the people.
On the other hand, Makarios realized that no support from the UN and the western countries would come for his demands, and he headed for the pro-Third World and pro-Soviet foreign policy. Makarios by the way from the very beginning believed that Turkish Cypriots had gained excessive privileges under Constitution and did not intend to let them have them. Makarios had also not permitted full implementation of provisions relating to civil service, taxation, and Cyprus Army. The chaos and turmoil atmosphere over the island then got darken and darken, and almost all the decision-making and decision-taking authorities were all controlled and assigned by Makarios.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, ambassadors to the UN, the USA, and the UK were all the Greek Cypriots, and Turkish community had no responsibility, control, and mission over them, and Turkish Cypriots were all convinced that if they compromised with Makarios on municipalities, their rights which were being put aside would be considered again:
“The clandestine recruiting, training and organizing of the Greek Cypriot ‘secret army’ began early in 1961. Although the EOKA organization of the 1955-1959 campaign had been disbanded, many of its weapons had never been handed over to the Cyprus Police and the loyalties and obligations of its cells remained intact. These cells became the cadres of the new force. In 1962, in the Trodos Mountains under the guidance of the Greek Cypriot officer-cadets of the Cyprus Army and using arms ‘borrowed’ from government armories. By December 1963, there were up to 10.000 Greek Cypriots who had been recruited and trained to some extent.”
The activities led and assisted by the former EOKA organizations clandestinely, Makarios’ ignorance to see Turkish Cypriots’rights in the country, unjust and unequal behaviors towards Turkish community finally cause a good many controversies, all of which were certainly resisted by Turkish Cypriots too such as the security services controversy, the Armed Forces controversy, the civil service controversy, the municipalities controversy, the tax controversy, the Constitutional Court controversy. Thus Makarios entrusting Polykarpos Yeorgadjis, Tassos Papadopoulos and Glafkos Klerides to prepare a plan named Akritas Plan, firstly published and appeared on April 21, 1966 by the Greek newspaper Patris, and signed by “The Chief, Akritas” so as to kill all the Turkish Cypriots on the island regardless of the age, sex, status, military or civilian. While coming closer to 1963, Turkish Cypriots would live the dark and bloody days deteriorating more and more;
“…The plan was in fact a conspiracy to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus. It had three objectives; to get rid of the 1960 treaties so as to re-open the way to self-determination and eventual Enosis; to create the impression that the constitution was unworkable and then to amend it on this pretext so as to eliminate the powers it conferred on the Turks and to reduce them to the status of a politically impotent minority; and to suppress immediately and forcefully any Turkish reaction so as to create fait accompli before there could be any external intervention; if widespread clashed occurred, suppression of the Turkish Cypriots would be completed at once and would be accompanied by an immediate declaration of Enosis…”
1963 And In The Eve Of The Bloody Events Deterioration of the situation on the island, and Greek Cypriot ignorance brought the island to a new ambiguity, and Turkey expressed its concerns about the hardening of positions by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and warned that Turkey would support the Turkish Cypriots naturally as a guarantor state.
Declaration made by Turkey caused some problems in the USA as well, and the Department of State (DOS) was concerned lest current dispute between the communities on the island develop into serious conflict between hardened and irreconcilable positions, realizing that such conflict could afford opportunities for expansion communist power in Cyprus, endanger Greek and Turkish governments and seriously weaken NATO. The US thought that no inflexible constitutional provisions and the solutions imposed from abroad would be suitable to solve the issue but the pragmatic adjustments of relations between the communities, and the US was very ready against any effort, drawing the US into the dispute, and to politely but firmly reject.
The US government then pointed out some certain aspects for the involved parties, expressed for Nicosia to avoid indications undue US concern, and counsel moderation and mutual adjustment to the leaders of the communities. Some warnings were expressed for Athens that at convenient opportunities, they should continue counsel Government of Greece to urge Makarios to seek solution with Dr. Küçük, and some warnings for Turkey that Turkey should see American sympathy for difficult situation in which Turkey has been placed; Turkey would exercise its influence on Dr. Küçük to end that he would continue to seek ad hoc compromise with Makarios.
Some one week later, Greek Foreign Minister Averoff expressed his concern that the Cyprus situation was becoming dangerous and stressed that the Greek Government’s desire for a moderate solution and its efforts to restrain Makarios. But Averoff also urged the US to restrain Turkey as well considering that Prime Minister İnönü would completely back the Turkish Cypriot leadership on the island. The US Department of State was very glad for Averoff’s frankness in communicating his views on Cyprus as well as American Ambassador’s words in Athens, saying “I told Averoff we do not wish to become involved in situation, as we considered this a matter for parties to work out, and the US would urge all the parties to take a moderate approach”.
One day later, Vice-President Dr. Fazıl Küçük called American Ambassador to make a courtesy visit, saying that Turkish Cypriots during recent conversations had sincerely tried to find solution within Constitution, by agreeing to joint boards and at the same time maintaining separate municipal councils. On the other hand Makarios who just turned back from Ankara visit insisted that there could be no separate municipal councils, and had endeavored to place blame for breakdown of talks on Dr. Küçük by saying he had withdrawn his consent. Actually Dr. Küçük had never given consent to the abolishment of separate councils.
On February 7, 1963, American Ambassador in Nicosia telegrammed his capital city that Turkish Cypriot community was very surprised and dismayed by press reports announcing that Government of Cyprus might withhold 400.000 pounds annual grant to Turkish Cypriot communal chamber unless municipalities issue was resolved. So Dr. Küçük would not meet with Makarios as threat of this kind would make it politically impossible to justify to Turkish Cypriots further discussion with Makarios, and Turkish community was at loss to understand why Makarios was creating this new roadblock. On the other hand, Rauf R. Denktaş would meet and discuss with Glafgos Clerides even if Dr. Küçük did not wish to do so. Even if the USA tried to be out of the dispute and the issues in Cyprus, the Greek party had a great insistence to force them for an intervention in the issue. On the other hand the US ambassador in Nicosia thought that such an intervention would offer no new prospects for the agreement but cause some delays in resolution of the problem.
Turkey in this point declares to the USA that infringement or the deviation from constitution was once allowed it would open door to proposals and pressure for further changes, and the fundamental concern was that breakdown the governmental system in Cyprus would lead to Enosis “which was the cause of the long-standing political Cyprus issue and the dangerous Greek fanaticism derived from the Megali Idea, aimed at achieving the final aim; Enosis” with Greece. A few days later, the US ambassador in Nicosia stated that the municipalities issue in Cyprus reached a point that they should supplement their current policy of counseling moderation but with more positive action, notifying that “any direct US approach to the factions in Cyprus would be counterproductive and would saddle us with problem for indefinite future”.
Despite all the developments and the negotiations in Cyprus, the US government believed that it was not the time for them to push Turks on Cyprus issue. Similarly Turkish Foreign Minister Erkin’s attempt to make a meeting with Averoff in Istanbul or Alexandropolis in context of “gentleman’s agreement” was refused by Averoff declaring that he knew of no such agreement and never replied to Erkin’s proposal. On the other hand, the ambassador’s concern in Turkey was worth paying attention, asking “Was Makarios deliberately trying to drive the problem to point of desperation which could lead to use offorce? It seemed fantastic but what are Turks to think?”
Meanwhile Makarios’ speech on March 31 commemorating the 1954 uprising against British colonial rule and suggesting his commitment to eventual Enosis caused Turkish reactions in Ankara, and the US ambassador in Ankara mentioned about a possible Turkish intervention in Cyprus. Moreover the US government too agreed that Makarios’ statements were unhelpful in both content and timing. According to the US ambassador in Nicosia, “Makarios’ long-term objective is not union with Greece but rather elimination or neutralization of the provisions in London and Zurich agreements and constitution which in effect circumscribe sovereignty of republic”.
Just one day later, a letter written by the American ambassador to Greece to Secretary of State was received with disturbing information to inform the organization of a possible coup d’état against the Greek government, and the decision of a coup d’état has already been taken, and it is no longer a question of whether, but when. Thus the US involves in a sophisticated problem in Athens too apart from the one in Cyprus. 5 days later, on the other hand, American ambassador in Greece wrote a report to the USA declaring that “Greece is prepared to continue to help Cyprus to reach reasonable solution, as in the past, but if Makarios should seek to force revision of constitution, Greece and Cyprus must then go separate ways. Greece has always honored its signature and will continue to do so…”
According to Mr. Fazıl Küçük on the other hand, the present problem about the municipality started out as of minor importance and “has been blown up to unreasonable proportions”. In contrast to Küçük’s evaluations upon the issue, Makarios himself had also pessimism over the possibility of a compromise solution to the municipalities issue as he desired, frightening and surprising the US that Makarios’ attempts were regarded as dangerously erroneous to cause difficult judgments and choices on the US and the UK as well as Greece and Turkey.
Meanwhile any outer interference by the guarantor states in internal affairs of Cyprus was thoroughly unacceptable for the US, and they declared it very frankly. June-July 1963 period was full of complicated and sophisticated happenings not only in Greece but also in Cyprus and Makarios was torn between the choices which he was unable to spot the right and the correct one, applying “the restatements of extreme Greek Cypriot revisionist demands” Makarios on the other hand continued to provoke the Turkish Cypriots, forgetting and ignoring their political and sovereign equality as well as the US, the UK, and Turkey, making a speech on the withdrawal of the Treaty of Guarantee.
It was a clear and frank indication that Makarios tried to make mostly use of all the advantages he has had as Archbishop and as the President, but the society around was sick and tired of his threats and challenging explanations deriving Cyprus into a bloody hell in the following days. The US, apart from Makarios’ clandestine and open activities, dealt with the problems in Greece as well, regarding the feasible and proper level of the Greek defense effort due to the probable availability of Greek resources and NATO assistance and of the competing needs of the growing Greek economy. Greek Prime Minister Pipinelis on the other hand tried to solve some seen and unseen problems with Turkey and recently he sent a proposal to Turkey for a joint consortium about the fishing right in the Aegean Sea, territorial waters,, and the continental shelf there, wishing “This would leave plenty of time for Greece and Turkey to work out their mutual problems”.
Having turned back from the USA trip, Makarios seemed to be relaxed and confident in himself saying that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey would sooner or later see merit in his suggestions for the amendments, suppressing quickly and forcefully any opposition and the objections by the Turkish Cypriots, and would accept them even if he might be, as stated by himself, forced to take unilateral action. Years later, what Archbishop Makarios’ attempts deriving Cyprus into a bloody spot was named not history but “hysteria”. For the US party, Makarios was on the wrong track in dealing with the problem, and with sincere and respectful effort, it would be better and wiser to make some arrangements and negotiations behind the scenes with Turkish Cypriots.
Out of Cyprus issue, the USA also has dealt with the happenings in Greece as well and in addition to the coup d’état action, Greek military expenditures and Greek pressure to reimburse it have annoyed Washington DC a lot. On June 3, 1963, the US President for example warned in a little bit rude way that they didn’t want to push Greek military expenditures to the point where it took away from economic development, and “the threat was always there (in the Balkans, in particular in Greece) but no anticipation about any major attack on Greece or generally. That means the USA was actually fed up with Greek bluffs and the tricky diplomacy to supply financial and military aid from themselves, and demanded that Greece concentrate on the internal growth out of the military threats around if existing. Five days later Greece came into another chaotic atmosphere since Prime Minister Karamanlis resigned, following a disagreement with the Royal family.
Currently the US ambassador in Nicosia made a grand pressure upon Makarios notifying that economic progress which Cyprus was making didn’t parallel with the political progress, and Makarios defended himself that he was preoccupied with other questions and there had been no new political developments recently. Makarios also declared that Republic of Cyprus was not a free country and London and Zurich agreements didn’t give such a right to the guarantor countries to interfere with the island, and for him, if the other parties had such a right of intervention and had their military personnel situated on the island as Greece and Turkey did in 1960, Cyprus could never be described as an independent country. In this point Makarios seemed to forget or behaved as if he forgot the British sovereign bases in Cyprus, regarding them as different matters as they were the subject of separate bilateral agreements.
Once more he has had a great concern and politeness not to disturb and annoy British government here as a step life preserver. The efforts created by Makarios to change the constitutional structure and his way of talks resulted a British note of protest, with the aim of the minimum harm to British relations with the Cyprus government. Similarly Makarios’ way of talking and his manners completely disappointed the US ambassador in Nicosia, and the ambassador replied him that he had talked to a good many Turkish Cypriot leaders so that they could start once more the earlier talks and the negotiations unlike Makarios’ opinion that it would be fruitless and useless to have direct talks with Turkish Cypriots.
Despite the fact that the ambassador pressed Makarios very hard to continue the direct talks with Turkish Cypriots, Makarios frustrated everybody around considering different ways of solution such as reference to the UN and to guarantor states. Out of Cyprus, Greek government regarded itself as an interim government and the situation in Greece seemed to be very pessimistic due to the internal problems. Such a situation in Greece forced the USA to regard the Balkans once more and the question “Is there anything the USA could or should do about it?” came to the surface again.
On October 1, 1963, at the 18th session of the UN General Assembly, Cypriot Permanent representative Rossides in reply to Turkish Foreign Minister Erkin said that Makarios’ current behaviors and the actions didn’t mean that the constitutional guarantees of the Turkish Cypriots were in question. Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister also, in turn, demanded that the agreements be thoroughly and solemnly be implemented as signed by three guarantor states, recognizing the equal existence of the two communities on the island. According to Turkish minister, the municipalities question was not that of perpetual partition of the municipalities but just a question of good will and mutual confidence as expressed “the sooner the Greek Cypriot leaders are able to create the necessary degree of inter-communal confidence, the sooner the partition of municipalities can be ended, at which point no one could be happier than Turkey”.
While Turkey presenting such a branch of tree to Greece, Makarios who had never been affected and influenced by anybody except for Glafgos Clerides a little appeared again on the stage, and it was clear that no individual possessed any influence over Makarios striking a match over Cyprus and endangering all the communities there. The weather over Cyprus seemed to be very gloomy and the atmosphere was uncertain for all the parties involved, and Makarios once more wanted the US to participate in the issue by October 28, 1963 to present the recommendations on what measures might be taken so as to finish the dangerous issue. On the other hand, Turkey paid a great importance to US role in Cyprus in influencing the communities on the island and the guarantor states, meanwhile the US embassy in Turkey is at nerve, regarding “Turkish popularreaction to any change affecting Turkish minority in a volcanic way”.
To do so, the US government prepared a detailed plan to lessen communal tensions and to enhance the possibility for a settlement of Greek-Turkish differences through cooperation in Cyprus and its economic development. The first priority for the US seemed to urge the UK to call on Greece and Turkey to agree on a three-power approach to Makarios and Dr. Küçük with an assurance of US support, and the necessity of the leaders on the island to reaffirm support of the London-Zurich agreement and the Cyprus Constitution, some amendments subject to change in the agreements signed in 1959 if necessary.
The principal changes presented and demanded by Makarios are the unification of municipalities within definite time period, no separate majorities for tax measures, small army or none at all, civil service employment on more rational basis, elimination of Vice President’s veto powers, consolidation of judicial system, and elimination of communal chambers. Similarly Makarios also desired to abolish and cancel Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance signed by the involved states. On November 11, 1963, another gentle and logical statement came from Mr. Erkin to the British Foreign Affairs Minister that the Cyprus issue had escalated from a simple question of municipal to a broad attack on Constitution, not only because of Makarios but also by Clerides.
Similarly Dr. Küçük whose veto powers wanted to be eliminated by Makarios stated that he was ready to negotiate Greek Cypriot proposals for institutional change but he would reject any document presenting them as amendments to the constitution of Cyprus. On November 25-26, 1963, Queen Frederika of Greece, and Sophocles Venizelos; Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece were in Washington DC, the USA, and come together with the newly-appointed President Lyndon Baiden Johnson. Venizelos expressed the deep grief of the Greek people for the assassination of the late John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, and expressing that his party for 11 years had been in opposition before forming the present government. Venizelos also expressed that all the members of the new cabinet in Athens were pro-West and great friends of the USA. On the other hand, the only external question on which the newly-elected government would differ with the previous Caramanlis government was Cyprus.
According to Venizelos, as Makarios also requested and demanded, so as to live on the island, it would be essential to make some changes in the constitution. Venizelos was very glad that the British government understood well what they wanted on the island. Venizelos also called on Prime Minister Ismet Inonu and Foreign Affairs Minister to meet at the following NATO submit in addition to the guarantor states’ meeting to be held in Paris to negotiate Cyprus issue. For Venizelos as he expressed to the American officials, “the great concern would be to eliminate from the Cyprus Constitution those parts that caused great friction between the communities in Cyprus, and thus between Greece and Turkey”.
What he also added on Cyprus “This had nothing to do with any step towards Enosis.” also showed that Venizelos knew almost nothing about Turkish Cypriots and about their demands. According to Venizelos, the only purpose here was to eliminate the dangerous frictions and the controversies, and contrary to the stories of desire to prepare the island for the union with Greece, the offers and the proposals were all intended to make the island more livable for the people there. It was also announced there by Venizelos that his government would be very glad and content to see not Cyprus as a part of Greece but a second Greece in Cyprus.
Thus, it is frankly realized that Greek government has no objection and hesitation on Makarios’ activities on the island, and that they support Makarios blind-folded. On the other hand, the US part seemed to behave very careful and neutral on the topic declaring that the US had no specific formula to suggest for Cyprus and their great interest was in good relations between Turkey and Greece in a stable position in Cyprus. Meanwhile a memorandum prepared by Makarios was delivered to the involved parties including the US embassy in Nicosia, named “Suggested Measures for Facilitating the Smooth Functioning of the State and for the Removal of Certain Causes of Intercommunal Friction.” Dr. Küçük had almost no suitable and enough time to read the memorandum but his first reaction was “very bad” as expressed by Spiros Kyprianou.
Interestingly, the US embassy in Nicosia stated that Dr. Küçük accompanied by Cemal Müftüzade all the time would need one more week to read and to study the memorandum, discussing it with no Turkish Cypriots. Due to the delicacy of the issue, the US wanted to keep in touch with the Greek government, but restraining to take any initiative on the island. For the Greek delegation, the British party viewed the issue with sympathy and understanding, and the USA government was also expected to do so. For Venizelos, Makarios was ready to make concessions beyond the Cyprus Constitution, and the vice-president (Dr. Fazıl Küçük) rather than the Greek Speaker of the House should act in his stead when the President was absent from the country.
Greek ignorance upon Turkish existence, and constitutional rights on the island was responded by the US party that anything would be accomplished by negotiation and agreement. A few days later it was clear that Turkish government would declare Turkish decision rejecting the plan completely, and regarding the Cyprus question stiffening. Turkish position was supposed to be very disappointing for the US since Foreign Affairs Minister Feridun Cemal Erkin’s former thought was “to study carefully and reply specifically”, and the USA had seemed such a behavior wisest. The atmosphere in Cyprus was very dangerous and risky and the negotiating parties have started observing the danger coming closer, and the US gathered an urgent meeting in Washington DC, inviting Turkish Ambassador Turgut Menemencioğlu, and Counselor of Turkish Embassy İlter Türkmen.
Menemencioğlu there made a talk and mentioned on the current situation in Cyprus “by tracing recent events revolving around the amendments made by Makarios, which were regarded “negative, unworkable and unjust” by the Greek Cypriots, and he tied this to the Cyprus crisis of the 1950’s which he explained in terms of Greek and Turkish public opinion developing extreme opinions and dragging their respective government into similar positions”, showing that Turkey wanted to avoid a repetition of this now again upon the heart of life-and-death issues involving Turkish Cypriots.
Makarios was mistaken and he failed to understand that any Turkish government would have clearly the same reaction and the objection as the Inonu government did. Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Cemal Erkin, on the other hand, made an additional explanation in Paris on December 15, 1963 that Makarios’ proposals to amend Cyprus Constitution were highly unsatisfactory. Erkin also warned that if Makarios did not continue to respect Constitution, Turkey might find it necessary to request guarantor powers to interfere with Cyprus, either individually or collectively. Unlike Venizelos’ opinions, Erkin announced that Makarios’ proposals were designed to destroy Constitution and to make chaotic atmosphere in Cyprus. Even if the US government seemed and tried to be neutral on Cyprus issue, Erin demanded that the USA make strong representation in Cyprus emphasizing to Makarios that his proposals endangered peace on the island.
The response once more to Erkin’s demand from the US party was that the US took position that guarantor states were the ones which could best resolve the Cyprus issue, declaring that “the US had already enough problems on its agenda without taking on the Cyprus dispute”. The NATO Ministerial Meeting held in London on December 18-19 tuned to be a good chance and opportunity for the ministers involved to negotiate the issue in detail. On the other hand, the proposals made there to solve the issue “once and for all” seemed to be illogical and unacceptable for the Turkish party;
“To solve Cyprus problem once and for all, one of two possible alternatives indicated; 1) union with Greece or 2) independence within British Commonwealth cutting alliance with Greece and Turkey. Greek and Turkish alliances were merely sources of friction. Troops maintained in Cyprus cannot defend the country and can only turn possible internal conflicts into broader ones. Greek and Turkish forces should leave and UK (should) remain.”
As seen and expressed clearly, British Foreign Ministry thought that only problem here was Turkish government, Greeks would agree, and the UK was favorable. Doing so, the British authorities also seemed to force not only Turkish government but also Turkish Cypriots, declaring that Turkish Cypriots’ refusal of the amendments and the negotiations would cause dangerous situations as in “speak softly and carry a big stick”.
Bloody Christmas Butchery And Cyprus On December 1963 21st December 1963 is known and remembered throughout Cyprus history, in particular, for the Turkish Cypriots as the Bloody Christmas or the Black Christmas.
It is Bloody and Black Christmas because the EOKA gunmen have attacked on a small Nicosia district where the İlhan Family has lived up to 21st December 1963. Dr. Major (then Brigadier General in Turkish Army) was assigned a mission in Turkish Peace Forces Command established in 1960, and started serving there as a medical military personnel. As soon as th eGreek Cypriot attacks broke out in Nicosia, he also directly went to the HQ until December 28, 1963. When he turned back to Nicosia again, what he found and witnessed there was a tragedy and humanitarian shame caused by the Greek Cypriots.
Not only Major Nihat İlhan’s wife Mürüvet, his 3 children Hakan, Kutsi and Murat but also the wife of the landlord Hasan Yusuf Gudum; Feride were shot to death wildly and Hasan Yusuf Gudum, his nephew Ayşe, Növber and her 2 year-old daughter Işın were seriously wounded as expressed by Le Figaro on January 25, 1964 as expressed in the journal below;
“I have seen in a bathtub the bodies of a mother and of her three young children murdered just because their father was a Turkish officer.” The photograph showing the mother and three innocent sons killed in the bath turned to be the symbol of the Greek Cypriot brutality then.
According to the report announced by Secretary General of the UN dated September 10, 1964, 109 evacuated Turkish villages were damaged with 507 Turkish houses, more than 2000 houses were seriously demolished, some 25.000 Turkish Cypriots were turned to be refugees in addition to the loss of agricultural, economic, social, educational aspects.
Then one day later, British High Commissioner had separate talks with Makarios and Dr. Küçük upon the recent happenings especially in Nicosia, and the Department of State informed British Embassy there about the desire for a joint representation of Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders around a circle table “with the aim of restraining both the police and Turkish rioters in the aftermath of violent clashes” between the communities resulting five deaths at once. According to Dr. Küçük who was very pessimistic after such atrocity in Nicosia, describing the events as a new step for the Greek Cypriots to change the constitution and the treaties explained that Greek Cypriot police for a while had been harassing Turkish Cypriots at night and Policarpos Yeorgadjis in charge of the İnterior Ministry had been irresolute and biased in his reporting to Archbishop Makarios, and in handling the events.
Dr. Küçük also suggested that a quick commission of inquiry be planned, and a joint visit to the scene of altercation be realized at once. Moderation and restraint were Dr. Küçük’s key points but he didn’t know how long he could control his own community in face of such continual Greek Cypriot provocation. Yeorgadjis was also demanded that the Greek Cypriot police force be kept out of Turkish vicinity, and out of provocative manners against the Turkish community. By the way Makarios also accepted Dr. Küçük’s offer to set a joint commission of inquiry, hoping that the measures taken in Cyprus would be helpful in bringing down tension and restoring peace, and adding that he would not move forward as quickly with his plans for the constitutional changes.
Meanwhile Greek government unfortunately gives a great amount of assistance and support to the Greek Cypriot “genocidal activities” and deploying clandestinely more than 20.000 soldiers and the ammunitions to the island. Thus the events finally shown that Greek Cypriots under the command of Policarpos Yeorgadjis established a para-military organization starting from 1960, and in addition to the efforts to change the constitution they sparked off December crisis and collapsed the republic in this way.
On December 23, 1963, the US ambassador in Ankara was asked to visit Turkish Foreign Minister Erkin, and Erkin told him that he had made very fruitful negotiations with Venizelos in Paris on December 20 just one day before the Greek Cypriot attacks against Turkish Cypriots, and they had come to an agreement that mutual effort should be made to solve the problems about the constitutional changes in Cyprus. Nevertheless as soon as he turned back to Ankara, he learned of serious disorders and the Greek Cypriot attacks killing some innocent people in Nicosia. Then Prime Minister in Ankara demanded that the attacks on Turkish Cypriots cease at once and Makarios be held responsible for the violence caused by the ex-EOKA militias.
It is once more worth underlining here that the US didn’t believe the hostilities occurred in Cyprus were not planned by either side, declaring “…that leadership of both communities making genuine effort to halt fighting, and that armed underground organizations in both communities are out of control. Extremists on both sides accuse leadership of other side of plotting attacks”.
Meanwhile Turkish ambassador in Washington DC described the worsening situation in Cyprus, emphasizing alleged merger of police units with EOKA and attacks on Turkish Cypriot women and children. Then Turkish ambassador warned the US authorities in Washington DC that Turkish armed forces would act with or without civilian government in Cyprus. That meant Turkish military existence in Cyprus which was located after the foundation of Republic of Cyprus with 650 military personnel or Turkish army from Turkey would push the button to make an operation on the island.
Successively Turkish NATO representative on December 25, 1963 made a long speech paying attention to especially two important points of Turkish community in danger of massacre by Greek Cypriots and of the intention of Turkish government to act unilaterally by deploying Turkish army to Cyprus if tripartite action by guarantor states proved unable to control the situation there.
Surprisingly once more the UK called Turkish and Greek ambassadors in London and proposed them a joint military intervention in Cyprus immediately and the military intervention would be under the control of British command, and at first would be very limited and confined to military units. That offered seemed to be baloney and not accepted by the involved parties at all. Makarios’ and his government’s request for a UN Security Council meeting about the future of the island caused serious reactions in Ankara and Turkish government declared that Makarios’ first and real purpose was to make life so unbearable on the island for Turks that they would be forced to leave Cyprus so as to make Cyprus a Greek island for Greece. On the other hand the US embassy thought that Turkish Cypriots would accept and settle for autonomy with more effective guarantees such as larger Turkish military contingent in Cyprus.
Because all the Greek efforts to make the island a Greek one starting from mainly 1950s came to an end with failure in the United Nations Security Council, and the result of the plebicite was also invalid to accept the island as a Greek one, Greece had only one solution for themselves, that is the armed struggle against Turkish Cypriots. Then what we came face to face on the island was the EOKA terrorist organizaton turning the island into a bloody lake.
Thus 1955-1960 period was full of a good many atrocities, imprisonment of the Turkish Cypriots, embargo and the restriction adopted upon Turkish Cypriots, immigration and runaway from the risky villages to the relatively secure parts of the island, loss of innocent lives, tears, and the innocent blood. Under the guarantee of the United Kingdom, Turkey and Greece, the bloody spot position of the island got wanted to be changed and on August 16, 1960, the Republic of Cyprus was declared to the international public but unfortunately even if the Republic of Cyprus was established under the signature of three guarantor states, ıt did not unfortunately work, and the republic came to a tragic end with
the Bloody Christmas.
The events leading to the overthrow of the constitutional structure of the republic, Makarios’ attempts to demolish the governmental system disregarding and ignoring the equal rights and the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the island caused nothing but the turmoil, chaos, and finally Bloody Christmas. Megali Idea obsession coming with Enosis target never lessened the tension in Cyprus, but high-rocketed the communal dispute, fighting and the tyranny there. Doing so, the republic lived only 3 years and 4 months. Not only the President himself but also even the Minister of Interior Affairs Policarpos Yorgacis had a great intention to butcher the innocent Turkish Cypriots on the island, and naturally such a republic having such bloody-handed persons in charge could last no longer, and it didn’t. Makarios himself was very confident that the newly-established government and the administration on the island were just a forward step and a stepping stone to serve the aim of eventual Enosis.
Even after the very signature day of the London Treaty, Makarios had told the ones who came to welcome him that his Enosis struggle on the island would continue. Such an archbishop and the president was surely unable to follow the constitutional rights for all the communities living on the island, and he did what he planned with his associates such as Yerogadjis, Papadopoulos, and the others, assassinating the governmental structure of the republic and caused the republic to demolish on November 21, 1963.
Bloody Christmas of 1963 Cyprus