In 1967, the military junta imposed themselves in Greece after a military coup and used their minions in Cyprus to revolt a reaction against President Makarios. In the years to follow, tension in Cyprus was climaxed. The illegal organization EOKA B’ was founded, which performed terrorist attacks such as blasting of police stations and attempts of murder against President Makarios. On the 15th of July 1974, divisions of the National Guard committed a military coup which was guided by the junta in Athens. The members of EOKA B’ assisted so that the coup would prevail. Consequently, the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus was overthrown and an illegal status was established. The military coup was used as an excuse so that the Turkish invasion would take place.
2) Turkish Invasion :
When the invasion began in the morning of the 20th of July, the National Guard weakened by the coup, did not manage to defend effectively. At first, the invading forces took over a small area in the Kyrenia district which was expanded during the truce. The discussions that began in Geneva reached a dead end and the Turks undertook new war action on the 14th of August, this time occupying 37,6 % of the island of Cyprus. The Greek-Cypriot residents of these areas sought shelter in the free areas of the island. They were now refugees inside their own country. Many Greek-Cypriots fell into the hands of the invaders and where either brutally abused or killed.
3) Consequences :
The dead and missing persons consist one of the aspects of the Cypriot drama. Another tragic aftermath of the invasion is the destruction of our cultural heritage and the alteration of the demographic character of the island. Churches, monasteries and archaeological treasures were pillaged and the tradition of centuries was destroyed. Thousands of illegal Turkish settlers moved into the occupied areas and expropriated the properties of the Greek-Cypriots. The biggest part of the island’s energy resources, the airport and the main exportation harbour – Ammochostos – fell into the hands of the invaders.
Nowadays, only a limited number of Greek-Cypriots, who were given permission to remain in Karpasia, live in the occupied part of Cyprus. However, these entrapped people live under unbearable pressure in inhuman living conditions. Secondary Education schools which used to function there until 1976 were shut down by the invaders. The few entrapped children have the ability to attend classes at the only Primary school left in Karpasia.
The Turks established an illegal Turkish-Cypriot state in the occupied areas which is recognised only by Turkey. Moreover, they maintain a great number of occupying troops on the island. Despite Turkey’s efforts to achieve recognition of the pseudo-state, the international community continues to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, which struggles from every international step to find a fair and viable solution for the Cyprus problem.