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Cyprus Conspiracy

Reader comment on item: The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion
in response to reader comment: Conspiracy theorists, O'Malley and Craig, vindicated ?

Submitted by Tony Papard (formerly Papadopoulos) (United Kingdom), Nov 29, 2016 at 15:51

I believe the events of July 1974 were a NATO plot to rid the island of Makarios, who was thought, according to my rightwing father, of being a 'Communist' or at least, as head of the non-aligned movement, too close to the Soviets. The fear being he might allow Soviet military ships to dock in Cypriot ports, giving them free access to the Mediterranean. That some sort of NATO plot was behind the fascist Sampson coup which Makarios described as 'Greece has invaded my country', as the junta in Athens wished to annex Cyprus under the long-cherished slogan of 'Enosis' (union with Greece). Britain, a guarantor of Cypriot independence, had thousands of troops permanently stationed on the island, and still does, in two occupied areas where British law rules even for Cypriots. Known as the 'Sovereign Bases', my father even said nuclear weapons are stored in one of these bases. In addition to being suspicious of Makarios, who incidentally very conveniently died just three years later in 1977, Britain always favoured a three-way division of Cyprus, the current situation with Greek-Cypriot, Turkish-Cypriot entities and two British occupied areas. The Turkish-Cypriots, against the advice of the TRNC government, voted for the Koni Annan plan to reunite the island, but the Greek-Cypriots rejected this yet were admitted into the EU.

Two things went wrong with the original plan -

1. Makarios escaped with his life, even though his palace was bombed by the Greeks during the coup. 2. Turkey, when it intervened after failing to get Britain to act to restore Cypriot independence, created a save haven for the Turkish-Cypriots in the North, as they were in grave danger of ethnic cleansing and genocide. However it also took Famagusta, which was probably NOT part of the original NATO plot. Famagusta, in particular the Verosha area, has been kept as a bargaining chip in any eventual solution of the Cyprus problem. Meanwhile things have eased in that two-way travel across the Green Line between the two Cypriot republics is now quite easy for both tourists and Cypriots themselves. However the Turkish-Cypriot entity is still only recognized by Turkey. A federal solution seems to be the only way of resolving the problem, but the Greek-Cypriots are reluctant to agree to this, though all my sympathies have always been with the Turkish-Cypriots.

I was born and raised in UK by my English mother and grandparents. My estranged Greek-Cypriot father was absent thruout my childhood, and my parents separated when I was 6. I never learnt Greek and first visited the island after partition in 1977 at the age of 32. I have visited both Cypriot republics quite extensively.

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