MASSACRES OF TURKISH CYPRIOT CIVILIANS
The civilian massacres of 1963, 1964, 1967 and 1974 are of extreme importance to understand the Turkish Cypriot negotiating position to this day.
"When the Turkish Cypriots objected to the amendment of the constitution Makarios put his plan into effect, and the Greek Cypriot attack began in December 1963
" said Lt.Gen. George Karayiannis of the Greek Cypriot militia in June 1965 ("Ethnikos Kiryx" 15.6.65). The General was of course referring to the notorious "Akritas" plan, which was the blueprint for the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots and the annexation of the island to Greece.
On 28th December 1963 the Daily Express carried the following report from Cyprus: "We went tonight into the sealed-off Turkish Cypriot Quarter of Nicosia in which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days
. We were the first Western reporters there and we have seen sights too frightful to be described in print. Horror so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears."
On 12th January 1964 the British High Commission in Nicosia wrote to London (telegram no. 162) "The Greek (Cypriot) police are led by extremists who provoked the fighting and deliberately engaged in atrocities. They have recruited into their ranks as "special constables" gun-happy young thugs. They threaten to try and punish any Turkish Cypriot police who wish to return to Cyprus Government... Makarios assured Sir Arthur Clark that there will be no attack. His assurance is as worthless as previous assurances have proved."
On 14th January 1964 the Daily Telegraph reported that the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Ayios Vassilious had been massacred on 26th December 1963, and reported their exhumation from a mass grave in the presence of the Red Cross. A further massacre of Turkish-Cypriots, at Limassol, was reported by The Observer on 16th February 1964, and there were many more. On 17th February 1964 the Washington Post reported that Greek Cypriot fanatics appear bent on a policy of genocide.
On 1st January 1964 the Daily Herald reported: "When I came across the Turkish Cypriot homes they were an appalling sight. Apart from the walls they just did not exist. I doubt if a napalm attack could have created more devastation. Under roofs which had caved in I found a twisted mass of bed springs, children's cots, and grey ashes of what had once been tables, chairs and wardrobes. In the neighbouring village of Ayios Vassilios I counted 16 wrecked and burned out homes. They were all Turkish Cypriot. In neither village did I find a scrap of damage to any Greek Cypriot house."
On 31st December 1963 "The Guardian" reported: "It is nonsense to claim, as the Greek Cypriots do, that all casualties were caused by fighting between armed men of both sides. On Christmas Eve many Turkish Cypriot people were brutally attacked and murdered in their suburban homes, including the wife and children of a doctor -allegedly by a group of forty men, many in army boots and greatcoats."
Although the Turkish Cypriots fought back as best they could, and killed some militia, there were no massacres of Greek Cypriot civilians.
On 10th September 1964 the Secretary-General reported (UN doc.S/5950): "UNFICYP carried out a detailed survey of all damage to properties throughout the island during the disturbances,.......it shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish-Cypriot or mixed villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2.000 others have suffered damage from looting. In Ktima 38 houses and shops have been destroyed totally and 122 partially. In the Orphomita suburb of Nicosia, 50 houses have been totally destroyed while a further 240 have been partially destroyed there and in adjacent suburbs."
British troops in Cyprus at the time did what they could to protect the Turkish Cypriots, and their efforts are remembered to this day, but the scale and ferocity of the Greek Cypriot attacks made their task impossible. On 6th February 1964 a British patrol found armed Greek Cypriot police attacking the Turkish Cypriot of Ayios Sozomenos. They were unable to stop the attack.
On 13th February 1964 the Greeks and Greek Cypriots attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Limassol with tanks, killing 16 and injuring 35
. On 15th February 1964 "The Daily Telegraph" reported: "It is a real military operation which the Greek Cypriots launched against the six thousand inhabitants of the Turkish Cypriot Quarter yesterday morning. A spokesman for the Greek Cypriot Government has recognised this officially. It is hard to conceive how Greek and Turkish Cypriots may seriously contemplate working together after all that has happened."
Professor Ernst Forsthoff, the neutral President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus told Die Welt on 27th December 1963 that "Makarios bears on his shoulders the sole responsibility of the recent tragic events. His aim is to deprive the Turkish community of their rights." I
n an interview with UPI press agency on 30th December 1963 he said: "All this happened because Makarios wanted to remove all constitutional rights from the Turkish Cypriots."