Sunday, 6 April 2008

Attila 74: the rape of Cyprus



Above is Michalis Cacoyiannis’ documentary film Attila 74: the rape of Cyprus made in the immediate aftermath of the Greek junta/EOKA B coup against President Makarios and the barbaric Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Cacoyiannis’ film concentrates on the conspiracy to bring down the Republic of Cyprus and the effects of the invasion, the tragedy of the refugees and the missing persons. The film is in English and Greek, with subtitles as appropriate.

Attila, for those who don’t know, was the codename (appropriately) given to the operation to invade Cyprus by the Turkish armed forces.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for posting the link to Attila 74 - I didn't know the film existed.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ

john akritas said...

Anonymous

I'm glad you found the film interesting, which, in my opinion, is Cacoyiannis' best work; it gets right the politics and the human tragedy. Makarios comes across as a great figure.

Hermes said...

JA, what is your position on Makarios? He seems to me to have been more far sighted than most participants but I might be assuming too much that he had a far sighted plan which is easy to do in hindsight.

john akritas said...

1. Makarios is from the same group of Paphos mountain villages my father's from, so I'm predisposed to feel affection and affinity for the man.
2. Besides the sentimentality, for me, Makarios is a great hero, a great tragic hero – who fought this unwinnable battle, against America, the UK, Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots, the junta, EOKA B, who all wanted to partition Cyprus and thought that their only obstacle to their nefarious plan was Makarios and who, therefore, they made it their object to kill.
3. Makarios' vision was enosis – but enosis of the whole island, not double enosis, half to Greece, half to Turkey, as the Americans, the junta and EOKA B wanted – but he knew enosis could not be achieved in the prevailing conditions, so Cyprus' only option was to strengthen independence and wait.

This was the right strategy and one that had worked successfully in Crete. It was also a strategy that had by the end of the 1960s all but seen off the Turkish Cypriots; they were leaving the island and those that stayed were in despair about Turkey ever invading to partition the island – Turkey had threatened to invade in 1963 and 1967 after intercommunal clashes but pulled back at the last moment – and were preparing to accept a much less prominent and obstructive role than envisaged in the 1960 constitution. But then the junta, Grivas, EOKA B and their American sponsors – as the film shows – decided Makarios wasn't nationalist or anti-communist enough and needed to be overthrown, with the well-known disastrous consequences. If these morons hadn't intervened, then not only would Cyprus have avoided the invasion and occupation, but it would also have achieved enosis by now.

Hermes said...

I like your predisposition to one from your ancestral lands. Although, a scoundrel is a scoundrel, they are slightly less of a scoundrel if they come from my island, and therefore warrant greater sympathy. Note, not insinuating Makarios is a scoundrel.

I agree with you about Makarios. Unfortunately, EOKA B, suffer what many Diasporan Greeks suffer today, the internalisation of their host countries fears and aspirations to the detriment of their homeland.

economous@xtra.co.nz said...

well ,, this was sent to me via my sister.I left as a result of this in 74 and ended in New Zealand A DAY has not gone by without me thinking what could have been what I would have been where would I be now...a million and 2 questions to be answered and stil the twangs and the pangs of life carry us on. Only the dead see the end of war.

john akritas said...

I ask myself the same questions. I'm sure many Cypriots do.

Chris Melanidis said...

Very intersting film that was unknown to me. Although not from Cyprus my family immigrated to Canada from Greece in 1969 mostly because of the situation in Greece with the Junta. Not to minimize the Turkish actions in Cyprus but it is tragic that other Greeks (Junta and military)contributed to this human tragedy.

John Akritas said...

Chris:
It is a good film and you are right, one of the worst aspects of the Cyprus tragedy is how successive Greek governments contributed to it. I say 'successive' because I wouldn't want to pin all the blame on Ioannides and his junta. For a start, it should be remembered that the second Turkish invasion of the island took place on 14 August, 1974, when Konstantinos Karamanlis was PM and we have to judge his actions too in the events. Having said that, nothing should really diminish from Ioannides' responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I have still family in Rizogarpaso and my house is in Famagusta`s ghost town .Nothing after 36 years has happen ,what more can i say.I hope some polititions can view this film and understand the pain for 40% of Cypriots.

Anonymous said...

Congratulation Mr Michalis Cacoyiannis this is the most informative documentary of the tragic events in my beloved Cyprus …thank you for posting it on the internet for us to see..

Anonymous said...

I read these with a heavy heart, I was born in Akrotiri. I left aged 8 in 1974 not understanding why. Sadly, I can only go back to part of my island while it is occupied by Turkey. The film makes me think back, even though I was young, to a free Cyprus.