Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Acheson plan for the partition of Cyprus

The Acheson plan devised by the Americans (and the British) for the partition of Cyprus was presented in the first half of 1964 following the intercommunal fighting that had broken out on the island in December 1963. It proposed union of Cyprus with Greece, on the conditions, inter alia, that Karpasia (and Kastellorizo) would be ceded to Turkey; that semi-independent Turkish zones would be established throughout the island; and foreign commissioners would be appointed to safeguard the pervasive rights to be granted the Turkish Cypriots in the Greek part of the island.

The plan not only strictly curtailed Greek sovereignty over the island – by handing over a large part to Turkey; by granting Turkish Cypriots administrative rights that amounted to the creation of micro states within a state: and by allowing Britain to retain the three percent of the island that it held as sovereign territory – but was also so cumbersome and dysfunctional that it was hard to imagine how it would have survived any serious strain, with the result being conflict and a much cleaner form of partition – as imposed by Turkey in 1974.

The Acheson plan was rejected by Cyprus and Greece, while Turkey, though not expressing outright rejection, did not endorse it either. A second, even more perfunctory, plan was subsequently presented by Acheson, but this was not seriously pushed by the Americans, particularly as Turkey let it be known early on that it found Acheson 2 unacceptable. The details of both plans are presented below. Both have a back-of-the-envelope feel about them. What is significant about them is not necessarily the intricacies of what they propose; but that the US had decided by 1964 that the optimum solution for Cyprus was some form of partition and that this is what it would work towards from now on.

Acheson Plan 1
In return for Turkish agreement to the union of Cyprus with Greece, Greece would make certain concessions to Turkey along the lines suggested below:

1. To give Turkey assurance that its security would not be threatened from Cyprus or from the direction of Cyprus, Greece would cede to Turkey a portion of the island in perpetuity, that is in full sovereignty.

A. This area would be used by Turkey as a military base with full rights to deploy ground, air and naval forces therein. The military purpose of this base would be to deny the island to hostile forces as a base of operations against Turkey and to keep open the approaches to the ports of Mersin and Iskenderun.

B. The area should be fairly substantial in size, large enough both to permit the building of facilities and the conduct of training manoeuvres and operations.

C. It seemed that a logical location for the base area might be the Karpas Peninsula because it was detached from the main body of the island and was ideally situated to cover the approaches to the Turkish ports. Different boundary lines for a base on the peninsula were discussed at different times; one, which appeared to be the minimum acceptable to the Turkish government, ran from Peristeria on the north coast to a point just south-west of Boghaz on the southeast coast. (The Turks agreed that the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas, near the tip of the peninsula, could be excluded from the base area).

2. Special arrangements should be made for the protection and welfare of those Turkish Cypriots who would not be included within the area of the Turkish sovereign base. (This, of course, means the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriot population). These were outlined as follows:

A. There might be one, two or three relatively small areas of the island in which Turkish Cypriots would be in the majority or very nearly so and which could be treated as separate geographical units for administrative purposes within the general governmental structure of the whole island. The Turkish quarter of Nicosia and the area stretching north of it to the Kyrenia Range was a de facto example of such an area. These administrative sub-divisions could have a special local administration of their own, directed and implemented on the ground by Turkish Cypriots. The function of these local administrations… might include such things as the collection of taxes, the expenditure of local revenues for local purposes (schools, mosques, local water supply and local roads), the direction of local police forces and the general administration of justice insofar as it applied to Turkish Cypriots, and possible other attributes of municipal and provincial governments elsewhere…

B. In all the rest of the island, where Turkish Cypriots would necessarily continue to be a relatively small minority of the population, a different arrangement could be made. There might be a central Turkish Cypriot administration established in Nicosia, which would control, for Turkish Cypriots only, many of the same activities and functions that would be undertaken by the local authorities in the separate small geographic units mentioned above. This could be done by demarcating the Turkish quarters of the major towns and identifying the scattered villages that are all-Turkish or have a clear Turkish majority. These would then be considered as under the authority of the central Turkish organisation in Nicosia, which would supervise the election or appointment of local leaders, the selection and administration of police and other normal municipal functions and could provide a system of lower courts for the handling of personal status cases, civil suits between Turks, criminal trials involving only Turks and similar matters of purely Turkish Cypriot concern…

C. The Turkish Cypriots would necessarily have to be citizens of whatever central authority was in control of the island. Subject to the privileges and responsibilities of this citizenship, they could have the local and personal rights and privileges indicated in the preceding two paragraphs. It goes without saying that they would be guaranteed all normal human and minority rights, of which those provided in the Treaty of Lausanne are good examples.

D. As a special safeguard in addition… there should be an international commissioner or commission, perhaps appointed by the UN or the International Court of Justice, who or which could be physically present on the island and charged with watching over the observations of the special status and rights of the Turkish Cypriots. Precedents for this exist in the cases of Danzig and the Soar during the period between the world wars, and the US government considers that this experiment worked well until the advent of Hitler to power in Germany upset all established arrangements. The commissioner or the commission would be empowered to hear complaints, investigate them and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities for correction of injustices. It is conceivable that he might be empowered to order correction and or compensation subject to appeal by the party opposed. If his recommendations or decisions were not accepted by one party or the other, there would be a right of appeal either to the International Court of Justice at the Hague or to some other judicial body which might be specially established under the authority of the UN. An alternative the parties might wish to consider would be for the commissioner and the court to be appointed by NATO, with the NATO members assuming responsibility for enforcement of their decisions.

E. The island of Kastellorizo to be ceded to Turkey.

Acheson Plan 2
1. The Turkish base area simply be leased to Turkey for an agreed period of years – 50 was suggested as reasonable – instead of being ceded as sovereign Turkish territory.

2. The boundary of the base area on the Karpas peninsula would be a line drawn north and south just west of the village of Komi Kebir (thus reducing the area considerably). Alternatively… the line could be drawn on the basis of military considerations after study by the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.

3. The special provisions and guarantees for the Turkish Cypriots would be modified from those in Acheson Plan 1 to eliminate the special areas containing a Turkish Cypriot majority which would have been treated under the first plan as moderate administrative units. Instead, it is suggested that at least two of the eparchies into which Cyprus might be divided under Greek rule would always be headed by Turkish Cypriot eparchs. These eparchies would always be those containing a substantial Turkish Cypriot population. In the eparchies containing such a substantial Turkish Cypriot population, the administrative staffs and police would always contain a substantial proportion of Turkish Cypriot officials and employees.

4. Instead of the central Turkish Cypriot administration in Nicosia which was proposed in Acheson Plan 1, there would be a high official in the central government of Cyprus, under the chief Greek administrator, who would be provided with a staff and would be charged with looking after the rights and welfare of all Turkish Cypriots. This official would advise and assist Turkish Cypriots, receive and investigate complaints about discriminatory treatment or failure to give guaranteed rights, and could appeal to the courts or central government of Greece in case of need.

5. The special guarantees or minority rights envisaged in the first plan, such as those provided by the Treaty of Lausanne and the European Convention on Human Rights, would be retained. Similarly, the proposed International Commissioner appointed by the UN would be part of the second plan as of the first.


Anonymous said...

J A -- Thanks for bringing back our history in an easy to digest manner.

I had no idea that the Acheson plan called for Greece giving up Kastelorizo! I'll remember that as I was planning on taking a short trip there late August.


John Akritas said...

Καλές διακοπές, Ap. On my next trip to Greece, I'm planning to go to Agathonisi and Pharmokonisi.

I should add, Ap. that I believe that bringing up the Acheson plan is not just of historical value – i.e. for the purpose of revealing some of the background and machinations that led to the junta seizing power in 1967, the coup against Makarios and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 – but it also points to a weak, capitulatory mentality in Greek foreign diplomacy, which is more than reluctant to confront Turkish expansionism and resist American/EU/NATO pressure to facilitate neo-Ottomanism, which continues today and, regarding Cyprus, resulted in the Annan plan.

The Acheson plan was, effectively, an earlier incarnation of the Annan plan. At least, Giorgios Papandreou (o pappous) rejected, however reluctantly, the Acheson plan; while his grandson supported the Annan plan, which, indeed, as foreign minister during the period of its negotiation, he was in no small measure responsible for.

Anonymous said...

Before condemning the Acheson plans, I think you need to take into account the basis on which the Republic of Cyprus was created in 1960 in order to put the plans in their proper context. First of all the Turkish Cypriots were given political equality as a community with the Greek Cypriots. This is why the vice President was to be Turkish Cypriot and have veto rights over anything that was proposed from the Greek Cypriot side. In 1960 Makarios agreed to this. Secondly he also agreed to the right of Turkey (and Britain and Greece) to intervene militarily anywhere on Cyprus. So he had already agreed to Turkish involvement and a Turkish interest in Cyprus. In 1963 he purported to take away those rights. Firstly he changed the constitution with his 13 amendments without the agreement of the Turkish Cypriots. On any legal view the amendments were not lawful but the Republic continued to be recognised by the UN as sovereign without Turkish Cypriot participation. Makarios then purportedly annulled the Treaty of Guarantee i.e. he presumed to take away Turkey's right to intervene in Cyprus. I am not suggesting that there was no issue as to the workability of the constitution. There was, but Makarios could have instituted the reforms incrementally over many years. But that obviously wasn't his style.

As to the Acheson plans themselves which George Papandreou initially agreed to (The US would never have published the plans without Mr Papandreou’s tacit agreement) , I would point out the following:

1. The areas under Greek sovereignty would have been ruled from Athens. So even if the Turkish Cypriot areas had some degree of autonomy, it is Athens that would have had the final say. The Turks agreed to that.

2. As confirmation that the Turks were happy to see the majority of the Turkish Cypriots under Greek rule, Turkey also agreed to losing her right to intervene in any part of Greek Cyprus including those areas under a local Turkish Cypriot administration. Those Turkish Cypriots that didn't like the arrangement were to be encouraged to move into the Turkish base area. In other words there would indeed have been a real enosis of 95% of Cyprus with Greece.

3. Unlike under the Treaty of Lausanne in regard to certain Greek islands off the Turkish coast, there was no provision in the Acheson plans that Cyprus outside the Turkish (and British) base areas was to remain demilitarised. In other words Greece could have turned its part of Cyprus into a fortress irrespective of any objections from the Turkish Cypriots.

4. It is understandable that the communists would be against both Acheson plans. They were taking their orders from Moscow. However it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Makarios, despite considerable support for the plans on the island, was against it because, whereas all Greek Cypriot politicians would have had places in the Athens parliament, and some Turkish Cypriots also, Makarios would have lost his position as President since the Cyprus Republic would have been dissolved. He of course had the opportunity to put the matter to a referendum but chose not to. Why ? Probably because he knew what would have happened. It is unfortunate that history has been distorted to suggest that the Acheson plans were very unpopular on Cyprus. They were not, except amongst the communists who along with Makarios invented the myth that the whole of Cyprus could be part of Greece so that they could continue to control Cyprus. There were still many who believed in Enosis with Greece and who were “old fashioned” enough to believe that if you are loyal to a country you must do as that country tells you, even if you don't entirely agree with what they are suggesting and have reservations. Athens was clearly saying to the Greek Cypriots, give a small piece of Cyprus to Turkey so that we can have almost all of Cyprus, but Makarios, the communists and certain other Greek Cypriot politicians were not loyal to Athens, they were loyal either to the USSR or to their own careers.

Constantine Nicephorus

John Akritas said...

This is getting very tedious. Why can't you just read what the Acheson plan says instead of making it up to suit your argument? And why can't you accept that Turkey did not agree with the plan and wanted even more concessions?

Makarios only agreed to sign the 1960 constitution under extreme pressure from the Greek government and he did not change this constitution unilaterally in 1963. He merely published proposed amendments, which were never implemented. I'm not too sure why you bring up this point, which you're ignorant about anyway.

As for the Acheson plan, the Turks agreed to nothing and your assertion that Turkey was 'happy to see the majority of the Turkish Cypriots under Greek rule' is laughable. Do you not think that a more likely scenario than the TCs happily accepting Greek rule, would be for them to fight – with the active military support of Turkey – for the union of their autonomous areas with the Turkish base area, which would result in a partition along the lines Turkey wanted and which is roughly what they took in 1974? And, again, why do you say the Turkish base area would amount to 5%? This is simply not true. As Acheson makes clear, the Turks said the MINIMUM they would accept is Karpasia, from Komi Kebir and everything north, which is 15 percent. And, as I have stressed, this would not have satisfied Turkey and they would have sought to bring under Turkish control the autonomous Turkish areas too. Greece may have turned its part of Cyprus into a fortress, but the Turks would have done the same with its part, and what do you think the Turks – with logistical advantage – would have done if Greece attempted to suppress the Turkish autonomous zones? Sat on its hands, or moved in to 'save' the Turkish Cypriots from Greek 'genocide'?

You have to be incredibly stupid or naive not to see that the essence and trajectory of the Acheson plan was effectively that which was implemented by Turkey in 1974. The Turkish invasion was the Acheson plan, as Turkey and the Americans saw it. Ioannides – who you clearly have sympathy for – tried to implement the Acheson plan, hoping to give it a Greek bias, believing moronically – as you appear to believe – that the Turks would simply go along with Greek schemes. (I'm laughing at this stupidity as I write this).

And as for your nonsense about it was the 'communists' and their fellow traveller Makarios, under instructions from Moscow, who were behind the rejection of the Acheson plan, which most Greek Cypriots were in favour of, this is just absurd and unworthy of comment, suffice it to say that in presidential elections in Cyprus in 1968 Makarios received 97 percent of the vote, while the so-called 'enosis' candidate Takis Evdokas got 3 percent.

And, finally, it does make me laugh that all these big-mouth commenters calling themselves Nikephoros and so on, making out they're pallikaria, great Greek patriots and Tourkofagoi, are more than willing to cede to Turkey, without batting an eyelid, land that has been Greek for 3,500 years. These same people, no doubt, in their next breath, will tell us that Constantinople is the real capital of Greece and one day it will be ours again.

Prometheus said...


with all due respect, you are the one who needs to read the Acheson Plan more closely.

You haven't revealed anything...What you posted as Acheson Plan, which is Hakki's summary* of the letters, even that is worthy of negotiation, and certainly better than what we have today.

Finally, its acceptance or not by Turkey is not irrelevant to us at all. (Have you ever wondered why they rejected it? It can't be because it was a good deal for them, ccan it? Obviously NO). The point is whether it was a good deal for us. And it was...

I am afraid you are the one who insists in absurdities. Is it my fault you don't really read the letters of Acheson to Papandreou, and you insist on the summary of Hakki?

You said:

"and yet there are people who insist, despite what it reveals, that it provides for a simple enosis of 95% of the island with Greece. This is patently absurd."

Are you serious? Read the 1st par. of the 1st letter by Acheson from the book YOU got your info from !! Or, the 2nd par (bottom) from the 2nd letter.

Does Acheson speak of union or not?
(Μα μαζι διαβαζουμε, και χωρια καταλαβαινουμε;)

* Kind of biased, i would say: He calls it "radical", and notice that he doesn't include all the letters, like the one of the 19th of July i posted.

lastgreek said...

What follows is from Lawrence S. Wittner's book American Intervention in Greece, 1943 - 1949 (1982 Columbia University Press), P. 303 "Aftermath":

In 1964, when George Papandreou met with Lyndon Johnson in Washington, the atmosphere could hardly have been chillier. To make possible the establishment of NATO bases on Cyprus, now independent and nonaligned, the President demanded the adoption of the "Acheson Plan," which entailed the partition of Cyprus between Greece and Turkey. Moreover, he threatened to withdraw NATO aid if Greece did not accept the plan. When Papandreou responded that, "in that case, Greece might have to rethink the advisability of belonging to NATO," Johnson retorted that "maybe Greece should rethink the value of a parliament which could not take the right decision." Later, the Greek ambassador remonstrated that "no Greek parliament could accept such a plan," only to have the American President explode:

"Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good.... We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitutions, he, his Parliament and his Constitution may not last very long."

It was an intrusive lesson on the relations between great and small powers. As an afterthought, the president added: "Don't forget to tell old Papa what's his name what I told you... You hear?"

By the way, the "Fuck your Parliament" quotation is obviously footnoted by Wittner. Both Christopher Hitchens ( Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger) and Noam Chomsky (Turning the Tide: The U.S. and Latin America) use the aforementioned quotation, and both cite Wittner's footnote. Here is Wittner's footnote:

Johnson's remarks were related by the Greek ambassador to another Greek diplomatic official, Philip Deane (Gigantes). Papandreou, Democracy at Gunpoint, p.7; Katris, Eyewitness in Greece, p.45; Iatrides, "American Attitudes Toward the Political System of Postwar Greece," p.70; Stern, The Wrong House, pp. 24-30; Philip Deane, I Should Have Died, pp.96, 112-14. See also Theodore A. Couloumbis, "Post World War II Greece," pp. 298-301.


P.S. I hope this answers that sphena "Gyftissa."

John Akritas said...


I'm sorry to say that your interpretation of the Acheson plan borders on the surreal. Firstly, are you disputing any of the provisions in Acheson mentioned in this post, which come from Hakki, Hitchens and O' Malley and Craig?

Secondly, where in any of the Acheson plans or letters to Papandreou is there reference to 95% of the island being united with Greece? Where? There is, in the second Acheson plan and in the letters, reference to the Americans being willing to try and persuade Turkey to accept a smaller 'base' in Karpasia, but no details of such a proposal or reference to Turkey accepting any such proposal. In fact, it is impossible to imagine that Turkey would have accepted a smaller 'base' or your weird interpretation of Acheson 2 – i.e. that it amounted to 95% enosis. On what grounds would Turkey accept 95% of the island being ceded to Greece? And since Turkey would never have accepted such a proposal, then your whole argument – which is that we missed the chance for 95% enosis – falls apart. I repeat: there never was a 95% enosis proposal on the table and, therefore, no chance for enosis was missed.

Furthermore, I insist you read the Acheson plans and proposals more closely, putting aside this myth of 95% you have fallen victim to. If you do as I suggest, you will see that in the second plan and in the letters, Acheson says that in the area of Cyprus to be ceded to Greece there must be 'certain rights of self-administration for the Turkish minority, and 'one, two or three areas in which the Turks will have the majority or almost the majority'; and that 'substantial freedom [must] be given in the administration of [Turkish Cypriot] affairs with the minimal possible interference from the Central Government'. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Sounds like the Annan plan.

Papandreou, in his letter to Acheson, quite rightly says that all this – this autonomy for the TCs and this large Turkish base, which is not a base, but a bridgehead for Turkey to partition the island on its terms – is not enosis, but 'limited partition'. Thus, when Acheson speaks of 'enosis', he does not mean 'enosis', he means partition or 'double enosis'.

Anonymous said...

John I am going to rebut what you’ve said by making the following further points:

1. You say the 13 amendments were not implemented. If that is so why is it that from 1963 until today’ s date the Greek Cypriots on their own have been passing laws onto the Cyprus statute book. Under the 1960 constitution they cannot do this without the agreement of the Turkish Cypriots. The fact is all of them have been adopted by the Greek Cypriot side, including, for example the loss of the Turkish Cypriot veto and loss of the right to separate election of the Turkish Cypriot vice president by the Turkish Cypriot community. Basically political equality was thrown out of the window.

2. There was no doubt great pressure on Makarios to sign and no doubt a lot of it came from Greece perhaps because the Greeks had a better understanding of realpolitik than the Greek Cypriots . Also contracts are often signed under great pressure. It’s called the real world. But perhaps you can explain the reason why Makarios rejected the Clerides/Denktash compromise of 1971 which if accepted would have meant the Turkish Cypriots losing their veto rights although they would have had some limited local autonomy? The real problem of the 1960 constitution was the Turkish Cypriot veto not whether the Turkish Cypriots had local autonomy. I deal with the difference between local autonomy and sovereignty below in paragraph 6.

3. The proportion of Cyprus outside the British bases that would have been Greek under for example the first Acheson plan was in fact 92% not 95% as I stated in error. As to this figure check any authoritative history. As to the double enosis point, so it’s double enosis. Either the Greek Cypriots believe in the Greeks or they do not. Anyway Cyprus is already legally partitioned between the Cypriots and the British and it is likely that once the rest of the island was under full NATO control, the US would have allowed Britain to withdraw from Cyprus completely like Britain wanted to on more than one occasion in the 1960s and the early 1970s.

4. You seem to be saying that if either Acheson plan had been agreed, the Turkish Cypriots under Greek rule would have started a terrorist campaign with Turkey’s encouragement to unify their areas with Turkey. But there are many Turks living in western Thrace who haven’t started a terrorist campaign against the Greek state. Basically they have honoured the terms of the Lausanne agreement even though they may complain.

5. The whole of the Karpass peninsula from Komi Kebir is no more than about 8% of the total land area of Cyprus. There is no way that section of the island amounts to 15% of all its territory!

6. Local autonomy does not mean international sovereignty. Among other things sovereignty means control of foreign policy and defence/ internal security, airspace, territorial waters, mineral wealth around the island and control of immigration. Greece would have controlled all of these regarding 92% of the island. The proviso that there be as little interference as possible by the Greek authorities only meant respecting the local autonomy of the Turkish Cypriots to the extent required by the agreed laws and not beyond. Why John would Greece have tried to “suppress” the autonomous zones?

7. As to the election in 1968, the Enosis candidate’s position must have seemed totally unrealistic since no doubt he advocated Enosis of all the island. Anyway important single issues are for referenda not elections.

8. You seem to be equating a maximum of 8% of Cyprus going to Turkey peacefully and the rest going to Greece with 37% of Cyprus going to Turkey by force of arms in 1974. On what logical basis?

9. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Ioannides or anybody involved in the barbaric coup of 1974.

Constantine Nicephorus

John Akritas said...

1. You should know that in 1963 the Turks stepped up their terrorist campaign to overthrow the Republic of Cyprus and, as part of this, they declared that the Republic of Cyprus no longer represented them and they voluntarily withdrew from all its organs. They were not forced out by the Greek Cypriots. This is Turkish propaganda and you would do well to avoid it.

2. I've posted previously about the pressures exerted on Makarios by the Greek government to sign Zurich-London ( To call the Greek government stance 'realpolitik' is extremely generous. A more accurate description of Greek motivations would suggest that post-civil war Greece had ceased to be an independent country capable of pursuing Greek national interests and had become, instead, a client state of America and NATO, and that Karamanlis' attitude to Cyprus was wholly determined by his determination to satisfy 'Western' and NATO interests at the height of the cold war. Perry Anderson in his essay The Divisions of Cyprus writes well about this. (

Clerides claims that Makarios made a mistake by not accepting the 1971 Clerides-Denktash deal. Clerides says the deal effectively satisfied in our favour all the issues brought up by Makarios in the 1963 amendments; but Makarios felt that the deal still gave too much to the Turkish Cypriots and contained the seeds of partition. It is possible that Makarios overplayed his hand here – we were in a good position regarding the TCs by the early 1970s – and that he thought further negotiations would have extracted more Turkish concessions, but the coup and invasion intervened.

3. I'm not going to keep going on about this nonsense about 95% enosis. I've dealt with this rubbish in my comment above to Prom. This insistence you have that there was a 95% enosis proposal – accepted by Turkey and rejected by the Cypriot side – renders the rest of what you say irrelevant.

4. There's no logic to saying that the Acheson plan – even Acheson 2 (though I repeat this was never a formal proposal, let alone one that was accepted by Turkey) – is better than what we have now. The island as part of the British empire is better than what we have now, but no one is suggesting we return the island to British rule, are they?

Peter said...

Hmmm... The "outlandish" democratic principle of self-determination (who gives a shit what the overwhelming majority wants) and the "absurd" concept of territorial integrity (slice the f-ckin' island up, god damnit!) do NOT apply to the Republic of Cyprus.

Yellow-bellied spineless cowards, JA.

lastgreek said...

I had to look up the word "sesquipedalian." :)

"More people know the sesquipedalian word 'antidisestablishmentarianism' than know what it means." (

John Akritas said...

Peter: Exactly. You know one of the interesting things to emerge from all these plans to partition to Cyprus is how Turkey first came up with serious plans to partition Cyprus back in the 1950s and has pretty much stuck with those plans ever since – even as to exactly where the partition line would eventually be drawn; while we, Greece and Cyprus, have changed and chopped and gone from one concession to another. As you imply, we started out saying we were fighting for the principle of democratic self-determination and majority rule – something which peoples all over the world have been granted – before abandoning the high ground by being prepared to accept Turkish guarantees and autonomy for the TCs, entering into discussions as how to carve up the island, and so on and so on. Successive Greek governments are to blame for this incremental deterioration in Cyprus' position.

Anon: You say that the Turks should be ousted by the sword; but then you recognise that the Turk has military might on its side. How do you resolve this problem? Also, you will find that it was not the Cypriots that first abandoned enosis, but Greece. Cypriot political leaders were extremely reluctant to embark on the independence Greece – in secret negotiations with Turkey – had mapped out for the island, believing it would end in disaster.

LG: reading anon's comments is, among other things, often a journey into the more obscure recesses of the English language.

lastgreek said...

Excuse the mix-up, JA. I inadvertently signed off with my name "Peter" instead of my username "lastgreek."

Anonymous said...

John , with regard to your observations on my last set of comments, I have set out some additional points below. No doubt you will say this is getting very tedious indeed but facts often are tedious.

1. I am aware that the Turks stepped up their campaign in 1963. But are you aware that they were on the verge of invading Cyprus in that year also. Do you not think that there may have been a causal connection between Makarios disempowering the Turkish Cypriots through his 13 amendments and Turkish military activities? And guess who stopped the Turks invading in 1963? It was of course the USA.
2. What is in the Greek national interest is up to Greece and not Makarios or any Greek Cypriot for that matter. Don’t you think that for example, that the Greek government advised by the Greek Chiefs of Staff among others, was better able to determine issues of Greek national security vis a vis the Acheson plans than a priest who isn’t even a Greek citizen? As I said Makarios rejected both plans because he did not want to lose the presidency. There was no referendum for that reason. The vast majority of members of DHSY, the biggest party in Cyprus together with the Turkish Cypriots who would have done as they were required to do by Ankara would have been enough. Furthermore since all three guarantor powers were in favour, that ought to have been enough for Makarios to put it to the vote.
3. Why do you and other Greek Cypriots think you are better qualified than the Greek government and military, to determine issues of Greek national security and what is in the Greek national interest , a country of which you are, thanks to Makarios, not even a citizen.
4. The Clerides/Denktash compromise was the last chance. It gave the Greek Cypriots most of what they wanted. But Makarios had to rub the Turkish Cypriots’ faces in their tactical defeat. No one was allowed to challenge his power base.
5. I am afraid Turkey accepted Acheson I. (I am not sure why you say the rest of what I said is irrelevant but let me continue.) The Acheson plans were the US’s way of addressing Turkish security concerns, which undoubtedly seem rather paranoid, that one day Greece may use Cyprus as a base from which to attack Turkey, without out at the same time fully and proportionately partitioning Cyprus on a 82/18% basis between Greece and Turkey which would have meant tens of thousands of Cypriots being uprooted. The US thought that since only 8% rather than 18% would go to Turkey, this might have been acceptable to the Greek Cypriots. But it wasn’t and now the Turks are demanding not 8% or 18% but 29% of Cyprus.
6. After saving Cyprus from a Turkish invasion in 1963 and continuing to recognise the Cyprus Republic in the UN Security Council, the US received as its reward from Makarios and the USSR educated communists that still run Cyprus with the following tokens of gratutude:
a) Rejection of both Acheson plans
b) Continued membership of the non-Aligned movement which was financed by the USSR.
c) Gun running to Vietkong communists
d) An attempt to install Soviet missiles on Cyprus
e) Totally unreserved and unbalanced backing for the Palestinians

Although I totally condemn to coup, I understand why it happened and why the US backed it. Makarios got away with his life because, and this is ironic, a low level US diplomat tipped him off just in time. Furthermore I suspect that had Junta managed to kill Makarios, the Turks would have been prevented by the US from advancing beyond the 18% they had secured in the first phase of the invasion. There’s that 18% again, could it be a coincidence that that is exactly the proportion the Turkish Cypriots represented of the total population of Cyprus? I think not. That would still have been terrible news for those from places like Kyrenia. Given that hypothesis and given what actually happened, Acheson I wasn’t such a bad deal for the Greek Cypriots, if they were truly loyal to Greece and wanted to be Greek that is.

Constantine Nicephorus

John Akritas said...

I'm sorry, pal; but you're just ignorant about Cyprus' recent political history – and Greece's for that matter – and I can't be bothered to keep up this debate with you. You need to think harder and read more widely.

John Akritas said...

Just a small correction to a previous comment I made above. Acheson 1 proposes that, after partition, Turkey would devour Karpasia from Boghazi to Yialousa, and not, as I said, from Komi Kebir. It's in Acheson 2, where the Americans suggest that Turkey's Karpasia 'base' might be reduced and start not from Boghazi, but from Komi Kebir. The Turks accepted Acheson 1 as a basis for negotiation, wanting to increase the portion of Cyprus is was to swallow, while it completely rejected Acheson 2.

Hermes said...

Constantine Nicephorus, you seem ignorant, mypopic and totally beholden by Anglo-American propaganda. Specifically, the insinuation that because Cypriots are not Greek citizens (simply a legal document); and therefore, they have no say in Greek national affairs, is overly juridicial and boring. The reality is that because Cypriots are Greeks then they also have a say what is in the Greek national interest.

Prometheus said...

Dear John,

I am quite dissapointed that you didn't allow my last post, in support of Anonymous, and the Acheson Plan.

Now we are for discussion, arguments, bews, etc. You, also, are just doing politics. Like everyone else.

John Akritas said...

Prom. Let me give you some friendly advice. It's not a good idea to come on to a blog and post comments insulting to the blog owner. He's liable to say 'fuck you' and press the delete key. I know this might sound somewhat hypocritical because I – as the blog owner – have a tendency to be abusive towards commenters I strongly disagree with – calling them stupid, ignorant and so on – but then this is my blog and I can be abusive if I want to.

H. Let's say that in the Acheson period, Greece's objective national interest was to expand its influence into the Eastern Mediterranean by annexing Cyprus and at the same time keeping Turkey off the island and out of the region; then it is clear to me that those pursuing the Greek national interest was the Cypriot government while governments in Greece – exerting pressure on Nicosia to accept partition and Turkey's significant presence on the island – were supporting the interests of America, NATO and Turkey. It's also worth remembering that Makarios was a hugely popular figure in Greece, and was a more legitimate (in all senses of the word) leader of Hellenism than those who ruled Greece from 1965 to 1974.

Indeed, a more contemporary example is that of Tassos Papadopoulos, who was under intense pressure from Greece to accept the Annan plan – the Greek political establishment believing that the plan was in Greek national interests because it would remove a conflict with Turkey and allow for normalisation of relations between Greece and Turkey – but said NO, and in the process protected Cyprus and Greece from a humiliating capitulation. For his efforts, I believe, Tassos Papadopoulos became popular in Greece (among those who take an interest in these matters) and regarded as a better embodiment of Greek national interest than Simitis, Papandreou, Damanaki, Mitsotakis, Bakoyiannis et al, i.e. the supporters of Annan.

I should add that America's interests in Cyprus could be defined as 1. preventing two NATO allies going to war – splitting the island between Greece and Turkey seemed a reasonable way to do this; 2. bringing Cyprus into the NATO orbit; 3. preventing what they perceived to be Soviet/communist influence on the island. They could only do 2 and 3 if they did 1 first.

Anonymous said...

John, I am sure the Turks accepted Acheson I "as was", except to the extent that there was some flexibility as to which 8% section in the Karpass penisula was to be ceded. By the way it's the first time in my life that anybody has accused me of not being widely read! But anyway thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my views.

Constantine Nicephorus

John Akritas said...

CN: I don't know what your definition of 'widely read' is; but it isn't having read Harry Potter or Zozo the Monkey.

Just one more thing for you to think about. In an earlier comment, you suggest that one of the reasons Makarios would not have wanted to put Acheson to a referendum was because he was worried DISY might back it. For your information, DISY wasn't formed until 1976.

Anonymous said...

So Turkey illegally invades Cyprus and in order for them to leave the Cypriots have to make "concessions".

lastgreek said...

Who said (war) crime(s) doesn't pay!

Prometheus said...


what i said/meant with my last statement was:

"Now we are NOT for discussion, arguments, news, etc. You, also, are JUST doing politics. Like everyone else."

Hermes said...

Makarios was a far better Greek leader than anyone we have had since Venizelos (the best European leaders since WWII have been De Gaulle, Putin and Makarios). As for the Cypriot people, they have had more direct experience with the Turk than anyone else recently; and therefore, they are probably better qualified than most mainland Greeks. In fact, today it appears to me the best commentators on Greek national issues are either of Pontian, Asia Minor, Constantinopolitian or Cypriot descent.

In more recent times, Papadopoulos's actions and words embodied the hopes and dreams of Greeks - people with a Hellenic consciousness and not some deformed euro-globalised world citizen homo economicus who are Greek in name only - and therefore he was a better Greek leader than the parasitic dynastic clans that lord over the poor Greeks deceiving them with fancy words cooked up in Brussels and Washington.

John Akritas said...

No-one more than me wants to discuss and argue about Cyprus, Greece and everything connected and I'm quite prepared to allow clearly idiotic and ill-informed opinions – like those you and CN have expressed over the Acheson plans – not out of any interest in 'open debate' or 'respect for all views'; but so that these opinions might be repudiated, revealed for the ignorant myths they are and the truth established.

I should add that I believe that what lies behind these assertions that we missed a chance for enosis by rejecting Acheson is the notion that somehow we are to blame for the invasion and occupation and that we brought this catastrophe on ourselves. It's not uncommon for the victim to want to blame himself for his predicament and, in the case of Cyprus, I've often heard it expressed in explicitly Christian/Byzantine terms, i.e. the Turkish invasion was God's retribution for our sins. Thus, P. I find your argument regarding the Acheson plans – the sins we committed and the wages we were paid for rejecting them – essentially Greek Orthodox in character.

Another problem with blaming ourselves for the calamity that befell us is that it ignores the role of others in our tragedy, particularly Turkey, as if we were totally in command of our destiny and only had to make the right moves to reach the promised land, and as if by making the right moves Turkey, in particular, would have conformed to our desires, as if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots had no plans, desires or expectations of their own, which they were determined, regardless of what we thought and did, to fulfill.

In Cyprus, we still believe that the Turkish Cypriots are just dumb animals who we can bend to our will – hence Christofias' statement to EU president Baroso that 'I (Christofias) will take care of Talat, if you (Baroso/the EU) take care of Turkey'; as if Talat – and the TCs generally – had no motivations of their own. Venizelos made a similar error during the Asia Minor campaign; thinking the conquered Turkish masses were too backward to object to Greek rule and would not be attracted to the Turkish nationalists, when in fact they hated the Greeks and were more than motivated to resist them.

John Akritas said...

H. Without wishing to give a false impression about contemporary Cypriots – who have many, many faults and are suffering like the rest of Hellenism from a patriotic deficit and have, to a great extent, become that 'deformed euro-globalised world citizen homo economicus' – there still exists in some parts of Cypriot society a residue of the EOKA spirit, which knows that the particular struggle for Cypriot Hellenism is a struggle for Hellenism generally and that to stop believing in Greece is to stop believing in ourselves and to capitulate to the British, Americans and Turks.

I'm always struck by the example of one of the pre-eminent EOKA heroes, Evagoras Pallikarides, who went to the gallows in 1957 singing the Greek national anthem and shouting Long live Cyprus, Long live Greece. Pallikarides was 19 when the British executed him and, like nearly all the EOKA fighters, had never even been to Greece, and only knew Greece – which to him was Leonidas, Alexander the Great, Constantine Paleologos, the 1821 revolutionaries and so on – from schoolbooks. Greece to him was a dream, an eternal idea – not its everyday realities. And I think for many Greeks who live outside Greece – in Cyprus, N. Epirus, the Black Sea, in the diaspora – this is what Greece remains and why they are less cynical and bitter about the country than those who live in it.

Prometheus said...


calling me Orthodox (Greek), was the biggest insult you directed at me so far. I am Greek, not a Romios. This is the last time i post anything in this blog.

Hermes said...

Prometheus, for the first time ever you made me laugh!!! Ha ha!! It's only a matter of time before you face reality, put on the cassock and head for Athos..!

Giorgos said...

The fact that Makarios didn't allow Kastellorizo to be given to Turkey, including part of Cyprus as well, thereby leading to partition, is enough to prove that he was right. Today the Exclusive Financial Zone of Turkey would have been separating those of Greece and Cyprus, therefore we would say goodbye to any natural gas and oil resources between Cyprus and Crete. Also, part of Cyprus' sea would have been given to the English bases. We are talking about the same area where today we found Aphrodite, Piece number 12 and the other locations of natural gas. That's it, do you need more?