Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Akritas Plan

Greek Cypriot fighters in Limassol, 1963
Below is the text in English of the Akritas Plan, written by Polykarpos Yiorgadjis at the end of November 1963, with the constitutional crisis on the island coming to a head. It was made public in 1966. The Akritas Plan, Stella Soulioti has written 'has been rendered notorious by quotation, misquotation and mutilation… It has been used by the Turks and others to support allegations that Makarios had from the start intended to wreck the 1960 Constitution and even "knock the Turks out and realise enosis". In reality, Soulioti continues, the Akritas plan was not 'a plan for future policy and action but was written ex post facto to eliminate criticism of the policy already adopted and declared by Makarios, which was no longer the pursuit of the original objective of enosis, and to prevent precipitate action by irresponsible elements. The Akritas Plan did not have the blessing of the Greek Cypriot official leadership – Makarios and his ministers.'

The Akritas Plan: Regarding the objectives of the Greek Cypriot side and the prospects as they appeared towards the end of 1963

The recent public statements of His Beatitude have outlined the course which our national issue will follow. As we have stressed in the past, national struggles are neither judged nor solved from day to day, nor is it possible to fix time limits for the achievement of the various stages of their development. Our national cause must always be examined and judged in the light of the conditions and developments of the moment, and the measures which will be taken, the tactics, and the time of implementing each measure must be determined by the conditions existing at the time, both internationally, and internally. The entire effort is trying and must necessarily pass through various stages, because the factors which influence the final result are many and varied. It is sufficient, however, that all should understand that the measures which are prescribed now constitute only the first step, one simple stage towards the final and unalterable national objective, i.e. to the full and unfettered exercise of the right of self-determination of the people.

Since the purpose remains unalterable, what remains is to examine the subject of tactics. It is necessary to divide the subject of tactics under two headings, that is: internal tactics and external, since in each case both the presentation and the handling of our cause will be different.

A. External tactics (international).
During the recent stages of our national struggle the Cyprus problem has been presented to diplomatic circles as a demand for the exercise of the right of self-determination by the people of Cyprus. In securing the right of self-determination obstacles have been created by the well-known conditions, the existence of a Turkish minority, by the inter-communal conflict and the attempts to show that co-existence of both communities under one government was impossible. Finally, for many international circles the problem was solved by the London and Zurich Agreements, a solution which was presented as the result of negotiations and agreement between the two sides.
a) Consequently, our first target has been to cultivate internationally the impression that the Cyprus problem has not really been solved an the solution requires revision.
b) Our first objective was our endeavour to be vindicated as the Greek majority and to create the impression that:

(i) The solution given is neither satisfactory not fair;

(ii) The agreement reached was not the result of a free and voluntary acceptance of a compromise of the conflicting views;

(iii) That the revision of the agreements constitutes a compelling necessity for survival, and not an effort of the Greeks to repudiate their signature;

(iv) That the co-existence of the two communities is possible, and

(v) That the strong element on which foreign states ought to rely is the Greek majority and not the Turkish Cypriots.

c) All the above has required very difficult effort, and has been achieved to a satisfactory degree. Most of the foreign representatives have been convinced that the solution given was neither fair nor satisfactory, that it was signed under pressure and without real negotiations and that it was imposed under various threats. It is significant argument that the solution achieved has not been ratified by the people, because our leadership, acting wisely, avoided calling the people to ratify it by a plebiscite, which the people, in the 1959 spirit, would have done if called upon.

Generally, it has been established that the administration of Cyprus up to now has been carried out by the Greeks and that the Turks have confined themselves to a negative role.

d) Second objective. The first stage having been completed, we must programme the second stage of our activities and objectives on the international level. These objectives in general can be outlined as follows:

(i) The Greek efforts are directed towards removing unreasonable and unfair provisions of administration and not to oppress the Turkish Cypriots;

(ii) The removal of these oppressive provisions must take place now because tomorrow it will be too late;

(iii) The removal of these provisions, despite the fact that this is reasonable and necessary, because of the unreasonable attitude of the Turks is not possible by agreement, and therefore unilateral action is justified;

(iv) The issue of revision is an internal affair of the Cypriots and does not give the right of military or other intervention;

(v) The proposed amendments are reasonable, just, and safeguard the reasonable rights of the minority.

e) Today it has been generally demonstrated that the international climate is against every type of oppression and, more specifically, against the oppression of minorities. The Turks have already succeeded in persuading international opinion that union of Cyprus with Greece amounts to an attempt to enslave them. Further, it is estimated that we have better chances of succeeding in our efforts to influence international public opinion in our favour if we present our demand, as we did during the struggle, as a demand to exercise the right of self-determination, rather than as a demand for union with Greece (Enosis). In order, however, to secure the exercise of complete and free self-determination, we must get free of all those provisions of the constitution and of the agreements (Treaty of Guarantee, Treaty of Alliance) which prevent the free and unfettered expression and implementation of the wishes of our people and which create dangers of external intervention. It is for this reason that the first target of attack has been the Treaty of Guarantee, which was the first that was stated to be no longer recognised by the Greek Cypriots.

When this is achieved no legal or moral power can prevent us from deciding our future alone and freely and exercising the right of self-determination by a plebiscite.

From the above, the conclusion can be drawn that for the success of our plan a chain of actions is needed, each of which is necessary, otherwise, future actions will remain legally unjustified and politically unachieved, while at the same time we will expose our people and the country to serious consequences. The actions to be taken can be summed up as follows:

a) Amendment of the negative elements of the agreements and parallel abandonment of the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance. This step is necessary because the need for amendments of the negative aspects of the treaties is generally accepted internationally and is considered justified (we can even justify unilateral action), while at the same time intervention from outside to prevent us amending them is unjustified and inapplicable;

b) As a result of our above actions, the Treaty of Guarantee (right of unilateral intervention) becomes legally and substantively inapplicable;

c) The people, once Cyprus is not bound by the restrictions of the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance regarding the exercise of the right of self-determination, will be able to give expression to and implement their desire.

d) Legal confrontation by the forces of the State of every internal or external intervention.

It is therefore obvious that if we hope to have any chance of success internationally in our above actions, we cannot and must not reveal or declare the various stages of the struggle before the previous one is completed. For instance, if it is accepted that the above four stages are necessary, then it is unthinkable to speak of amendments in stage (a) if stage (d) is revealed. How can it be possible to aim at the amendment of the negative aspects of the constitution by arguing that this is necessary for the functioning of the State if stage (d) is revealed?

The above relate to targets, aims and tactics in the international field. And now on the internal front:

B. Internal Front
1. The only danger which could be described as insurmountable is the possibility of external intervention, by force, not so much because of the material damage, nor because of the danger itself (which, in the last analysis, it is possible for us to deal with partly or totally by force), but mainly because of the possible political consequences. Intervention is threatened or implemented before stage (c), then such intervention would be legally debatable, if not justified. This fact has a lot of weight both internationally and in the United Nations.

From the history of many recent instances we have learnt that in not a single case of intervention, whether legally justified or not, has either the United Nations or any other power succeeded in evicting the invader without serious concessions detrimental to the victim. Even in the case of the Israeli attack against Suez, which was condemned by almost all nations, and on which Soviet intervention was threatened, Israel withdrew, but received as a concession the port of Eilat on the Red Sea. Naturally, more serious dangers exist for Cyprus.

If, on the other hand, we consider and justify our action under (a) above well, on the one hand, intervention is not justified and, on the other, it cannot be carried out before consultations between the guarantors Greece, Turkey and the UK. It is at this stage of consultations (before intervention) that we need international support. We shall have it if the proposed amendments by us appear reasonable and justifiable.

Hence, the first objective is to avoid intervention by the choice of the amendments we would request in the first stage.

Tactics: We shall attempt to justify unilateral action for constitutional amendments once the efforts for a common agreement are excluded. As this stage the provisions in (ii) and (in) are applicable in parallel.

2. It is obvious that in order to justify intervention, a more serious reason must exist and a more immediate danger than a simple constitutional amendment.

Such a reason could be an immediate declaration of Enosis before stages (a) - (c) or serious inter-communal violence which would be presented as massacres of the Turks.

Reason (a) has already been dealt with in the first part and, consequently, it remains only to consider the danger of inter-communal violence. Since we do not intend, without provocation, to attack or kill Turks, the possibility remains that the Turkish Cypriots, as soon as we proceed to the unilateral amendment of any article of the constitution, will react instinctively, creating incidents and clashes or stage, under orders, killings, atrocities or bomb attacks on Turks, in order to create the impression that the Greeks have indeed attacked the Turks, in which case intervention would be justified, for their protection.

Tactics. Our actions for constitutional amendments will be in the open and we will always appear ready for peaceful negotiations. Our actions will not be of a provocative or violent nature.

Should clashes occur, they will be dealt with in the initial stages legally by the legally established security forces, in accordance with a plan. All actions will be clothed in legal form.

3. Before the right of unilateral amendments of the constitution is established, decisions and actions which require positive violent acts, such as, for example, the use of force to unify the separate municipalities, must be avoided. Such a decision compels the Government to intervene by force to bring about the unification of municipal properties, which will probably compel the Turks to react violently. On the contrary, it is easier for us, using legal methods, to amend, for instance, the provision of the 70 to 30 ratio in the public service, when it is the Turks who will have to take positive violent action, while for us this procedure will not amount to action, but to refusal to act (to implement).

The same applies to the issue of the separate majorities with regard to taxation legislation.

These measures have already been considered and a series of similar measures have been chosen for implementation. Once our right of unilateral amendments to the constitution is established de facto by such actions, then we shall be able to advance using our judgment and our strength more decidedly.

4. It is, however, naive to believe that it is possible to proceed to substantive acts of amendment of the constitution, as a first step of our general plan, as has been described above, without the Turks at tempting to create or to stage violent clashes. For this reason, the existence of our organisation is an imperative necessity because:

a) In the event of instinctive violent Turkish reactions, if our counter-attacks are not immediate, we run the risk of creating panic among the Greeks in the towns and thus losing substantial vital areas, while, on the other hand, an immediate show of our strength may bring the Turks to their senses and confine their actions to sporadic insignificant acts, and

b) In the event of a planned or staged Turkish attack, it is imperative to overcome it by force in the shortest possible time, because if we succeed in gaining command of the situation (in one or two days), no outside intervention would be either justified or possible.

c) In either of the above cases, effective use of force in dealing with the Turks will facilitate to a great extent our subsequent actions for further amendments. It would then be possible for unilateral amendments to be made, without any Turkish reaction, because they will know that their reaction will be weak or seriously harmful for their community, and

d) In the event of the clashes becoming more general or general we must be ready to proceed with the actions described in (a) to (b), including the immediate declaration of Enosis, because then there would be no reason to wait nor room for diplomatic action.

5. At no stage should we neglect the need to enlighten, and to face the propaganda and the reactions of those who cannot or should not know our plans. It has been shown that our struggle must pass through four stages and that we must not reveal publicly and at improper times our plans and intentions. Complete secrecy is more than a national duty.


This will not prevent the reactionaries and the irresponsible demagogues from indulging in an orgy of exploitation of patriotism and provocations. The plan provides them with fertile ground, because it gives them the opportunity to allege that the efforts of the leadership are confined to the objective of constitutional amendments and not to pure national objectives. Our task becomes more difficult because by necessity, and depending on the prevailing circumstances, even the constitutional amendments must be made in stages. However, all this must not draw us into irresponsible demagogy nor to bidding higher in the stakes of nationalism. Our acts will be our most truthful defenders. In any event, because the above task must make substantial progress and yield results long before the next elections, for obvious reasons, in the relatively short time in between we must show self-restraint and remain cool.

At the same time, however, we must not only maintain the present unity and discipline of the patriotic forces, but increase it. This can only be done by the necessary briefing of our members and through them of our people.

In the first instance, we must uncover what the reactionaries stand for. Some of them are opportunist and irresponsible, as their recent past has shown. They are negative and aimless reactionaries who fanatically oppose our leadership, but without at the same time offering a substantive and practical solution. We need a steady and strong government in order to promote our plans up to the last moment. These opponents are verbalists and sloganists, but unwilling to proceed to concrete acts or to suffer sacrifices. For example, even at the present stage they offer nothing more concrete than recourse to the United Nations, that is, words again without cost to themselves. They must, therefore, be isolated.

In parallel, we shall brief our members only ORALLY about our intentions. Our sub-headquarters must, in gatherings of our members, analyse and explain fully and continuously the above, until each one of our members understands fully and is in a position to brief others.


No act can damage our struggle as vitally and decisively as the revealing of the present document or its publication by our opponents. With the exception of word-of-mouth briefing, all our other actions, i.e., publications in the Press, resolutions, etc., must be very restrained and no mention of the above should be made. Similarly, in public speeches and gatherings, only responsible persons may make, under the personal responsibility of the Leader or Deputy Leaders, references in general terms to the plan. They must also have the authorisation of either the Leader or the Deputy Leader who must approve the text. ON NO ACCOUNT ARE REFERENCES IN THE PRESS OR ANY OTHER PUBLICATION PERMITTED.

Tactics. Complete briefing of our people and of the public by word of mouth. Publicly we shall endeavour to appear as moderates. Projection of or reference to our plans in the Press or in writing is strictly prohibited. Officials and other responsible persons will continue to brief and to raise the morale and the desire for the struggle of our people, but such briefing excludes making our plans public knowledge by the Press or otherwise.

NOTES: This document will be destroyed by fire on the personal responsibility of the Leader and the Deputy Leader in the presence of all the members of the General Staff within 10 days from its receipt. Copies or part copies are prohibited: members of the staff of the Office of the Deputy Leader may have copies on the personal responsibility of the Leader, but may not remove them from the Office of the Deputy Leader.

The Leader AKRITAS