How Did the Greek Cypriots Persecute the Turks of Cyprus Between 1963-1974?

Starting in December 1963, for the next eleven years the Turkish Cypriots had to seek survival in violent and traumatic conditions. Nearly 30.000 Turkish Cypriots who were forced out from their homes became refugees in enclaves which corresponded to a mere 3% of the territory of Cyprus. In these enclaves the Turkish Cypriot people lived under what the UN Secretary-General called, in his reports to the Security Council, "veritable siege", with no freedom of movement and deprived of basic necessities to survive. The Greek Cypriots, with Greek military assistance, raided isolated Turkish villages and attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarters of the different towns. The armed campaign led to the destruction of 103 Turkish Cypriot villages along with all the mosques and holy places. Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were murdered, wounded and taken as hostages. In the course of the violence that erupted in 1963, over 200 Turkish Cypriots went missing. Due to immense human suffering, thousands of Turkish Cypriots fled from the island. Those who managed to survive were deprived of their salaries, their land, and their other means of livelihood. The Security Council discussed the situation and decided to dispatch a UN peace-keeping force. This force which was stationed in the island in March 1964 could not however secure the return to normal conditions since power was already in the Greek Cypriot hands.

As part of the Enosis strategy, Greece had secretly sent 20.000 troops to the island in collaboration with the Greek Cypriot leadership. A military junta had assumed power in Greece and differences developed between the junta and the Greek Cypriot leadership over the method of achieving annexation. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'etat took place in Cyprus, planned and executed by Greece, as a short-cut to Enosis. A puppet Greek Cypriot government was formed under a Greek Cypriot gunman. The coup staged by the military junta in Athens resulted in further bloodshed in the form of massacres of Turkish Cypriots and through clashes between anti- and pro-coup Greek Cypriot factions.

During the events of 1974 more Turkish Cypriots went missing who remain unaccounted for until today. The Greek Cypriot leader Makarois, barely managing to escape, appeared on 19 July 1974 in the Security Council to accuse Greece of an act of invasion and occupation.

Next > How did the situation change after July 1974?