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The Akritas plan (Greek: Σχέδιο Ακρίτας, Turkish: Akritas Planı) was a inside document of the Greek Cypriot secret organisation of EOK (mostly known as Akritas organisation) that was authored in 1963 and was revealed to the public in 1966. It entailed the weakening the Turkish Cypriot wing of the Cypriot government and then uniting (Enosis) Cyprus with Greece. According to the Turkish side, Akritas plan was a "blueprint to genocide", Greek side claims that it was a defensive plan.

Background to the planEdit

Cyprus, an island lying in the eastern Mediterranean sea was ruled by several conquerors during its history. In the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire handed Cyprus to the British Empire. Greek and Turkish nationalism among the two major communities of the island (four-fifths of the population were greek, one fifth were Turkish) were growing, seeking opposite goals. Greeks were demanding enosis (Cyprus to be incorporated to Greece) while Turks were aiming for taksim (partition). In 1955, EOKA, a paramilitary guerilla group declared its struggle against the British.[1]

In 1960, the British gave in and turned power over to the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. A power sharing constitution was created for the new Republic of Cyprus which included both Turkish and Greek Cypriots holding power in the government. Three treaties were written up to guarantee the integrity and security of the new republic: the Treaty of Establishment, the Treaty of Guarantee, and the Treaty of Alliance. According to the constitution, Cyprus was to become an independent republic with a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice-president with full power sharing between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.[2]

Akritas organization and Akritas planEdit

Akritas organization (or EOK) was a secret group led by prominent members of the Greek Cypriot community- some of them were cabinet ministers. It was formed in 1961 or 1962, in the eve of the creation of Cyprus Republic and its aim was to achieve Enosis.[3] It was formed by the command of the President Archbishop Makarios and Glafkos Klerides, Tassos Papadopoulos, Polycarpos Georgadjis had key roles. Guerillas were recruited by former members of EOKA.[4] Apart from Communists, that were excluded as in the EOKA's struggle, the organisation had hostile feelings for Greek Cypriots that didn't accept Makarios as the leader of greek Cypriots (this included ultra-nationalists who rejected the London-Zürich Agreements)[5] EOK had striking similarities with EOKA, from the structure and the division to "tomeis" and the name was also coined to resemble the name of EOKA.[6] A joint military exercise was performed in presidential resident in Troodos mountain, along with greek ELDYK in 1962,[7] other military exercises of smaller-scale also took place in 1962 and 1963.[8]

Akritas Plan was an inner document that was publicly revealed in 1966 by pro-Grivas Greek Cypriot newspaper Patris[9] as a response to criticism by pro-Makarios media.[10] It provided a pathway on how to change the constitution of the Cyprus Republic unilaterally, ie without Turkish Cypriot concent, and declare enosis with Greece. Because it was expected, Turkish Cypriot would object and revolt, a paramilitary group of several thousand men was formed and began training.[11][12] According to the copy of the plan, the plan consisted of two main sections, one delineating external tactics to be employed, and the other delineating internal tactics. The external tactics pointed to the Treaty of Guarantee as the first objective of an attack, with the statement that it was no longer recognized by Greek Cypriots. If the Treaty of Guarantee was abolished, there would be no legal roadblocks to enosis, which would happen through a plebiscite.[13]

It is unknown who authored Akritas Plan or to what extent Makarios was committed to the plan.[14] Frank Hoffmeister, cites historian Tzermias supporting the notion that Makarios had nothing to do with the plan, while Hoffmeister mentions John Reddaway and Etrekun claiming that Makarios approved Akritas plan. [15] Akritas plan is signed by "Chief Akritas" (Αρχηγός Ακρίτας). According to Hoffmeister the Akritas plan was drawn by the minister of the interior, Polycarpos Georgadjis.[15] Angelos Chrysostomou in his PhD thesis writes that Glafkos Klerides and Christodoulos Christodoulou, a top member of Akritas organization point to Tassos Papadopoulos as the author of the document. There is also controversy about the date that the document was formulated, most probable period is late 1963.[16]

Series of events in Cyprus in 1963Edit

In November 1963, Greek Cypriot leader Makarios made a 13 point proposal to change the constitution. These proposals resemble the first part of the Akritas plan.[15] Bloody Christmas violence led to the deaths of 364 Turkish Cypriots and 174 Greek Cypriots.[17] Akritas organization's forces took part in the fighting.[18] About a quarter of the Turkish Cypriots, some 25,000 or so, subsequently fled their homes and lands and moved into enclaves.[19]

Controversy and opinionsEdit

Greek Cypriot sources have accepted the authenticity of the Akritas plan, but controversy regarding its significance and implications persists.[20] It is a subject of debate whether the plan was actually implemented by President Makarios. Frank Hoffmeister wrote that the similarity of the military and political actions foreseen in the plan and undertaken in reality was "striking".[15] According to Paul Sant-Cassia, the plan "purported to project a plan at ethnic cleansing", which was in parallel to the Turkish Cypriot perception that the events of 1963-64 were part of a policy of extermination.[21] Turkish Cypriot nationalistic narratives have presented the plan as a "blueprint for genocide"[20] and it is widely perceived as a plan for extermination in the Turkish Cypriot community.[22]The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls the plan a "conspiracy to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus, in pre-determined stages and methods, and to bring about the union of Cyprus with Greece".[23] According to scholar Niyazi Kızılyürek, however, the meaning later given to this plan was disproportionate and the plan was a "stupid" and impractical plan that got more attention than it deserved due to propaganda. He claimed that, in accordance to the plan, ELDYK troops should have taken action, which was not the case and led to Georgadjis shouting "traitors!" in front of their camp.[22] Calling the plan "infamous", scholar Evanthis Hatzivassiliou wrote that the aim of quick victory indicated the "confusion and wishful thinking of the Greek Cypriot side at that crucial moment".[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ James 2001, pp. 3-9.
  2. ^ Richter 2011, p. 977-982:The text of the three treaties lies at the appendix pp 988-995
  3. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, pp. 240.
  4. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, pp. 248-251.
  5. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, p. 253.
  6. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, pp. 257-258.
  7. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, p. 266.
  8. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, pp. 267-269.
  9. ^ Hakki 2007, p. 90: Hakki mentions 1963 as the year that was document revealed but it must be a spelling mistake
  10. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, p. 273.
  11. ^ O'Malley & Craig 2001, pp. 90-91.
  12. ^ Isachenko 2012, p. 41.
  13. ^ Hakki 2007, pp. 90-97.
  14. ^ James 2001, p. 36.
  15. ^ a b c d Hoffmeister 2006, p. 21.
  16. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, pp. 273-274.
  17. ^ Oberling 1982, p. 120.
  18. ^ Chrysostomou 2013, p. 272.
  19. ^ Kliot 2007; Tocci 2004; Tocci 2007.
  20. ^ a b Bryant & Papadakis 2012, p. 249.
  21. ^ Sant-Cassia 2005, p. 23.
  22. ^ a b Uludağ 2004.
  23. ^ Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2015.
  24. ^ Hatzivassiliou 2006, p. 160.

SourcesEdit