Akritas plan

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The Akritas plan was created in 1963 by the Greek Cypriot part of the government in Cyprus with the ultimate aim of weakening the Turkish Cypriot (ethnic Turks living in the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus) wing of the Cypriot government and then uniting Cyprus with Greece.[1] The desired union of Cyprus with Greece was referred to as Enosis.

Background to the plan[edit]

In 1878 as a result of the Cyprus Convention, the United Kingdom received as a protectorate the island of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire in exchange for United Kingdom's military support to the Ottoman Empire if Russia would attempt to take possession of territories of the Ottomans in Asia.[2] Britain then administered Cyprus until 1960. In 1955, a Greek Cypriot terrorist organization called EOKA declared officially a revolution of the entire Greek population (except for the communist) to stop the plans for the division of the island and expel the British forces (who were denying the right for Greek education) from the island and unite with Greece on the ground of self-determination of the inhabitants. The Turkish Cypriots at this time were greatly concerned and appealed to the British to keep control of the island.[3] The Greek Cypriots were also concerned that a plan for independence instead of self-determination was forwarded, that would be the first step for the minority Turks to take over the Island forming an appartheid regime on the native Christian population. But 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 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 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[citation needed].

Formation of the Akritas Plan[edit]

Leaders of the Greek Cypriots had expressed their disapproval with the constitution and of their failure to achieve Enosis (union with Greece)[citation needed]. A plan of action was required to firstly alter regime (where power and government positions were given on the criteria of religion, instead of qualifications), to declare a referendum, and according to the result to achieve Enosis[citation needed]. It was called the Akritas plan.

The Akritas plan was drawn by the minister of the interior who was a close associate of the Greek Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios, although there is no evidence that Makarios advocated the Akritas plan. The plan's course of action was to firstly persuade the world community that too many rights had been given to the Turkish Cypriots and the constitution had to be re-written if the government was to be workable. Britain and the USA had to be convinced that the Turkish Cypriots need have nothing to fear from Greek Cypriot political dominance of the island. The next step of the plan was to cancel international treaties that existed to safeguard the republic. If a way could be found to legally dissolve the treaties, then Union with Greece would be possible. The Treaties and Guarantees had been put into place by Britain, Greece and Turkey, they existed to safeguard the Republic and to protect the rights of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected the changes and "attempted to block them by force," then they should be '’violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene'’.[4]

In November 1963, the Greek Cypriot leader Makarios made a 13 point proposal to make the constitution more workable, these were rejected by the Turkish Cypriot Leadership on 16 December 1963, which said that the proposed amendments would undermine the constitution and weaken the Turkish Cypriot wing of the government[citation needed].

Between 21–22 December 1963 up to 133 Turkish Cypriots were killed by Greek Cypriots in what became known by Turkish Cypriots as Bloody Christmas.[5] About a quarter of the Turkish Cypriots, some 25,000 or so, subsequently fled their homes and lands and moved into enclaves.[6][7][8]

Key themes and elements of the Akritas plan[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cyprus – The Republic of Cyprus (http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/12.htm), U.S. Library of Congress
  2. ^ Library of Congress
  3. ^ Cyprus: The Search for a Solution by David Hannay
  4. ^ Cyprus – The Republic of Cyprus (http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/12.htm), U.S. Library of Congress
  5. ^ "British Turks asked to remember victims of Bloody Christmas 1963". northcyprusfreepress.com. 14 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Kliot, Nurit (2007), "Resettlement of Refugees in Finland and Cyprus: A Comparative Analysis and Possible Lessons for Israel", in Kacowicz, Arie Marcelo; Lutomski, Pawel (eds), Population resettlement in international conflicts: a comparative study, Lexington Books, ISBN 0-7391-1607-X .
  7. ^ Tocci, Nathalie (2004), EU accession dynamics and conflict resolution: catalysing peace or consolidating partition in Cyprus?, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 0-7546-4310-7 .
  8. ^ Tocci, Nathalie (2007), The EU and conflict resolution: promoting peace in the backyard, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-41394-X .

External links[edit]