I would like to add some of my thoughts as a summary of the July 19th presentation. I have the impression that despite the enormous duration, several aspects of the betrayal of Cyprus were illuminated or are not as opaque as before. We had no desire to serve our audience with an easy to digest narrative for the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.
There is no doubt that a very large part of the responsibility lies with dictator Ioannidis.
I do not accuse him, as the official left does as a traitor by choice, but I blame him with stupidity and childishness. He was a man of mediocre potential, idiotic enough to believe that could become a modern Eleftherios Venizelos. His acts as a traitor because of his stupidity to believe the “guarantees” of his friends in the CIA that a coup against Makarios of Cyprus would not provoke the Turks. Most certainly the real traitors are the then four leaders of the Greek Armed Forces as well as their organs in Cyprus. We are used to blaming the evil Turks, but we, the Greeks, opened the door with our own hands and even kept it wide open for as long as it was necessary to enable a very incompetent and poorly trained army to disembark and establish a beachhead. The Turkish forces did not encounter resistance proportional to their firepower and means. A few brave forces put up desperate resistance as most of them were out of position because they were chasing the communists pursuant to the orders of their superiors. But among those few desperate defenders, there were several modern Leonides whom the names are not widely known. The limited in force desperate fire of the 251st Infantry Battalion led by the hero Lieutenant Colonel Kouroupis, the National Guard Special Forces, and the 35 Battalion of the Greek Special Forces, the Noratlas airmen, the ELDYK a few artillery units, and the two torpedo boats of Kyrenia, and the troop carrier Lesvos Kissinger thought to be the Greek Armada commandeered by Commander Chandrinos, fought bravely and pinned down the enemy in the Pentemili beachhead for two days and kept the enemy outside of the island's capital. Of course, the Greek history sanitizers, the ELIAMEP historians, who develop a narrative that fits all political establishments, will tell you that the already disbanded units due to the coup the terrible treacherous Greek junta organized is the fundamental reason for the establishment of the Turkish beachhead in Kyrenia and the ensued defeat of the Greek forces. Alas, those bad bad Americans and their Greek junta collaborators are to blame (and only them). But they will not tell you anything about the fierce resistance of the Greek forces against a very superior enemy.
This is the convenient story aiming to cover the main culprits, the generals in Greece, the ethnarch, Karamanlis the A and his accessory, Evangelos Averoff, minister of “defense”. Karamanlis was the solution Americans preferred because they feared a Greek-Turkish war, that for Greece might have been its only leverage. Karamanlis is perhaps the only politician who would dare say that Cyprus is far away and would capitulate to avoid a Greek-Turkish war. At least the dictatorship, except for the “generals”, made an effort to send reinforcements. However, due to their timidity, they wasted the only opportunity they had to send some small, but substantial reinforcements of the Greek Forces in Cyprus that could have changed the situation on the ground and improve the negotiating position of the Republic of Cyprus. later. On the contrary, the Turks showed exceptional ability to take advantage of opportunities when presented to them, even for a limited time. Eventually, the late Makarios should have understood earlier that the Soviets would not do much for him and Cyprus. When the time would come, the National Guard, ELDYK (the Hellenic Army contingent stipulated to be stationed on the island by the treaties of 1959) and eventually Greece itself, would defend Cyprus. Makarios underestimated the needs and the importance of the National Guard and viewed it more as a risk than an asset. In 1973 Makarios should have approached Kissinger and asked him for guarantees against a Turkish invasion in exchange for a military facility to support Israel and other interests. In fact, he could offer them the Akrotiri base that the British were not so keen on keeping. This could have benefited the Turkish Cypriot community as well and made it less dependent on Turkey and could have kept the Greek junta out of the Cyprus business. Alas, Makarios was a genuine and honest patriot, diligent orator but not politically astute enough to be a match to the Metternich-inspired Henry Kissinger.
The 1970s were a period that the Greeks had to rely on traitorous armed forces leaders, good only for pomp and circumstance, certain political leaders that participated in the betrayal of Cyrpus who developed the current political establishment of Greece that perpetuated the deficiencies of the past and instead of real progress added “passive multiculturalism”. This political establishment covers the entire political spectrum, from left to right. This is why the Cyprus Dossier will never be fully open to the public. A section of it was published by SYRIZA, the most painless one.
Bottom line: At least, we the Diaspora Greeks must avoid the deadly mistake of partisanship and be united because we will have to defend Hellenism in the international political arena very soon. We must stand united in action and protest the Turkish aggression against Greece and Cyprus, our culture, and eventually Christianity, that constitutes an indispensable ingredient of our fabric. Mr. Erdogan has given us several wake-up calls.
Dr. Manos Papadakis