Cypriot intercommunal violence

Several distinct periods of Cypriot intercommunal violence involving the two main ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, marked mid-20th century Cyprus. These included the Cyprus Emergency of 1955–59 during British rule, the post-independence Cyprus crisis of 1963–64, and the Cyprus crisis of 1967. Hostilities culminated in the 1974 de facto division of the island along the Green Line following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The region has been relatively peaceful since then, but the Cyprus dispute has continued, with various attempts to solve it diplomatically having been generally unsuccessful.


Turks made up a significant portion of the population of the island and had ruled the island for several hundred years prior to leasing the island to the British and the subsequent British annexing of the island in 1914.[1]

In 1914, after the Ottoman Empire joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers, the island was annexed by the United Kingdom. Soon afterward, in 1915, the UK offered the island to Greece ruled by King Constantine I of Greece on condition that Greece joins the war on the side of the British. Although the offer was supported by the liberal ex Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, it was rejected by the King, and his prime Minister Zaimis, who wished to keep Greece out of the war. The wife of the King, Sophia of Prussia, was German.

After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, in 1923, the new Turkish government formally recognized Britain's sovereignty over Cyprus. Greek Cypriots believed it was their natural and historic right to unite the island with Greece (enosis), as many of the Aegean and Ionian islands had done following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Enosis and Taksim

The repeated rejections by the British of Greek Cypriot demands for enosis led to armed resistance organized by a group known as the National Organization of Cypriot Struggle, or EOKA.[1] EOKA, led by the Greek-Cypriot commander George Grivas, systematically targeted British colonial authorities. One of the effects of the EOKA campaign was to alter the Turkish position from demanding full reincorporation into Turkey to a demand for taksim (partition). The fact that the Turks were a minority[2][3] was, according to Nihat Erim, to be addressed by the transfer of thousands of Turks from mainland Turkey so that the Greek Cypriots would cease to be the majority. When Erim visited Cyprus as the Turkish representative, he was advised by the then British Governor John Harding that Turkey should send educated Turks to settle in Cyprus.[4]

Turkey actively promoted the idea that on the island of Cyprus two distinctive communities existed, and sidestepped its former claim that “the people of Cyprus were all Turkish subjects”.[5] In doing so, Turkey’s aim to have self-determination of two to-be equal communities in effect led to de jure partition of the island. This could be justified to the international community against the will of the majority Greek population of the island. Dr. Fazil Küçük in 1954 had already proposed Cyprus be divided in two at the 35° parallel.[6]

Crisis of 1955–1959

The British started recruiting Turkish Cypriots into the police force that patrolled Cyprus to fight the EOKA. EOKA targeted colonial authorities, including police, but Georgios Grivas, the leader of EOKA, did not initially wish to open up a new front by fighting Turkish Cypriots and reassured them that EOKA would not harm their people. In 1956, some Turkish Cypriot policemen were killed by EOKA members and this provoked some intercommunal violence in the spring and summer, but these attacks on policemen were not motivated by the fact that they were Turkish Cypriots. However, in January 1957, Grivas changed his policy as his forces in the mountains became increasingly pressured by the British forces. In order to divert the attention of the British forces, EOKA members started to target Turkish Cypriot policemen intentionally in the towns, so that Turkish Cypriots would riot against the Greek Cypriots and the security forces would have to be diverted to the towns to restore order. The killing of a Turkish Cypriot policeman on 19 January, when a power station was bombed, and the injury of three others, provoked three days of intercommunal violence in Nicosia. The two communities targeted each other in reprisals, at least one Greek Cypriot was killed and the army was deployed in the streets.[7] Greek Cypriot stores were burned and their neighborhoods attacked.[8] Following the events, the Greek Cypriot leadership spread the propaganda that the riots had merely been an act of Turkish Cypriot aggression.[7] Such events created chaos and drove the communities apart both in Cyprus and in Turkey.[8]

On 22 October 1957 Sir Hugh Mackintosh Foot replaced Sir John Harding as the British Governor of Cyprus. Foot suggested five to seven years of self-government before any final decision. His plan rejected both enosis and taksim. The Turkish Cypriot response to this plan was a series of anti-British demonstrations in Nicosia on 27 and 28 January 1958 rejecting the proposed plan because the plan did not include partition. The British then withdrew the plan.

By 1958 signs of dissatisfaction with the British increased on both sides, with Turkish Cypriots now forming Volkan, later known as the Turkish Resistance Organization paramilitary group to promote partition and the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as dictated by the Menderes plan.

On 27 January 1958 British soldiers opened fire against a crowd of Turkish Cypriot rioters. The events continued until the next day.

In June 1958 the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was expected to propose a plan to resolve the Cyprus issue. In light of the new development the Turks rioted in Nicosia to promote the idea that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could not live together and therefore any plan that did not include partition would not be viable. This violence was soon followed by bombing, Greek Cypriot deaths and looting of Greek Cypriot-owned stores and houses. Greek and Turkish Cypriots started to flee mixed population villages where they were a minority in search of safety. This was effectively the beginning of segregation of the two communities.[8] On 7 June 1958 a bomb exploded at the entrance of the Turkish Embassy in Cyprus. Following the bombing Turkish Cypriots looted Greek Cypriot properties. On June 26, 1984 the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktaş, admitted on British channel ITV that the bomb was placed by the Turks themselves in order to create tension.[9][10] On January 9, 1995 Rauf Denktaş repeated his claim to the famous Turkish newspaper Milliyet in Turkey.[11]

The crisis reached a climax on June 12, 1958 when eight Greeks, out of an armed group of thirty five arrested by soldiers of the Royal Horse Guards on suspicion of preparing an attack on the Turkish quarter of Skylloura, were killed in a suspected attack by Turkish Cypriot locals, near the village of Geunyeli having being ordered to walk back to their village of Kondemenos.[12]

The Republic of Cyprus

Right after the EOKA campaign began the British government successfully began to turn the Cyprus issue from a British colonial problem into a Greek-Turkish issue. British diplomacy exerted back-stage influence on the Adnan Menderes government, with the aim of making Turkey active in Cyprus. For the British the attempt had a twofold objective. On one hand the EOKA campaign would be silenced as quickly as possible, on the other hand Turkish Cypriots would not side with Greek Cypriots against the British colonial claims over the island and the island would remain under the British.[13] The Turkish Cypriot leadership at the time, visited Menderes to discuss the Cyprus issue. When asked how the Turkish Cypriots should respond to the Greek Cypriot claim of enosis Menderes replied: "You should go to the British foreign minister and request the status quo be prolonged, Cyprus to remain as a British colony.” Later when the Turkish Cypriots visited the British minister of foreign affairs and requested that Cyprus remain a colony, the Minister replied: "You should not be asking for colonialism at this day and age, you should be asking for Cyprus be returned to Turkey, its former owner".[14]

As Turkish Cypriots began to look to Turkey for protection, it soon became apparent to Greek Cypriots that enosis was extremely unlikely. Greek Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios III now set independence for the island as his objective.[15]

Britain resolved to solve the dispute by creating an independent Cypriot state. In 1959 all involved parties signed the Zurich agreements: Britain, Turkey, Greece, and the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Makarios and Dr. Fazil Kucuk respectively. The new constitution drew heavily on the ethnic composition of the island. The President would be a Greek Cypriot and the Vice-President a Turkish Cypriot with an equal veto. The contribution to the public service would be set at a ratio of 70:30, and the Supreme Court would consist of an equal number of judges from both communities plus an independent judge who was not Greek, Turkish or British. The Zurich accords were supplemented by a number of treaties. The Treaty of Guarantee stated that secession or union with any state was forbidden, and that Greece, Turkey and Britain would be given guarantor status to intervene should this be violated. The Treaty of Alliance allowed for two small Greek and Turkish military contingents to be stationed on the island whilst the Treaty of Establishment gave Britain sovereignty over two bases in Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

On August 15, 1960, the Republic of Cyprus was proclaimed.

The new constitution brought dissatisfaction to Greek Cypriots that felt that it was highly unjust for them, for historical, demographic and contributional reasons. While 80% of the island were Greek Cypriots and Greek Cypriots were the vast majority and indigenous people of the island for thousands of years, plus contributing to 94% percent of the taxes, the new constitution was giving the 17% of Turkish Cypriots, with a 6% contribution to the taxes, 30% of the government jobs and 40% of the national security jobs.[16]

Crisis of 1963–1964

Proposed constitutional amendments and the Akritas plan

Within three years tensions between the two communities in administrative affairs began to show. In particular disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. A constitutional court ruled in 1963 Makarios had failed to uphold article 173 of the constitution which called for the establishment of separate municipalities for Turkish Cypriots. Makarios subsequently declared his intention to ignore the judgement, resulting in the West German judge resigning from his position.[17] Makarios proposed thirteen amendments to the constitution, which according to the historian Keith Kyle had the effect of resolving most of the issues in the Greek Cypriot favour.[18] Under the proposals, the President and Vice President would lose their veto, the separate municipalities as sought after by the Turkish Cypriots would be abandoned, the need for separate majorities by both communities in passing legislation would be discarded and the civil service contribution would be set at actual population ratios (82:18) instead of the slightly higher figure for Turkish Cypriots.

The intention behind the amendments has long been called into question. The Akritas plan, written in the height of the constitutional dispute by the Greek Cypriot interior minister Polycarpos Georkadjis, called for the removal of undesirable elements of the constitution so as to allow power-sharing to work. The plan envisaged a swift retaliatory attack on Turkish Cypriot strongholds should Turkish Cypriots resort to violence to resist the measures, stating “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.”[19] Whether Makarios's proposals were part of the Akritas plan is unclear, however it remains that sentiment towards enosis had not completely disappeared with independence. Makarios described independence as "a step on the road to enosis".[20] Preparations for conflict were not entirely absent from Turkish Cypriots either, with right wing elements still believing taksim (partition) the best safeguard against enosis.

Greek Cypriots however believe the amendments were a necessity stemming from a perceived attempt by Turkish Cypriots to frustrate the working of government. Turkish Cypriots saw it as a means to reduce their status within the state from one of co-founder to that of minority, seeing it as a first step towards enosis. The security situation deteriorated rapidly.

Intercommunal violence

An armed conflict was triggered after December 21, 1963, a period remembered by Turkish Cypriots as Bloody Christmas[21][22], when a Greek Cypriot policemen that had been called to help deal with a taxi driver refusing officers already on the scene access to check the identification documents of his customers, took out his gun upon arrival and shot and killed the taxi driver and his partner.[23] Eric Solsten summarized the events as follows: "a Greek Cypriot police patrol, ostensibly checking identification documents, stopped a Turkish Cypriot couple on the edge of the Turkish quarter. A hostile crowd gathered, shots were fired, and two Turkish Cypriots were killed."[24]

In the morning after the shooting, crowds gathered in protest in Northern Nicosia, likely encouraged by the TMT, without incident. On the evening of the 22nd, gunfire broke out, communication lines to the Turkish neighborhoods were cut, and the Greek Cypriot police occupied the nearby airport. On the 23rd, a ceasefire was negotiated, but did not hold. Fighting, including automatic weapons fire, between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and militias increased in Nicosia and Larnaca. A force of Greek Cypriot irregulars led by Nikos Sampson entered the Nicosia suburb of Omorphita and engaged in heavy firing on armed, as well as by some accounts unarmed, Turkish Cypriots. The Omorphita clash has been described by Turkish Cypriots as a massacre, while this view has generally not been acknowledged by Greek Cypriots.[25]

Further ceasefires were arranged between the two sides, but also failed. By Christmas Eve, the 24th, Britain, Greece, and Turkey had joined talks, with all sides calling for a truce. On Christmas day, Turkish fighter jets overflew Nicosia in a show of support. Finally it was agreed to allow a force of 2,700 British soldiers to help enforce a ceasefire. In the next days, a "buffer zone" was created in Nicosia, and a British officer marked a line on a map with green ink, separating the two sides of the city, which was the beginning of the "Green Line". Fighting continued across the island for the next several weeks.[25]

In total 364 Turkish Cypriots and 174 Greek Cypriots were killed during the violence.[26] 25,000 Turkish Cypriots from 103-109 villages fled and were displaced into enclaves and thousands of Turkish Cypriot houses were ransacked or completely destroyed.[27][28][29][30][31]

700 Turkish Cypriot hostages, including men, women and children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia (into Greek-Cypriot houses, at Omorphita north suburb, which in turn became refugees in their own country). Greek historian Ronaldos Katsaunis stated that he was an eye witness to the retaliation murder and communal burial of 32 Turkish Cypriot civilians in 1963 in Famagusta.[32][33] Contemporary newspapers also reported on the forceful exodus of the Turkish Cypriots from their homes. According to The Times in 1964, threats, shootings and attempts of arson were committed against the Turkish Cypriots to force them out of their homes.[34] The Daily Express wrote that "25,000 Turks have already been forced to leave their homes".[35] The Guardian reported a massacre of Turks at Limassol on 16 February 1964.[36]

Turkey had by now readied its fleet and its fighter jets appeared over Nicosia. Turkey was dissuaded from direct involvement by the creation of a United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1964. Despite the negotiated ceasefire in Nicosia, attacks on the Turkish Cypriot persisted, particularly in Limassol. Concerned about the possibility of a Turkish invasion, Makarios undertook the creation of a Greek Cypriot conscript-based army called the “National Guard”. A general from Greece took charge of the army, whilst a further 20,000 well-equipped officers and men were smuggled from Greece into Cyprus. Turkey threatened to intervene once more, but was prevented by a strongly worded letter from the American President Lyndon B. Johnson, anxious to avoid a conflict between NATO allies Greece and Turkey at the height of the Cold War.

Turkish Cypriots had by now established an important bridgehead at Kokkina, provided with arms, volunteers and materials from Turkey and abroad. Seeing this incursion of foreign weapons and troops as a major threat, the Cypriot government invited George Grivas to return from Greece as commander of the Greek troops on the island and launch a major attack on the bridgehead. Turkey retaliated by dispatching its fighter jets to bomb Greek positions, causing Makarios to threaten an attack on every Turkish Cypriot village on the island if the bombings did not cease.[37] The conflict had now drawn in Greece and Turkey, with both countries amassing troops on their Thracian borders. Efforts at mediation by Dean Acheson, a former U.S. Secretary of State, and UN-appointed mediator Galo Plaza had failed, all the while the division of the two communities becoming more apparent. Greek Cypriot forces were estimated at some 30,000, including the National Guard and the large contingent from Greece. Defending the Turkish Cypriot enclaves was a force of approximately 5,000 irregulars, led by a Turkish colonel, but lacking the equipment and organization of the Greek forces.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1964, U Thant, reported the damage during the conflicts:

UNFICYP carried out a detailed survey of all damage to properties throughout the island during the disturbances; it shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish-Cypriot or mixed villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2,000 others have suffered damage from looting.[38]

Crisis of 1967

The situation worsened in 1967, when a military junta overthrew the democratically elected government of Greece, and began applying pressure on Makarios to achieve enosis. Makarios, not wishing to become part of a military dictatorship or trigger a Turkish invasion, began to distance himself from the goal of enosis. This caused tensions with the junta in Greece as well as George Grivas in Cyprus. Grivas's control over the National Guard and Greek contingent was seen as a threat to Makarios's position, who now feared a possible coup. Grivas escalated the conflict when his armed units began patrolling the Turkish Cypriot enclaves of Ayios Theodhoros and Kophinou, and on November 15 engaged in heavy fighting with the Turkish Cypriots.

By the time of his withdrawal 26 Turkish Cypriots had been killed.[39] Turkey replied with an ultimatum demanding that Grivas be removed from the island, that the troops smuggled from Greece in excess of the limits of the Treaty of Alliance be removed, and that the economic blockades on the Turkish Cypriot enclaves be lifted. Grivas resigned his position and 12,000 Greek troops were withdrawn. Makarios now attempted to consolidate his position by reducing the number of National Guard troops, and by creating a paramilitary force loyal to Cypriot independence. In 1968, acknowledging that enosis was now all but impossible, Makarios stated, "A solution by necessity must be sought within the limits of what is feasible which does not always coincide with the limits of what is desirable."

Greek coup

After 1967 tensions between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots subsided. Instead, the main source of tension on the island came from factions within the Greek Cypriot community. Although Makarios had effectively abandoned enosis in favour of an ‘attainable solution’, many others continued to believe that the only legitimate political aspiration for Greek Cypriots was union with Greece. Makarios was branded a traitor to the cause by Grivas and, in 1971, he made a clandestine return to the island.

On his arrival, Grivas began by establishing a nationalist paramilitary group known as the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston B or EOKA-B), drawing comparisons with the EOKA struggle for enosis under the British colonial administration of the 1950s.

The military junta in Athens saw Makarios as an obstacle, and directed funds to Grivas to carry out a number of attacks and to fund a propaganda campaign through the creation of pro-enosis newspapers. Makarios's failure to disband the National Guard, whose officer class was dominated by mainland Greeks, had meant the junta had practical control over the Cypriot military establishment, leaving Makarios isolated and a vulnerable target.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Cyprus," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  2. ^ David French, p. 255
  3. ^ Camp, Glen D. (1980). "Greek-Turkish Conflict over Cyprus". Political Science Quarterly. 95 (1): 43. doi:10.2307/2149584.
  4. ^ Copeaux, Etienne, Aedelsa TUR. Taksim Chypre divisee. ISBN 2-915033-07-2
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dr. Fazil Küçük, 1957. The Cyprus Question: A permanent solution.
  7. ^ a b French, David (2015). Fighting EOKA: The British Counter-Insurgency Campaign on Cyprus, 1955-1959. Oxford University Press. pp. 258–9. ISBN 9780191045592.
  8. ^ a b c Crawshaw, Nancy. The Cyprus revolt : an account of the struggle for union with Greece. London : Boston : G. Allen & Unwin, 1978. ISBN 0-04-940053-3
  9. ^ Arif Hasan Tahsin. "He Anodos Tou _Denktas Sten Koryphe". January, 2001. ISBN 9963-7738-6-9
  10. ^ 'Denktash admits Turks initiated Cyprus intercommunal violence':
  11. ^ "Denktaş'tan şok açıklama" (in Turkish). Milliyet. 9 January 1995.
  12. ^ The Outbreak of Communal Strife, 1958 Archived January 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The Guardian, London.
  13. ^ Anthony Eden, 2005. Memoirs, Full Circle, Cassell, London 1960, p.400.
  14. ^ Arif Hasan Tahsin. "He Anodos Tou _Denktas Sten Koryphe". January, 2001. ISBN 9963-7738-6-9 page 38
  15. ^ David Hannay, 2005. Cyprus the search for a solution. I.B Tauris, p.2
  16. ^ "Cyprus Critical History Archive: Reconsidering the culture of violence in Cyprus, 1955-64 | What Greeks and Turks contribute to the government revenue". 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  17. ^ Stephen, Michael (1987). "Cyprus: Two Nations in One Island". Archived from the original (TXT) on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  18. ^ The Cyprus Conflict Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, The Main Narrative, by Keith Kyle
  19. ^ The Cyprus Conflict, The Akritas Plan
  20. ^ David Hannay, 2005. Cyprus the search for a solution. I.B Tauris, p.3
  21. ^ Ali Carkoglu (1 April 2003). Turkey and the European Union: Domestic Politics, Economic Integration and International Dynamics. Taylor & Francis. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7146-8335-5. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  22. ^ Salomon Ruysdael (1 September 2002). New Trends in Turkish Foreign Affairs: Bridges and Boundaries. iUniverse. pp. 299–. ISBN 978-0-595-24494-2. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Her şey buradan başladı [Everything started here]". Havadis. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  24. ^ Eric Solsten, Country Studies, US Library of Congress, retrieved on 25 May 2012.
  25. ^ a b Borowiec, Andrew (2000). Cyprus: A Troubled Island. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 55–57. ISBN 9780275965334.
  26. ^ Oberling, Pierre (1982). The road to Bellapais: the Turkish Cypriot exodus to northern Cyprus. Social Science Monographs. p. 120. ISBN 978-0880330008.
  27. ^ John Terence O'Neill; Nicholas Rees (2005). United Nations Peacekeeping in the Post-Cold War Era. Taylor & Francis. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-7146-8489-5.
  28. ^ Report S/5950 (10 September 1964), page 48, paragraph 180
  29. ^ "REPORT BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS OPERATION IN CYPRUS" (PDF). United Nations. 10 September 1964. Retrieved 17 December 2018. The trade of the Turkish community had considerably declined during the period, due to the existing situation, and unemployment reached a very high level as approximately 25,000 Turkish Cypriots had become refugees.
  30. ^ Risini, Isabella (2018). The Inter-State Application under the European Convention on Human Rights: Between Collective Enforcement of Human Rights and International Dispute Settlement. BRILL. p. 117. ISBN 9789004357266.
  31. ^ Smit, Anneke (2012). The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution. Routledge. p. 51.
  32. ^ "Bir katliam itirafı da Rum tarafından geldi - Dünya Haberleri". Radikal. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  33. ^ ""32 Türk'ü gözümün önünde öldürdüler!!!" Rum tarihçi anlatıyor!!!". Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  34. ^ The Times 04.01.1964
  35. ^ Daily Express 28.12.1963
  36. ^ Michael Stephen (1997). The Cyprus Question. British-Northern Cyprus Parliamentary Group. p. 15.
  37. ^ [1] BBC On This Day. 1964: Guns fall silent in Cyprus
  38. ^ Report S/5950 (10 September 1964), page 48, paragraph 180
  39. ^ Country Studies: Cyprus - Intercommunal Violence Archived 8 November 2004 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

External links

  • An independent and comprehensive website dedicated to the Cyprus conflict, containing a detailed narrative as well as documents, reports and eye-witness accounts.
  • Library of Congress Cyprus Country Study Detailed information on Cyprus, covering the various phases of the Cyprus conflict.
1974 Cypriot coup d'état

The 1974 coup d'état in Cyprus was a military coup d'état by the Greek Army in Cyprus, the Cypriot National Guard and the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. On 15 July 1974 the coup plotters ousted President Makarios III and replaced him with pro-Enosis (Greek irridentist) nationalist Nikos Sampson as dictator. The Sampson regime was described as a puppet state, whose ultimate aim was the annexation of the island by Greece; in the short term, the coupists proclaimed the establishment of the "Hellenic Republic of Cyprus". The coup was viewed as illegal by the United Nations and violated human rights laws.

Akritas plan

The Akritas plan (Greek: Σχέδιο Ακρίτας, Turkish: Akritas Planı) was created in 1963 by the Greek Cypriot part of the government of Cyprus with the ultimate aim of weakening the Turkish Cypriot wing of the Cypriot government and then uniting (Enosis) Cyprus with Greece.

Battle of Tillyria

The Battle of Tillyria or Battle of Kokkina also known as Erenköy Resistance (Turkish: Erenköy Direnişi)

was a battle between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot forces at Kokkina area, in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Bayraktar Mosque

Bayraktar Mosque (Greek: Τέμενος Μπαϊρακτάρ Témenos Mpairaktár) is a mosque in Nicosia, Cyprus, currently placed in the southern sector of the city administered by the Republic of Cyprus.

Civilian casualties and displacements during the Cyprus conflict

This article covers the civilian casualties and displacements that occurred between 1963 and 1975 – from the outbreak of the intercommunal fighting until the end of displacements following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Devinda Kalupahana

Major General Devinda Kalupahana, RSP, USP, psc, SLAC is a Sri Lankan general, who was the former GOC, 3 Division; GOC, 2 Division; Director Operations, General Staff and Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy.Educated at Royal College, Colombo, Kalupahana joined the army in 1966 as a cadet officer, undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. While at Sandhurst, his cadet intake for the winter training exercise were sent to Cyprus when the Cypriot intercommunal violence broke out and the Sandhurst Cadets were deployed until they were relieved by regular units

In 1968, he was commissioned into the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment, Ceylon Armoured Corps as a second lieutenant.

After serving as a troop leader in the Ceylon Armoured Corps, he became an officer instructor at the Army Training Centre in Diyatalawa and returned several years later as chief instructor of its successor the Sri Lanka Military Academy. He had also served as a staff officer in the Northern Command Headquarters, Sri Lanka Army Headquarters and the Joint Operations Headquarters. He also served as the commandant of the Combat Training School in Ampara.

Raising the 3rd Reconnaissance Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, he became its first commanding officer in 1988, by then a lieutenant colonel. He then became the commandant of the Sri Lanka Military Academy and went on to take command in the Area Headquarters in Vavuniya.

During Operation Sea Breeze, the first amphibious operation launched by the Sri Lankan military in its history, Colonel Kalupahana led the brigade that landed on the second wave which successfully established the beachhead.Thereafter he went on the become the director of operations at the Army Headquarters; regimental commander of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps; general officer commanding of the 3 Division and general officer commanding of the 2 Division. He retired from the army with the rank of major general in 1996.

General Kalupahana is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff and Command College in Germany. He was awarded the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) for combat bravery, the service medal Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP), the Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, the Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal and the Purna Bhumi Padakkama.

In 2010, he gave evidence to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Flag of Cyprus

The national flag of Cyprus (Greek: σημαία της Κύπρου simea tis Kipru; Turkish: Kıbrıs bayrağı) came into use on 16 August 1960, under the Zurich and London Agreements, whereby a constitution was drafted and Cyprus was proclaimed an independent state. The flag was designed by art teacher İsmet Güney. The design of the flag deliberately employs peaceful and neutral symbols in an attempt to indicate harmony between the rival Greek and Turkish communities, an ideal that has not yet been realized. In 1963, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities separated because of Cypriot intercommunal violence.

The state flag features the shape of the entirety of the island, with two olive branches below (a symbol of peace between the island's two communities) on white (another symbol of peace). The olive branches signify peace between the Greeks and Turks. The map on the flag is a copper-orange colour, symbolising the large deposits of copper ore on the island, from which it may have received its name.

The flag is notable for not being particularly liked by either Greek or Turkish Cypriots; former President Glafcos Clerides described it as "the most innocent flag in the world", because "no one died for it".

Index of Cyprus-related articles

This page list topics related to Cyprus.

KTFF 1. Lig

KTFF 1. Lig (English: CTFA First League), formerly known as İkinci Lig (literally Second League) is the second-highest division of association football in Northern Cyprus. It is administered by the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation and has 16 clubs.

At the end of the season, the top two clubs are promoted to the KTFF Süper Lig, and the next top four clubs play play-off matches to determine the third team to be promoted. The bottom two are relegated to the BTM 1. Lig, and the next four clubs from the bottom play play-out matches to determine the third team to be relegated.

KTFF Süper Lig

The KTFF Süper Lig (English: CTFA Super League), formerly known as Birinci Lig (literally First League) is the top football league in Northern Cyprus. It is currently contested by 16 teams.

At the end of the season, the bottom two clubs are relegated to the KTFF 1. Lig, and the next four from the bottom play play-out matches to determine the third team to be relegated.

Kato Polemidia

Kato Polemidia (Greek: Κάτω Πολεμίδια; Turkish: Aşağı Binatlı) is a municipality of Cyprus, located in the district of Limassol. It has a population of 22,369 according to the 2011 census.


Köşklüçiftlik is a quarter of North Nicosia in Northern Cyprus. In 2011, it had a population of 2,939.


Lefka (Greek: Λεύκα; Turkish: Lefke) is a town in Cyprus, overlooking Morphou Bay. De facto, it is under the control of Northern Cyprus. In 2011, the town-proper had 3,009 inhabitants. It is the capital of the Lefke District of Northern Cyprus, having been a sub-district centre in the Güzelyurt District until the establishment of the district in 2016.Lefka is known for its citrus fruits and mines. It is the site of the European University of Lefke.

During the Venetian period in Cyprus, Lefka was dominated by Catholics of Italian descent. Turks migrated to Lefka during Ottoman rule.

Asil Nadir and Nil Burak were born in Lefka. The city houses the tomb of Nazim al-Haqqani, spiritual head of the Haqqani branch of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, died on 7 May 2014.

List of guerrilla movements

This is a list of notable guerrilla movements. It gives their English name, common acronym, and main country of operation.

Pano Polemidia

Pano Polemidia (Greek: Πάνω Πολεμίδια; Turkish: Yukarı Binatlı) is a large village lying partly in the Limassol District of Cyprus. It has a population of 3443 according to the 2011 census. It is near Kato Polemidia.

Before 1950s, Pano Polemidia had a pure Turkish Cypriot population: in 1901, there were 121, and in 1946, there were 154 Turkish Cypriots in the village.

During the years of Cypriot intercommunal violence and after the collapse of the bicommunal structure of the Republic of Cyprus, Richard Patrick wrote that the village, along with Kato Polemidia, were exceptional in that they remained accessible to the Greek Cypriot population and the Greek Cypriot National Guard. The National Guard co-existed with the fighters of the Turkish Resistance Organization, which were open with regards to their existence, but were tolerated by the National Guard so long as they did not carry weaponry. In 1974, following the ultra-nationalist Greek coup and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the population of the village fled to the Akrotiri British Base. Some of the population then fled secretly to Northern Cyprus, but most were transferred in 1975 and resettled in Morphou. The village was repopulated by displaced Greek Cypriots from the north, who initially filled up the homes of Turkish Cypriots. As more refugees came in, they were allocated self-housing schemes in the village.

Sectarian violence

Sectarian violence and/or sectarian strife is a form of communal violence inspired by sectarianism, that is, between different sects of one particular mode of ideology or religion within a nation/community. Religious segregation often plays a role in sectarian violence.

Special Warfare Department

The Special Warfare Department (SWD, Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi (ÖHD)) was the special forces unit of the Turkish Army. Founded in 1965, it was formed out of the Army's Tactical Mobilisation Group (Turkish: Seferberlik Taktik Kurulu, STK). It was disbanded in 1992, with special operations taken over by the new Special Forces Command.Former members include Korkut Eken.

Turkish Resistance Organisation

The Turkish Resistance Organisation (Turkish: Türk Mukavemet Teşkilatı, TMT) was a Turkish Cypriot pro-taksim paramilitary organisation formed by Rauf Denktaş and Turkish military officer Rıza Vuruşkan in 1958 as an organisation to counter the Greek Cypriot Fighter's Organization "EOKA"(later "EOKA-B"). The name of the organization was changed twice. In 1967 to "Mücahit", and in 1976 to "Güvenlik Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı"(Security Forces Command Center).

United Nations Security Council Resolution 186

United Nations Security Council Resolution 186, adopted unanimously on 4 March 1964 during the Cyprus crisis of 1963–64, calling on all Member States to conform to their obligations under the Charter, asked the Government of Cyprus to take all additional measures necessary to stop violence and bloodshed and called on communities in Cyprus and their leaders to act with restraint. The resolution then recommend the creation of a Peace-keeping Force in the interest of preserving international peace and to prevent a recurrence of fighting and that, in agreement with the Governments of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, a mediator would be appointed to try to promote a peaceful solution to the problem confronting Cyprus.

Foreign relations
Cyprus dispute
United Nations
Other topics
Peace process

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.