The Green Line in Cyprus

The Second Operation

A second round of talks was agreed to begin on the 8th August 1974. There were immediate problems.........the Greek side would not negotiate unless Turkish forces ceased violating the ceasefire and Turkey would not negotiate unless Greece accepted the principle of an autonomous region for the Turkish Cypriots.


By early August the UN had only been party to the buffer zone discussions and the zone had yet to be established.

The talks officially broke down at 02:20hrs on the 14th August 1974 and, two hours later the Turkish forces broke out from their earlier positions and began the second phase of their invasion.
Turkish forces advanced to take control of Lefke in the west and reached the Turkish quarter of Famagusta in the east.



Joyful residents of Lefke welcome the Turkish tanks and Turkish troops reach the walled city of Famagusta (Ma─čusa)

The tourist section of Famagusta, Varosha, was attacked from the air and the residents abandoned the city to seek refuge in the British Sovereign Base areas.
Turkish troops joined forces with the Turkish Cypriot residents of the old city and the now abandoned Varosha was occupied with only military access allowed.



The population of the popular tourist resort find refuge in the British Bases

The large Turkish village of Louroujina was reached creating a narrow salient of controlled territory and Turkish forces pushed right up to the boundary of the Eastern Sovereign Base.
By the time of the 'final push', Turkey occupied 36.3% of the island.



This map shows the areas occupied at each stage during the invasion right up to the final push towards isolated villages after the final ceasefire

Click this link for a larger version (which opens in a new window)

Throughout the summer of 1974 the fighting along the Green Line through Nicosia was a barometer to the level of fighting elsewhere on the island.
From the earliest days of the invasion the UN had attempted to limit the fighting which immediately erupted all along the Green Line. As a result of their efforts there was no significant movement in the position of the line and no very heavy weapons were used. Without UN efforts there would have been Turkish air-strikes on this densely populated area, the results of which would have been devastating.



UNFICYP and Turkish forces in Ledra Street discussing Green Line issues
Interestingly, a shopkeeper had decided to make some capital out of his shop's position on the Green Line