The Green Line in Cyprus

The Prelude

At the end of August 1971, General Grivas secretly returned to Cyprus in a final attempt to win 'enosis'.....union with Greece.

He formed a terror organisation named EOKA-B and called for Makarios to resign as President. When this demand was ignored, Grivas and EOKA-B resorted to violence.

Attacks were carried out against police stations, pro-government newspapers and individuals/businesses that were known Makarios supporters.

In the first half of 1973 over 100 incidents involving explosives were recorded including attacks on 59 police stations.

On the 28th July 1973 a bomb damaged the Police HQ in Limassol injuring sixteen

Although this violence was not intercommunal, it created great uncertainty and anxiety in the Turkish Cypriot community.

On the 28th January 1974 General George Grivas died and was buried in front of a large crowd in Limassol which included Nikos Sampson.
He promised to keep alive the dream of 'enosis' and cried, "We will avenge you, Dighenis."

Large crowds gather at the funeral and Nikos Sampson addresses the crowd

Unfortunately, in this period, the number of more serious intercommunal disputes began to increase. A typical example of such incidents involved the mixed village Agia Eirini (Ayia Irini) north of Morphou (Pop. 1973....556 Turkish & 126 Greek Cypriots). Young Greek Cypriots from outside the area began to drive through the village shouting insults at the Turkish Cypriot residents. Matters came to a head when a column of 150 Greek National Guard soldiers, marching to a nearby camp, halted in the Turkish Cypriot part of the village. Further provocations, each side blaming the other, were defused by Finnish UN troops who then maintained a standing patrol in the village.

The location of the National Guard camp on the coast and the mixed village of Agia Eirini

Back in the capital Nicosia, President Makarios was becoming more and more incensed by the behaviour of the mainland Greek officers within the Cyprus National Guard. These officers were members of ELDYK (Ελληνική Δύναμη Κύπρου....Hellenic Forces in Cyprus) who were on the island as part of the Cyprus independence agreements.
President Makarios complained to Athens about, "the subversive intrigues of the Greek officers" and went on to accuse these same officers of "active support for EOKA-B with the backing of Athens."

Mainland ELDYK Officers taking the salute at a military parade in Cyprus