The Green Line in Cyprus

Population Movement

Throughout the rest of 1974, an emergency house building programme together with the occupation of former Turkish Cypriot houses had reduced the number and size of Greek Cypriot refugee camps in the non-occupied areas.

The numbers of Greek Cypriots remaining in the north reduced as many of those kept in the Dome Hotel in Kyenia were allowed to leave in December 1974.

This video from the AP Archives describes the position of Greek Cypriots in the Dome Hotel

In the south, the Turkish Cypriot refugees were still camped in the WSBA and on the 10th December 1974 they organised a demonstration to demand the right to move to the north of Cyprus.

I believe the first image is the demonstration leaving Paramali, then marching down into Happy Valley and finally, climbing out of the valley towards Episkopi Camp
Click the image
or this link for a larger version (in a new window)

On the 17th December 1974, a proposed visit by President Makarios (arranged at short notice) to the Turkish Cypriot refugee camps at Paramali provoked an aggressive response from the refugees. The access road was blocked and the President returned to Nicosia. Unrest spread amongst the refugees and was exacerbated by a violent storm in early January 1975 which caused extensive damage to the tented camp.

  • 15th January 1975: The British Foreign Office announced that the Turkish Cypriot refugees within the WSBA would be allowed to leave RAF Akrotiri for Turkey using Turkish civilian airliners.
  • 18th January 1975: The first Turkish Cypriot refugees are given a heroes' welcome in the southern Turkish city of Adana, having been flown from Cyprus.
  • 21st January 1975: It was announced that the airlift would be speeded up with ten flights per day.
  • 26th January 1975: A boat with 500 Turkish Cypriot refugees (previously airlifted from Akrotiri) left Mersin in South-East Turkey bound for Famagusta, to be resettled in Greek Cypriot homes in the North.

22nd January 1975, stills from a video (courtesy of AP Archives) show the refugees being taken from the British military buses and boarding a Turkish Airlines DC10 at RAF Akrotiri

It was known that some refugees deliberately adopted "unhygenic practices" in an attempt to use disease as the reason for moving them to the North. There were rumours that cases of cholera had guided the decision making process.

At the end of January 1975, the SBA Fire Services burned down the camp at Paramali Station. The remains were bulldozed into piles, burned again and then buried.

The burning of the Turkish Cypriot refugee camp at Paramali Station.....south of the main Episkopi - Pissouri road

The abandoned Paramali Forest camp.........north of the main Episkopi - Pissouri road
All photographs are by the author and Geoff Cosson
Additional images can be viewed by clicking this link

In August 1975 (almost one year after the final Cyprus cease-fire) the involved parties signed the 'Voluntary Exchange of Population Agreement' in Vienna.
This would allow Turkish Cypriot villagers in the south to move north under UNFICYP escort and the (small number of) Greek Cypriots remaining in the north to move south. The text of the communique can be viewed by clicking this is interesting to note some of the wording concerning 'freedom and absence of pressure'.

A video from the AP Archives showing one of the UN escorted evacuations of Turkish Cypriots dated the 9th August 1975.

Headline from the Cyprus Mail dated 10th August this link for the full version (6.7mb courtesy of the Cyprus Mail)
From the two dates above it could be assumed that the video refers to the mixed village of Mari.

Many more UN escorted evacuations followed during the rest of August and the first two weeks of September 1975.

Only a tiny number of (usually very old) Turkish Cypriots remained in the south following the UN monitored evacuations of August/September 1975.