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    HomeOpinionsCypriot PerspectiveJuly 15th was an invasion, not a coup d'état

    July 15th was an invasion, not a coup d’état

    But why do we say a coup d'état instead of an invasion? The answer is simple: never, ever, does the attacker admit his insensitivity

    By George Koumoulli



    Manyreaders ask me why I use the term “Greek invasion” in my articles instead of the established term “coup d’état” for the tragic events of July 15, 1974, I feel the need to separate these two concepts.




    The key difference between the coup and the invasion is that the former is the result of the seizure of power by a small group of local military commanders, while the invasion is the violent overthrow of the government by a foreign country. The best example of a coup d’état that we are all aware of is that of 21 April 1967 in Greece. While elections had been called for May 28, 1967, army officers under oath, under the leadership of Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, with the participation of ArmorEd Brigadier General Pattakos and Colonel Makarezos, as well as other officers of the land army, seized power in a coup d’état, which they called the “national revolution” or the “Revolution of April 21st”. If I may get a little out of the main issue, the old people will remember with goosebumps that between 1967-1974 there were praises in the main churches of all the cities of Cyprus in order for the “Revolution” of April 21st to come to fruition (yes!), always with the then PtB, Glafkos Clerides (in fact!) present. and announcer of the solemnity of some “nationalist” high school principal (yes!). Is it any wonder, then, why the junta managed to spread its tentacles throughout Cypriot society?




    On the substance now, I quote from the reputable Macmillan dictionary the definition of invasion: “an occasion when one country’s army goes into another country to take control of it by force”, that is, an invasion is considered when the army of one country goes to another country to control it by force. This is exactly what happened on July 15, 1974. It was not Cypriots who overthrew the elected PD, Makarios, (which would constitute a coup d’état), but the junta of Athens, which was the internationally recognized government of a foreign country – Greece. Specifically, the decision to invade was taken at the meeting held on July 2, 1974 at the Headquarters of the Armed Forces in Athens, in which Ioannidis, Bonanos, Georgitsis, Kobokis and P. Papadakis participated. Bonanos informed the senior officers about the decision to overthrow Makarios, which he said was taken by the military leadership and the government. It was at this meeting that it was decided to set the date of the invasion on July 15 and the exact time (8.30 a.m.). EOKA B admittedly helped for the successful outcome of the project, but had nothing to do with the decision of 2 July. Of course, it was not an invasion in the classical sense, because Greece already had troops in Cyprus (the ELDYK) under the Zurich-London Agreements, and so it was not necessary to transfer an army here. But there was another global peculiarity: the leadership of the National Guard consisted of Greeks and essentially under the orders of Greece and not Cyprus. Thus, using the ELDYK and the EF, the junta managed to overthrow the legitimate government and appoint its elector Samson, whose government was 100% vassal to a government of another state, which is the main feature of the invasions.




    It is heard by some far-right circles that it was Makarios who first used the word “invasion” in his speech to the UN on July 19, 1974. Nothing more untrue! All the international media buzzed about the junta’s invasion from July 16, e.g. the TIMES called july 15 incidents ‘An ill-disguised invasion’ (poorly camouflaged invasion), while Le Monde ‘Une invasion par la Grèce’ (An invasion by Greece). Makarios at the UN told the truth, bitter for us, (wrongly or rightly so is not my topic today). If the description of real and irrefutable facts constitutes a criminal act, then Makarios is guilty.




    But why do we say a coup d’état instead of an invasion? The answer is simple: never, but never, does the intruder admit his insensitivity. To give just a few examples, Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “Special Military Operation”, Turkey a “Peacekeeping Operation” its invasion of Cyprus and a “Source of Peace” (!) its invasion of Syria, America a “Iraq War” its invasion of Iraq, Greece a “Asia Minor Campaign” its invasion of Ionia.




    The use, you see, of the word invasion is considered anathema and therefore should not surprise anyone who uses euphemism, “coup d’état”, so as not to incriminate Greece. Hypocritical, understandable, in part, but not! Undoubtedly, we follow the axiom of Marcus Aurelius: “Whoever does not know how to pretend (deceives), does not know how to reign” (Qui nescit dissimulare nescit regnare). Indeed, what should we say to our children if the term “Greek invasion” prevails? That Greece, which was always in our hearts, which we considered a loving mother, who was considered our natural protector, was turned in 1974 into a plague, into a brutal murderer, into a Medea who devoured her daughter? Here is the dilemma!




    *Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of CypriumNews.

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