READER’S LETTER by Philippos Stylianou
I WISH to take issue with the article by your regular columnist my old friend and colleague from the time we campaigned together for Enosis, Loucas Charalambous, published in your esteemed newspaper on January 12, 2014 under the title ‘How was it possible to honour the fighters of 63?’
The writer expressed astonishment at today’s Republic President Nicos Anastasiades handing out honorary certificates to the perpetrators of a “paranoid act”, as he calls the desperate effort by the state to check the Turkish Cypriot mutiny back in 1963-1964.
Referring to an earlier article of his, Charalambous accuses the first President of the Republic Archbishop Makarios of “forming a paramilitary organization and using it to dissolve the state.” He explains that this was part of the “notorious Akritas Plan” and states the following:
“I have taken this opportunity to take another look at the Akritas plan. I really believe that you learn from history (at least those who want to learn), which is why I have always had time for documents relating to the 1963 events.
Whoever has not read this notorious plan cannot claim to know the Cyprus problem.”
In the light of this sweeping statement one is bound to assume that history enthusiast Loucas Charalambous has also read besides the notorious Greek Cypriot Akritas plan of how to pursue the national goal of self-determination, the Turkish Cypriot plan of how to break away from the state and set up a separate administration with the help of Turkey.
Indeed, the latter document is of far more historic significance, since it is dated (14 September 1963) and clearly signed by the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot Community, Fazil Kutchuk, Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus, and Rauf Denktash, President of the Turkish Communal Chamber, unlike the Akritas plan which is anonymous and undated.
According to the late Glafcos Clerides, who publishes a Greek translation and the full Turkish text in the first volume of his “My Deposition” (1988), the subversive Turkish Cypriot document was discovered in Dentkash’s office after the outbreak of violence.
Its content has been well – known since; yet for reasons unknown (!!!) it remained in obscurity while the Akritas plan stole all the adverse publicity.
But someone like Loucas Charalambous, who extols others to read and learn from history, ought to explain why he too chooses to dwell solely on the Akritas plan and bury the Turkish plan.
The latter makes fascinating reading as it outlines the political, economic and military steps leading to intercommunal confrontation in Cyprus, Turkey’s intervention and partition, as it eventually transpired.
It is all summed up in the following three excerpts: 1) “It is fundamental to agree beforehand with the mother country on a course of action absolutely based on a detailed plan. Makarios has not yet made a serious effort to denounce or revise the agreements. There is adequate time to prepare such a plan and we must make use of this time.”
2) “In order to make the implementation of the constitution more difficult for the Greeks the press must play a more active part.”
3)“When the conflict begins, the Turkish Cypriot community dispersed all over the island must assemble through the use of force in a single area and be compelled to defend it. The selection of the area depends on the strategic plan to be prepared by the experts.”
As a part-time, albeit distinguished, member of the local Greek nationalist press at the time, Loucas Charalambous has often heaped praise himself on the hastily assembled defence of the legitimate state against the well-prepared Turkish onslaught, sadly with British encouragement and support.
One is, of course, entitled to change one’s ideas, ideals, beliefs and allegiances, but it is grossly unethical to do so at the expense of historical objectivity and fair play.
Loucas Charalambous is keeping new company nowdays and has rejected many of his old beliefs and ideas, which is of course absolutely legitimate and some people might even find it praiseworthy.
I trust that your newspaper, which takes the trouble to translate Charalambous’ articles and make them available to an English-speaking readership, will take this opportunity to redress his inconsistencies by publishing this.
Philippos Stylianou, Nicosia