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Cyprus

Oath and bible used for EOKA pioneers now in Nicosia

House President Yiannakis Omirou present the relics to Education minister Costas Kades

By George Psyllides

THE written oath and the New Testament used by the pioneers of the EOKA organisation will from now on be housed in Nicosia on long term loan from Greece.

The bible and the single-sheet handwritten oath had been kept in Greece and were recently handed over to House President Yiannakis Omirou who delivered them to the education minister on Friday during a ceremony in parliament attended by President Nicos Anastasiades, Archbishop Chrysostomos, veterans of the 1955-1959 EOKA struggle to rid Cyprus of colonial ruler Britain and unite with Greece, and other dignitaries.

The historic artefacts will be housed at the EOKA museum in Nicosia.

Omirou said the first discussions about an armed struggle started in Athens, with exiled Cypriot lawyers Savvas and Socratis Loizides being among the pioneers.

They approached archbishop Makarios who agreed with the idea. This was followed by the informal initiation of other members, Greeks and Cypriots.

Efforts were formalised on March 7, 1953 in Athens, with the swearing in ceremony.

The oath was taken before Makarios, at the apartment of theologian Gerasimos Konidiaris, on Asklipios Street in the Exarhia area.

Apart from Makarios, the Loizides brothers, and others, the record was also signed by retired lieutenant colonel Georgios Grivas.

The decision to hold the ceremony was taken at the end of February of that year, after preparation for the struggle had progressed with the dispatch of arms to Cyprus.

Of the 12 who signed the record, seven were present at the ceremony.

The military campaign officially began on April 1, 1955 with EOKA launching simultaneous attacks on the British controlled Cyprus Broadcasting Station in Nicosia, the British Army’s Wolseley barracks, and on targets in Famagusta.

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