Cyprus Mail
Divided Island

Akel calls for probe into ‘coupist’ bragging about 1974 involvement

Army tanks rolling down Limassol road, in front of the Hilton, just after the coup d'etat on July 15, 1974 (CM archives)

MAIN opposition Akel has urged the police and the Attorney-general’s office to investigate claims by a former army officer who boasted during a spat on social media that he took part in the planning and execution of the 1974 military coup that toppled then President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios.

The revelation was made during a heated argument on Facebook between daily Politis journalist, Manolis Kalatzis and Georgios Constantinou who claims to be a founding member of the ruling Disy.

The online fracas begun when Kalatzis posted comments on social media relating to some excerpts of the Cyprus File, whose first four volumes were made public last Wednesday. The Cyprus File contains the findings of a Greek parliamentary enquiry into the events of 1974, including both the coup d’état and the Turkish Invasion that followed, and names many of the perpetrators.

Constantinou, who appears to be the head of the Larnaca Reserve Officers Association, admitted to his participation in the coup during the spat when Kalatzis asked him whether he was proud of his involvement in the coup.

“[…] you should know that I took part in the planning and execution (of the coup) and when I put on my officer’s uniform I feel very proud,” Constantinou replied.

Akel’s spokesman, Stefanos Stefanou, said in a written statement that, following Constantinou’s admission that he was involved in the planning and execution of the coup, and that he was “proud of it,” his party expected the authorities to act.

“We expect those responsible for the protection of legitimacy and justice, and in particular the office of the Attorney-general and the police, to respond promptly and to address the issue,” Stefanou said.

A Disy official told the Cyprus Mail he was unaware of the incident, adding that it is their policy, anyway, not to comment on what is said on social media. He could not confirm or deny if Constantinou was a founding member of Disy.

On July 15, 1974 Makarios was ousted by a coup d’etat perpetrated by the Greek Cypriot EOKA-B paramilitary organisation, backed by the Greek junta and was replaced by pro-Enosis (union with Greece) nationalist Nicos Sampson. The coup was followed five days later by the Turkish invasion, which resulted in the occupation of 37 per cent of the Republic’s territory and its de facto division.

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