Turkish invasion of Cyprus | A divided Cyprus | This Week | 1974

Turkish invasion of Cyprus | A divided Cyprus | This Week | 1974


[Music] Thursday morning a week ago tanks of the Turkish army on the outskirts of Famagusta are about to complete their victory in Cyprus the Geneva peace talks have collapsed the Turks have lost patience have given up words in favor of war they will take what they want of Cyprus by force of arms [Laughter] [Music] Royal Fusiliers at the British military base of Takai Lea watched the Turks with anxiety the British base borders famagusta the Turks are unsure of their position the British are unsure of the Turks if the tanks seek to pass through the British base on their way to famagusta there’ll be a confrontation there is no communication between the two sides suddenly without warning the Turkish army opens fire on the base [Music] no British soldier is wounded and so diplomacy intervenes its mutually agreed that the shelling of the base by the Turks is an accident of war the Turkish army carefully skirting British territory is allowed to move unmolested on Famagusta the last stronghold of the Greeks the Turks face only token resistance from the local headquarters of the Greek Cypriots National Guard the tanks shell the barracks the result was as it has been throughout the advanced with immensely superior weapons they overwhelm the Greek opposition while the British look on the Turks completes their conquest in Cyprus with an avalanche of shells which destroy deserted buildings the port of Famagusta is in Turkish hands its buildings smoke from the bombs of the Turkish Air Force which has obliterated what remained of the Greek resistance for the Turks it’s been an easy war to win abandoning its strongholds the last ragged battalion of the Greek Cypriot army flees from the Turks the Greeks seek to escape through the British Dhekelia base but the British mindful of trigger-happy tanks refused to let them pass they might start shooting I’m sorry the defeat for these Greek Cypriots is a humiliation a humiliation brought on them by their own commanders the Greek officers from the mainland who led the islands army who had tried to murder Macarius and replace him with a thug called Samson their wild dream of a Cyprus ruled from Greece provoked the Turkish invasion led to this catastrophe [Applause] the Greeks had no hope of victory they fought from pride knowing they would lose as the Greeks fled the Turkish road rejoicing into the old city of Famagusta this had been a Turkish enclaves surrounded by Greeks who outnumber the Turks by three to one now not only the old city but the entire port of Famagusta is in Turkish hands [Music] [Applause] when the Turkish army first invaded the island the Turkish Cypriots of Famagusta came under siege from the Greeks they were bombarded by artillery cut off from the outside world short of food and water now they were free freed by the Turkish army [Applause] generals of the Turkish High Command their victory complete arrived in triumph to acknowledge the greetings of those they had saved to the Turks of Cyprus these were the heroes from the motherland who had come to their rescue [Applause] the Army’s arrival in Famagusta was the climax of their advance in advance they justified because of the suffering of their besieged people at the hands of the Greeks the victory secured for the Turks a slice of Cyprus which they now regards their own it’s no wonder that the Turks rejoice no wonder that the siege is but a bad memory from a past which will never return in the last half an hour just before the Turkish tanks arrived I counted 68 mortars at the Famagusta gate by the hospital I looked at my watch it was exactly 5 o’clock and for the lab for the 50 minutes I counted 125 morton’s had been shot to all city do you imagine 125 mortars to be sure to form a booster well just before the tanks arrived we had a very very heavy shelling by mortars and long-range guns and everybody was very upset but when suddenly we heard the word the tanks are here and everybody started rushing out the first thing we could think of was the safety of the women and children in case any more shells fell but I’m afraid there was no stopping anyone they just poured out all the shelters they were all in the streets in fact in fact everyone was crying you know they had tears in their eyes and they just started climbing over the tanks and the armored cars it was one big mass of happiness ecstasy and relief really and what was your feeling when you heard the tanks I say you I lost everything in my house I was very I was unhappy but when I saw the tanks when I saw the tank I forget my unhappiness I was very happy because my my life was saved my children’s life was well safe and my people I mean in terms it was all safe I’m very happy of course because they say to ourselves I know war is a very bad thing for everybody you know I don’t envy being anyone on the receiving end of a it is terrible for everyone everybody loses something somebody but then freedoms are never given you have to take him I’m afraid we had to do that only turkey for there helped us beyond the walls of the old Turkish city Famagusta is silent all this belonged to the greeks famagusta was the tourist resort of the island the major port much of the wealth of Greek Cyprus was based here last weekend the Greeks fled in panic before the Turkish tanks now the town is deserted no voice is heard no child plays no door slams it is as if the Greek Cypriot world has come to an end the last to escape the Turkish advance with the old the weak and the sick and terrified ones and twos the Greeks scurried for safety taking with them nothing but their fear of the Turk the Greeks have been reared on myths born out of centuries of enmity between the two races for these people the Turkish soldier is a barbarian they have abandoned all that they have and they won’t return while the Turks are there do you come from a village would you go back there I don’t want to go back nobody wants to go back to our village but under the control as well as we left and hate these fucking people anyway hate them since we are so small boys because our girl fathers grandfathers from our grandfathers I mean years ago they do that quit to this island and – please – you mean you’ve hated them for forever for a long long time that’s the yeah the struggle between the two people yeah because they are hard people they are not same day Creek see boots which they like everybody if the Turkish authorities said that it would be perfectly alright for you to live there under their can under their jurisdiction their control would you be happy about that no because the Turkish are the more bapak people that there is in the world so nobody Bob Rashmi yes barbarous people within this world so it is somewhat difficult to live under the Turkish Authority you wouldn’t do that no you would prefer even if you had to lose your house to live in the Greek side we prepare to be dead than to live under the Turkish Authority you know how many thousand pounds I left in my house I left my tractor I left my combined I left my wheat and barley which I is all my things and I love them you have nothing to go back to now no I don’t think I can find but you’ll find anything what do you think you will do now kill myself kill myself yes better to kill myself if I go back to fine I mean my house why do you think that they would have destroyed things there’s no evidence that they have looted on a wide scale it seems that every Greek Cypriot is on the move refugees confused and numbed in constant flight heading nowhere but away from the Turks it is thought that 200,000 people are now refugees 200,000 one person in every three on the island the Greeks have fled from dozens of small towns and villages in the way of the Turkish tanks families sit waiting for they know not what they’ve lost the Cyprus they thought was theirs they all have fathers or sons or brothers who fought against the Turks it’s feared that nearly 5000 people have died in the fighting some buried in silence others cannot [Music] it is inconceivable that they can live like this for long yet no alternative is in sight there is no hope only the knowledge of loss the tanks came into our village at about two o’clock and when we had the noise so the people try to to leave the village we were too scared for those tanks and we didn’t take anything with us but we tried to leave the village as soon as possible you got nothing with you no we didn’t take anything with us when I when we heard the tanks we we left immediately and came here yeah what did you leave behind in the village everything our house our problems everything we didn’t take anything with us the scale of the Greek disaster is now sinking in there are sudden irrational outbursts of despair this woman fears that her son is dead thinks that we are Americans blames us for letting the Turks invade and once the proud to drive us away what happened [Applause] [Music] she thinks that she thinks that we are Americans and yeah yes and she blames does everyone blame the Americans at the moment everyone if you don’t you doesn’t like America nobody nobody likes Americans no will you go back do you think we don’t know exactly would you would you go back while the Turkish people control that area oh no no one wants to go there not at all no no because may be killed they killed a very old man they killed about 200 people and they come and take all the Turkish air from villages around my village go go to our village and take take the cows the peace and everything you want everything they found find it do you think that the Greek people will try and get that land back or will they accept that the Turkish people are in control there no what will you do young people as they want to take the land back you will fight you yeah the Turkish army were expected to annex one-third of the island but it has even more for its advanced so far south that it now holds nearly 40% of Cyprus as a result the Turks hold more than two-thirds of the islands wealth they have they they move from pariah Thiam yesterday now from their forces in Puri they branched off this way cleff coast Claritas leader of the Greek Cypriots knows that his people face catastrophe now urging the world to act he claims that the Turkish have not yet finished their work and what is the situation then so far as as your concern have to fight through the hills he won’t negotiate till the Turks retreat he’s in a desperate position but he remains defiant I think it is going to get much worse we have not seen yet the worst of this tragedy my clear assessment of the situation is that the Turkish forces which landed in Cyprus are now putting away all the camouflage as to the purpose for which they landed and they’re advancing despite repeated cease fires with an intention to occupy the entire territory of the Republic of Cyprus you mean to turn Cyprus into part of Turkey to turn Cyprus in the 20th century to a Turkish colony and to subjugate the 80 percent of the Greek population to the 18 percent of the Turkish Cypriot population of the island if the Turks do virtually take over the whole island there is nothing that you can do about it is there sir militarily they can occupy the whole of Cyprus but they’re not going to occupy it through a capitulation of ours we certainly we will fight and they will be come a time when mr. achieve it’s our Macha will not be so usable because certainly we will fight in the Hills you’re talking about a guerrilla warfare I am talking about a long protracted warfare which will wage from the hills so are you saying therefore that it is quite impossible unless they retreat enormous ly to have any kind of peaceful solution that the war goes on that is exactly what I am saying and what I am accusing and with some arguments to support my accusation is that if they do not retreat they intend to live for the Greek Cypriots such an unproductive area that eventually in order to survive they will have gradually to emigrate and therefore they will turn the sciples into a Turkish Island what are your strongest feelings at the moment at the moment my strongest feeling is one of disgust disgust for those countries which could have prevented the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and instead of that they’re sitting satisfying themselves they just passing resolutions Greece has said that there will be no talking towards us a peaceful solution and you have said there will be no talking toward a peaceful solution at gunpoint which means that the Turks have to retreat before you will talk that means in practice doesn’t it that you are not going to talk at all look at the Turks are clearly not going to retreat that is exactly how the position is going to be if Turkey things that we are going to go to top merely to sign a surrender and to accept the Turkish claims in the way in which they were put at Geneva this is the proposals they are not negotiable you either accept them or you reject them then obviously we are not going to see at the table to legalize what Turkey has brought about by illegal actions does that mean that whatever the physical suffering that the Greek people have to bear that you will fight them in the hills rather than that whatever the physical suffering we have no alternative but to fight there are certain commodities in life which even to secure physical comfort to not constitute negotiable commodities and the freedom of one’s people and the freedom of one’s land is not a negotiable commodity 60 miles west along the coast from the battlefield of Famagusta at the opposite end of the island are other refugees here are the Turks 7,000 men women and children who fled from their enemy the Greeks a month ago the Greeks surrounded the small isolated villages of the Turkish community on the arrival of the Turkish army in Cyprus there was fighting those Turks who lived far from the invasion front had no army to defend them they were outnumbered many were captured the rest fled to safety in a British base like the Greek refugees they have nothing their homes have been looted their people killed yet now they are free from the fear that has always been with them for the first time in their lives they have hope a Turkish victory offers them security they hope that the Greek Cypriots will accept the new order each of them is waiting for the peace which would allow them to trek north into a Turkish Cyprus quite a few acres of land but I don’t give a damn – sorry about that you might would prefer to leave as long as I’ll be secured by the Turks would you again now live under Greek administration not at all definitely not I mean it’s noble to live with the Greek people we can’t live with them because we know at the end still they will find some way to kill even our brothers or our sister once we save our souls are too much my suggestion is to go and live where the Turkish administration is the production of Turkish army even if that means mass migration backwards or forwards across the land of Greek and Turks well it’s still my opinion doesn’t change I think everybody here if you ask them one by one and you will find that you will find many people here who are well well-off that they will not care care about their land and they will run to the place to the north while the Turkish administration is what happens if the Greeks do not accept the existence of that border and decide to fight for a long time guerilla warfare or whatever that may be in order to gain back that land well I think what Cledus the Acting President said that if Turkey decides to move a third time that they will go to the mountains and fight again just what they have done in 55 – English people but I think turkey Turkey will not give them the chance harsher how do you mean well you don’t expect turkey to give them the chance to kill innocent people just going like guerillas putting bombs in the car or into the houses or just killing innocent people I don’t think she will give them the chance but you can’t stop guerilla war no Greek will accept the humiliation of August 1974 hate and fear now rules Cyprus the island faces indefinite war across a perpetual divide in one way only our Greek and Turkish they both now belong to a nation of refugees [Applause]

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