History of Europe

Why didn't Greece help Cyprus in 1974? Averof's excuses

In 1974, Evangelos Averof was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Konstantinos Karamanlis. In his address to the parliament, Averof had said about the Cyprus tragedy:"They accused us then because we did not send the Phantoms to Cyprus. Phantom we had received 18 in total. By order of Karamanlis they stationed themselves in Crete, in order to be ready to go to Cyprus. One broke down on landing because their pilots had not yet been trained in this new weapon.

“And they were so untrained that during the emergency landing one was rendered useless. But even beyond that, if they were to go, in order to have fuel and be able to return, they would have to stay over Cyprus for only 5 to 8 minutes. What madman would send these planes, so useful for the future, to risk being shot down by the Turks?

“Because the Turks on the south coast had three radars and various airfields, from which they could pick up 50 of their own planes and shoot them down. The Junta sent planes and due to a miscommunication one was shot down by the National Guard and so many children were killed! It was selected for submarines, for the fleet which had to go to Cyprus. Hyper-patriotism makes us distort things. Is it forgotten that the Turks mistook three of their destroyers for ours and with three planes sank one and very seriously damaged the other?

"With such a lack of air cover of ours, with complete and continuous cover of theirs, did you want to send our Fleet to Cyprus, so that we could not then defend the other islands? You talked about submarines. I inform you that the Turks at that time had three submarines standing still in front of Cyprus, which with their Sonar equipment, captured every submarine they encountered. And would we send our new submarines, which would perhaps be called upon to defend our islands, to fall like sheep to the slaughter?"... The conclusions at the discretion of the readers.

The “Folder”

In 1987, the then government of Andreas Papandreou "opened" - according to others it hermetically sealed in the now dark underground - the infamous Cyprus file. For the record, let us mention that the parliamentary committee called 131 people as witnesses. Finally, two conclusions were drawn, one from PASOK and one from ND, which they considered responsible, as for the Civil War, the foreigners, Americans, Soviets, British, the Junta, in general and vaguely - without touching Bonanno, Arapaki, Grazio and Vice Admiral Papanikolaou - who were demobilized and retired normally, in 1974-75, without suffering any consequences. Also, the two findings "sanctify" both Kon. Karamanlis, as well as Archbishop Makarios.