Cyprus File probe into 1974 coup published

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The Greek parliament and Cypriot House of Representatives have published the 9th volume of the Cyprus File, the investigation into the events behind the 1974 coup and subsequent invasion.

The latest edition includes testimonial material collected by the Investigative Committee of the Hellenic Parliament from 1986-1988 to collect and evaluate evidence on the Greek military coup in Cyprus and the Turkish invasion that followed days after.

As underlined in the volume’s foreword by the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Konstantinos Tasoulas and House Speaker Annita Demetriou, the published material does not attribute institutional and final accountability.

They say the papers shed light on the grave historical responsibilities of the seven-year military dictatorship in Greece against Cyprus – with all the possible shortcomings the personal testimonies may contain, especially those who bear the responsibility for the 1974 Greek military coup in Cyprus and its aftermath.

Tasoulas and Demetriou also underline the initiative of the two Parliaments to produce this publication jointly.

“It aims to offer Greece, Cyprus and our expatriates, and the academic community access to historical material that until now has been considered an unsealed secret and to shed light on known and unknown aspects of the Cypriot tragedy.”

They emphasise the initiative “is also the beginning of a joint effort by the Parliaments to collect all the material related to the Cyprus File that is scattered in various archives, state and non-state, in the hope of opening new research paths and broadening the field of historical knowledge.”

The 9th volume contains the minutes of the Committee of Inquiry ‘On the Cyprus File’ of the Session of the Hellenic Parliament on 30 October 1986, 5-6 November 1986, and 12-13 November 1986.

At those parliamentary committee meetings, some of the key figures in the Greek junta gave testimony.

The Cyprus File documents the chain of events that led to the coup by the then military regime in Athens against Archbishop Makarios, the island’s first president.

The coup prompted a Turkish invasion of Cyprus days later, leading to the island’s division that has haunted regional politics; it also sparked the collapse of military rule in Greece.

Some information held by Greek authorities remains classified or ‘lost’.