We are used to it now. Another July. Memorials, trisha, convictions for double crime… and then holidays.
This year we are 47 years away from those days that marked our lives. They marked the lives of even those who did not live them, because the knife is still in the wound, which is malformed.
It is not just history, oblivion, the oil industry… It is this barbed wire that has taken root in the “long struggle”.
Even these siren sounds have become folklore. Part of an eerie setting, which we became accustomed to as part of our routine.
“Makarios is dead”, “the voice you hear is familiar”. Two sentences that summarize the events of that July 15 that changed our lives.
Decisive fascist discourse
“This morning the National Guard intervened to stop the fratricidal war between the Greeks. The National Guard is currently in charge of the situation. Makarios is dead “. With this simple, repeated announcement from the RIK radio studios, the coup leaders put their signature on the crime with gusto. They did not even try to hide. They seemed to be proud because they were leading the place to ruin. It was enough for Makarios to be dead. It was enough for them to get him out of the way and for “Nikolakis” to hand over “the head of Musk” to the invisible dictator of Athens. They did not make it. Fortunately, they proved to be more incompetent than they seemed. The “dead” Makarios heard the announcement of his death heading to Paphos. Soon everyone would know that the junta's colonels had been humiliated. With them are the willing “fighters” of EOKA II who put the betrayal above the homeland. Today they declare themselves victims, demand honors and demand oblivion. Let them not worry. We have been dormant for a long time.
The “ridiculous subject…”
A little while later, a faint voice, confused in the fog of the radio waves, changed the gloomy picture and opened a window to illuminate the darkness that covered the island early in the morning, Monday. Makarios, having drafted a text on a piece of paper, kept the resistance from Paphos upright. The surviving manuscript is now a document of a story whose end we do not know. Makarios' speech from the free radio station of Paphos is known to everyone. However, it is interesting to note a proposal written by the President and Archbishop and deleted because, according to people who lived through difficult times with him, he did not want to give the impression that he personifies the responsibility and attributes it to the puppet of the junta, Nikos Sampson .
Shortly before the end of the sermon, Makarios's manuscript recorded the sentence: “I am sorry that a ridiculous subject, named Sampson, was found, and the junta anointed him president.” This sentence was marked in brackets on the written text and was deleted with an “X” by Makarios himself. It may not have been spoken on the radio, but it is a historical element of the Archbishop's view of the junta's choice to plant in the “presidential's” a willing collaborator of its own, of reduced to non-existent seriousness. The incident that the veteran journalist Panagiotis Papadimitris narrated to “P” is indicative in relation to the seriousness and the perception of the magnitude of the crime that N. Sampson had committed. “He was complaining,” said P. Papadimitris, “because they called him eight days, since, as he passionately claimed, he stayed in 'power' for nine days and was therefore nine days old!”
Th rithorio history
The manuscript of Archbishop Makarios is obviously written under tension and pressure, after it was written in the Diocese of Paphos just a few hours after his assassination attempt at the Presidential Palace and while the barrels of weapons were still smoking. It was written at a time when Makarios himself did not know the outcome of the coup, the extent of the damage and his future. On the side, on the left in the text of the sermon, Makarios wrote: “I am your leader”. This phrase was deleted and replaced with the phrase: “I am the one you chose to be your leader.” It is obvious that this small correction was aimed at reminding that he was the legitimately elected President and not a leader who was delegitimized by the coup.
A little further on, in the margin of the manuscript, the phrase “Join the legitimate forces of the state” was added, thus calling on the forces that supported him to resist when the junta had not yet established the coup.
High above the text of the sermon, Makarios wrote the epilogue, apparently as a note to close the radio appeal to the people. He wrote: “Long live freedom, // Greek. K. people, // the nation “.
In the sermon delivered by the free radio station of Paphos, Makarios added a few phrases outside the text, which, however, did not change in any way the essence of the written sermon.
It should be noted that the recitation of Makarios' sermon could not have been a historical event if Nikos Nikolaidis had not made a decisive contribution, as well as the young (then) later Speaker of Parliament Giannakis Omirou.
“Cunning and hypocritical”
The coup of 15 July 1974 was not a thunderbolt. It was preceded by a series of events, including the ecclesiastical coup organized by the junta with the contribution of Grivas. The demand made by three metropolitans in 1972 for the resignation of Makarios from the presidency, led to the dethronement of the then metropolitan of Paphos Gennadiou, by the clergy and the people. However, Gennadios remained metropolitan, having found refuge in Limassol. On April 3, 1972, he sent a letter to Archbishop Makarios, openly threatening him, saying that he was receiving urgent recommendations for his immediate return to the Diocese of Paphos “under the responsibility and protection of others, equally or more powerful and determined than he is.” what the political followers of the Blessed Sacrament. (Όμως) But I wonder how long I will be able to restrain the men of national fighters, who are ready to rid the Metropolitan of Paphos of the invaders and to put the whole province in order… “.
In Gennadiou's letter, Makarios has made two handwritten notes. In the first he writes: “He is returning. The content is unacceptable “. In the other note he comments: “A lot of hypocrisy and cunning characterize the content of the letter”.
From the style of Gennadiou's letter and Makarios 'comments, it is clear that from the beginning of 1972 things had started to become dangerous, as a metropolitan openly threatened with the intervention of “national fighters” (EOKA B') to remove her control. Of the Diocese of Paphos, but also of the whole province, by the Archbishop and President.
The Archbishop's clash with the metropolitans of Paphos, Limassol and Kiti was the first spark of the clash with the conspirators. The situation escalated with the illegal dismissal of Makarios and finally the dismissal of the three metropolitans from the Major and Extraordinary Synod convened by the Archbishop after his re-election as president of the state. The sequel is known and the consequences are those that Cyprus has been experiencing for the last 47 years.
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