Konuk Yazar, 16 Mayıs 2005
"Our Haunted Country" And "The Great Conspiracy of Brains"Two Articles by Makarios Droushiotis follows. Our Haunted Country
Over 200 Greek Cypriots have been accused of treason and executed by EOKA. At least 1000 families bear the stain of treason without substantiation, without a shred of evidence. Those who have tried to obtain information from the fighters' organisations faced an impenetrable wall: "They don't know, they won't reply." Those who by themselves investigated the motives of the killings usually come to other conclusions, which have nothing at all to do with treason. In August 1958 EOKA indiscriminately killed Turkish Cypriots and TMT Greeks. In total, 115 Cypriots (60 Greeks and 55 Turks, tit for tat) were killed in bicommunal clashes. The victims' only "sin" was their ethnicity.
A struggle was fought as it was fought and it came to what it came to. Fifty years have passed since. Did these lives not deserve a serious investigation? Unfortunately not. After the end of the struggle, attention turned to plunder, material and political. The sharing of the pie was the chief motive behind a new cycle of violence. Referring to newspapers from the early 1960's, one is shocked by the number of murders. The police could hardly keep up with gathering bodies off the streets. Georkadjis killed, as did Sampson, the underworld and the "protectors" of society from the underworld. The Turks did about the same. TMT killed and terrorised the Turks, as the remnants of EOKA did the Greeks.
Then the new drama of 1963 came. Over 500 Turkish Cypriots were murdered, most by Georkadjis' Organisation and by Sampson. They either disappeared from police holding cells, prisons and hospitals, or they were abducted from their villages and were never seen again. Fifty Greek Cypriots also disappeared at the time, and have been missing since. Many other Greek Cypriots died in the battles. A total of 53 people lost their lives - completely pointlessly - in the Turkish air raids on Tylliria.
There followed EOKA B and the terror that accompanied it, in the name of Enosis. If they had achieved Enosis, today they too would have been hailed as heroes. Things went more wrong than they could have reckoned, and we came to the shocking tragedy of 1974: another 2,500 dead and missing. The remains of some are still unburied on the Pentadactylos Mountains. Thousands of families were destroyed as a consequence of the insanity that called itself patriotism. The EOKA Betas, instead of going to Kyrenia to face the Turkish Army, attacked the Turkish Cypriot civilians in the South. They wiped out all the men of Tochni village, and the whole population of two villages, Maratha and Aloa. TMT did the same, exterminating Greek Cypriot civilians in Palekythro, Assia and elsewhere.
Half a century since this insanity started, our society will not tolerate even a simple reference to the deeper causes of the disaster. AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias made a correct remark at the most appropriate time: at the annual commemoration of the murder of Misiaoulis and Kavazoglou, he stated that the murderers, whether they were Turkish or Greek, had the same ideology. Everyone jumped on him, baying for his blood. And he began to apologise and claim he had been misunderstood! This is what happens when one deals with the parastate and washes out criminals, in return for some appointments and financial nepotism.
Our county is haunted, persecuted by the curse of the unvindicated souls. So many human beings were lost totally pointlessly, without even elementary justice having been done. We hide the truths under a veil of lies, hyperbole and myth. Fifty years later the debate did begin, but everyone wants it closed. Some "intellectuals" are also worried because we are scratching at wounds and disturbing unity. The wounds are there and they are still open, though we refuse to see them. And what unity are they thinking of? Unity in the soul trade? Unity in the
revolutionary hero and resistance fighter industry? Each one of us today claims a medal of struggle, resistance and patriotism. This, unfortunately, is our relationship with History. Hanging a fake medal at our throats!
A year ago today, we were called to decide for or against the Annan plan. We took a position in favour of it. It wasn't the best plan. In many places it was problematic and irritatingly unfair. But it had a big plus: a solution within the E.U. would have compelled us to draw a line in our relationship with the past, would have "forced" us, Greeks and Turks, to co-operate and cohabitate on this island. To lay the souls of our dead to rest, and chase the ghosts from our island.
But those who started these affairs half a century ago told us it wouldn't work. They know best. They haven't finished yet. They are still trading in souls, still minting medals, still giving oaths that they will not stray, still selling the people 1950's patriotism. With a people so immature, a people conserving and glorifying the policies that have destroyed it, it's a thousand times better that the solution plan did not pass. Until things change, the status quo will be "the best solution for all of us"...
Makarios Droushiotis - Politis Newspaper
The Great Conspiracy of Brains
On Friday, Febraury 18th 2005, Speaker of the House of Representatives Demetris Christofias accused - once more - international factors of pulling strings to remove the Cyprus issue from the United Nations framework. Mr. Speaker claimed that "These are games largely guided by some unseen hand" and, in an outburst of rage at the suggestion that President Papadopoulos should submit proposals to the United Nations, said: "This story, that the Greek Cypriot side should take the initiative and that the Greek Cypriot side should write, and which is being recycled by local circles and by circles in the Turkish Cypriot community, in Turkey and elsewhere abroad, and which I don't know if it is also being recycled in United Nations circles, is, in any case, an unprecedented story".
Christofias' outburst on the "recycling" of the conspiracy by unspecified "circles", became a lead item in the two newspapers which express the opposite poles of the governing coalition. Simerini hosted the Christofias accusations under the banner "SUSPECT GAMES by circles inner and outer". Haravghi titled its item "GUIDED GAMES". Both newspapers, in their front-page items, suggested that a conspiracy guided by some foreign entity was unfolding.
In the last few months, this government is possessed by a persecution complex, and automatically blames everything that goes wrong for it on the foreigners. Public opinion, because of the troubled history of the
Republic of Cyprus, is understandably suspicious of foreigners. But the conspiracy theories reproduced by politicians and the media are often imaginary. The only conspiracy which can be substantiated is that of the recycling of incoherence and political paranoia. Preoccupation with conspiracy theories is a curse bequeathed on us by the late ex-President Spyros Kyprianou.
The most classic case of political paranoia is the Great Conspiracy which rocked Cyprus in the summer of 1978. We dug into our archives, gathered the material and were shocked by the resemblance between then and now.
The Curse Bequeathed by Spyros
When the President of the Republic and Archbishop Makarios suddenly died in August 1977, Spyros Kyprianou, as Speaker of the House of Commons, took over as acting President. With the consent of all the political forces, he continued in his duties for the remaining few months' of Makarios' term which would in any case have ended in February 1978, when the next presidential elections were due. In December 1977, Achilleas Kyprianou, son of Spyros, who was serving as an officer in the Special Forces of the National Guard, was mysteriously abducted and later released. The real circumstances of Achilleas Kyprianou's abduction and release have never been recorded to their full extent. What is known is the result: the political upgrading of Spyros Kyprianou, to the extent that no-one else dared contest the presidential elections. Spyros Kyprianou rose to the presidency in February 1978, elected unopposed.
While Makarios was still alive, Kyprianou was suffering from depression and was turning his thoughts towards abandoning politics. Makarios' sudden death gave him a big opportunity and changed his plans. In mid-1978, some of the political personalities of the era doubted his capacity for handling the Cyprus issue. Among these was Tassos Papadopoulos, who had been appointed by Makarios as negotiator for the Cyprus issue. At that time, when Makarios was still a legend, Papadopoulos accused Kyprianou of not following the Makarios line on the Cyprus issue. Kyprianou, who considered himself as the man continuing along the path of the Ethnarch, would not stand for any of that.
On July 8th 1978, Tassos Papadopoulos spoke on a public occasion against Kyprianou, accusing him of straying from the political bequests of Makarios. Kyprianou, who was in a bad psychological state, believed that behind the publicly expressed doubts about his policies was an international conspiracy to politically and physically annihilate him. Some of his political associates, who were seeing Kyprianou's authority placed in doubt, submitted to him various information about an attempt to destabilise the internal front, for the purposes of imposing an illegitimate solution to the Cyprus issue.
This information - later found to be totally lacking in factual fundation - was leaked to the Press. The most imaginative scriptwriter of the conspiracy theories was the assistant editor of Phileleftheros newspaper, Anthos Lycavgis. The first juicy newspaper report on the conspiracy appeared in Phileleftheros on July 15th 1978, the anniversary of the coup of 1974:
"The Black Internationale, the fascist movement which had as its nucleus the Josef Strauss party in west Germany, has spread its tentacles to Cyprus and is pulling the strings of the conspiracy to cause political upheaval and social and economic unrest in the two countries, with the purpose of causing a change of regime, and furthering illegitimate solutions to the Cyprus issue."
According to this pompous piece of writing, among the conspirators was the former First Secretary of the West German embassy in Nicosia, Paul Kubjurn, "who is also the economic brains behind the affair".
As it later became known, Strauss was the name of the dog belonging to former EOKA B officer and purported "chief" of the developing conspiratorial activity, Kikis Constantinou. For some unknown reason,
Kyprianou's informers confused the name of the dog with the name of the German politician.
In Greece as well
According to Phileleftheros' information, "the aim of the conspirators is the toppling or the physical annihilation of President Kyprianou and of Greek Prime Minister C. Karamanlis. This to subjugate the peoples of both countries to fascist rule, and the derailing of their national and other problems from the course of their just and right solution."
The attempt to involve Greece in the conspiracy enraged Athens, and drove them to make representations to the Cyprus government which was forced to announce that the conspiracy did not extend to Greece. As to the leaders of the conspiracy in Cyprus, Phileleftheros wrote that "they are purposely not being named, so that they can be more effectively monitored and their plans thwarted". But whispered rumour had it that the conspirators in Cyprus were former EOKA B chief Kikis Constantinou, Tassos Papadopoulos and Glafkos Clerides.
The German "conspiracy circle" was blamed for all the evil that had come to pass in Cyprus, including the coup. According to Phileleftheros, the police had reopened the files on the following cases:
On July 17th, Kyprianou relieved Tassos Papadopoulos of his duties as negotiator on the Cyprus issue. In a long, published letter, Kyprianou hinted at Tassos' involvement in the conspiracy. Of course, nothing of the kind was happening in Cyprus; the affair was a complete fantasy. Papadopoulos made public statements calling upon Kyprianou to furnish any evidence of his involvement in the "conspiracy", and volunteered to abrogate his own parliamentary immunity. The government spokesman stated that the Council of Ministers would decide if Papadopoulos was to be indicted. After many discussions, Kyprianou announced that the termination of Papadopoulos' duties as negotiator had nothing to do with the "conspiracy".
The Historic Testimony of Spyros Kyprianou
On July 23rd 1978, Spyros Kyprianou called a meeting of members of his government at his home to inform them of the evidence he had on the great conspiracy. He himself asked that the briefing he was to give be taped, so that it would go down in History. The text record of the material on the tape, which we have in our possession, has indeed gone down in History as irrefutable testimony to the paranoid behaviour of the head of the state.
(We attempt to maintain the structure of the original text in the excerpts which follow):
Kyprianou expounded on a theory that the coup in Cyprus had not been the work of CIA as most people believed, but of the German Secret Services. Kyprianou stated that the CIA had played a part in the foundation of the Unitary Party that had been founded in 1968 with Glafkos Clerides and Polycarpos Georkadjis as joint chiefs. "But entering the 1971-1972 period, what with the stink from the Watergate affair and other things, the CIA began to pull back as far as Greece and Cyprus were concerned, and passed Greece and Cyprus on to one of the German services. Hence this Corbune (sic) came and settled in Cyprus."
On the night before the briefing, Kyprianou had stayed overnight in the Asteria Hotel in Limassol and had a close cooperation with his associate Dinos Michaelides. Kyprianou said that on the same night, two German agents had stayed at the same hotel, and had been planning to abduct his wife, Mimi!
The Radio Transmitters
The "headquarters" of the "conspirators" in Limassol were, always according to Kyprianou's information, the building which housed the offices of the Hanseatic shipping company in Limassol. The company administered a small shipyard in Limassol and engaged in ship repairs. The company had a radio transmitter license for communicating with its crews repairing ships off the Limassol coast. On top of the building was a tall radio mast. But according to Kyprianou's information, the radios were used for coordination and communication between the "conspirators" and Athens: "Just for the hell of it, I thought I'd pass by and take a look, not even the police has this kind of radio on top. The police doesn't have such huge transmitters on top."
Kyprianou's theory was based on his strong conviction that the foreigners wanted to topple him and were using Papadopoulos and Clerides. The Cypriot brain was, according to Kyprianou, Kikis Constantinou, who had been arrested in his bathing shorts at Ayia Napa and taken to Nicosia.
Kyprianou was under the impression that Papadopoulos was undermining him under instructions from Kikis. Papadopoulos had been arrested by the coupists in Famagusta on 16th July 1974, but was released the next day after Kikis Constantinou intervened. Kyprianou said that before
Papadopoulos was released, he made a written statement pledging allegiance to the coupist regime and renouncing Makarios. Kyprianou also claimed that Kikis had Papadopoulos' deposition at his disposal and was using it to blackmail Papadopoulos. So Kyprianou asked his associates to locate Tassos' "deposition":
Kikis and his "Box"
"He is tied up hand and foot and he can't easily get out of it unless we help him, and I have reasons which I believe that we can help him, it would be enough to make a surprise search of Kikis' box and remove some documents from it".
That is, Kyprianou had Kikis arrested so that he could have his safe searched, get the document he believed Kikis had and use it to bring Tassos to his senses! "We hold Kikis, Kikis holds everyone. And they can't budge", he said. "This letter must certainly come into our hands, and not those of Tassos, we are the ones responsible for law and order. I can reassure Tassos that I will not use it against him, but it would be good that he knows we have it, and not Kikis Constantinou. I don't know if that letter was found."
It seems that eventually the deposition was not found and Kyprianou tried to extract a confession from Vassos Pavlides Yiatros, who was incarcerated at the Central Prison, that Papadopoulos and Clerides had been behind the abduction of Achilleas Kyprianou. Kyprianou offered to release Yiatros from prison in return. The latter refised and wrote a letter to the Attorney General in which he claimed that the brain behind the abduction of Achilleas was Minister of the Interior Christodoulos Veniamin.
Kyprianou also tried to trap Clerides and Papadopoulos with "information" on their... love life: "My impressions are that they have Clerides tied down, maybe with money, maybe with women issues. Maybe both, for example Papadaki in Athens is Glafkos' girlfriend. Tassos they've got tied down with various other girls, one in London, one in Athens and one in New York. I'm giving it to you all mixed up like this so that you get a picture. [...] Tassos is rich, he has no need of money, although sometimes rich people are more motivated by money than poor people."
"The Enemies of Cyprus"
On the basis of that briefing - without a shred of evidence - President Kyprianou convinced the great majority of Cypriots that he had been the victim of an international conspiracy. The newspapers ran the "information" leaked by the government's fabricators under banner headlines. Quoting from Phileleftheros:
"Treason Thwarted Yesterday", "Turks Investing in Hopes of Undermining Kyprianou", "Shocking New Evidence of Treason", "People and Army will Thwart the Conspiracy", "Turks Were Planning to Advance".
These, and other, banner headlines, and Kyprianou's everyday appearances on state television channel CyBC, drove the people onto the streets. All professional organisations issued statements of support. As we are informed by Phileleftheros, in his briefing to the professional organisations about the conspiracy, Kyprianou "referred especially to the efforts of the enemies of Cyprus to further new conspiratorial plans and to create unrest in the internal front, to facilitate the imposition of an unacceptable solution of the Cyprus issue."
The Council of Ministers and the National Council convened in joint assembly, were briefed by the President on the conspiracy, and unanimously (!) expressed their full support. Not one person, not even those attacked, dared articulate a different opinion.
Papadopoulos spoke of the issue five years later, in 1983, when he supported the Clerides candidacy in the presidential elections. His newspaper, Kirykas, serialised the story of the Great Conspiracy. In a long interview to Kirykas, Papadopoulos bitterly complained about the misinformation and the way the Press had cooperated in it, and criticised the reference to conspiracies without evidence: "And so that the President knows, that for him to be credible when he slings mud against his political opponents, he should provide evidence, or otherwise remain silent. To preserve the status of the state and his own credibility and the rule of law." (Kerykas, 9/2/1983)
In 1983, on the day of the presidential elections, when Kyprianou was seeking to be re-elected, Kirykas published on its front page a medical prescription for 1680 sedative pills for Spyros Kyprianou! On the same day, Spyros Kyprianou was re-elected on the first Sunday with 56% of the vote! AKEL knew that the President was not doing well and tried to distance itself. But since the pro-Kyprianou sentiment was so strong among the general population, because of the controlled information and the successful propaganda by the government, AKEL did not dare to go into conflict, and was eventually towed by Kyprianou's DIKO.
Kyprianou spoke of his psychological problems in the famous taped briefing he gave his associates. And he blamed his problems on a foreign conspiracy(!):
There can be no other conclusion. Corbune did not want me. Let's put it that way, let's say. From then on, we don't know where the thing will go. And I don't know. My condition was deteriotating constantly. Why should it deteriorate? This is a matter we must see purely from a medical point of view, but it must not become known at all because there will be other complications".
This is Spyros Kyprianou's tape-recorded description of his personal condition. This man governed Cyprus for another ten years.
If Spyros Kyprianou was elected President with 56% having this kind of history, then this means the choices of the majority are not necessarily the best. Sometimes, they are actually the worst. Things become dangerous when political parties and leaders are towed along by manufactured public opinion.
Kubjurn's Exoneration Without Apology
Kubjurn had been First Secretary of the West German embassy in Nicosia. He was replaced in April 1978, but received permission to remain in Cyprus until his son's school term was finished. As he was preparing to leave Cyprus, he learned from the media that he was the brain behind a great conspiracy. He had never been questioned on these charges, or been presented with any evidence.
Israeli football coach Eli Fuchs, who had been working for the team Olympiakos, was accused together with Kubjurn as his accomplice. Fuchs left Cyprus. In an interview to Alithia newspaper in December 1985, he said: "I have never been involved in anything and have never had anything to do with anything except sports". Fuchs attempted to clear his name and applied to Kyprianou in writing, asking to be informed of the charges against him, but he never got a reply. "There can be nothing worse than being accused of having done something you have never done and not knowing anything about it", he said in the same interview.
The case of Kubjurn was much more serious than that of Fuchs. In a speech at Nicosia's Eleftheria Square, Kyprianou said that he would expose Kubjurn's connections to Raouf Denktash. On July 19th he called 23 ambassadors of various countries individually to his office and informed them of the conspiracy and the Kubjurn connection. The briefing concerned Kubjurn's "conspiratorial" role in the Egyprian commando raid at Larnaca airport. Kyprianou denounced Kubjurn as the coordinator of a provocatory act aimed at Kyprianou himself. Kubjurn reports that he had not even been at Larnaca airport on that day!
"Classical Greek Comedy"
Kyprianou stated publicly that Kubjurn had been deported from Cyprus. Kubjurn himself had never been informed that he had been deported. He left Cyprus of his own free will on July 17th 1978. He did consider, however, that after all that had transpired, he had been placed on the stop list.
The climate that had been created was such that there was no way he could defend himself through the Cyprus media. In Athens, where he arrived on board ship, he was asked about the conspiracy and stated: "All this is a comedy. You have heard of classical Greek tragedy, is that not so? Well, what is now happening in Cyprus is the exact opposite: classical Greek comedy." Kubjurn's statements were published in Phileleftheros under the title: "THE DEPORTED ON CONSPIRACY: All this is a comedy, Kubjurn brazenly states".
Years later, Kubjurn discovered that a deportation order had never been signed for him, and neither had his name ever been placed on the stop list. He returned to Cyprus and filed a lawsuit for libel agains the government of the Republic, demanding compensation for the destruction of his diplomatic career.
Fairly or Unfairly
In the meantime, Spyros Kyprianou had retracted his accusations about the great conspirator. On April 22nd 1981 1he said: "I have spoken of a Brain, I have spoken that I will reveal all, I have revealed enough. In any case, two men left Cyprus, maybe fairly, maybe unfairly, I won't examine that at this moment..." And on the 12th of April of the same year he said: "I am not a court to judge whether the information the state had was accurate or not, up to what point they were based on reality or had been planted. Because it is not out of the question that some of it was factual and some of it was planted."
Of course, when the affair reached the courts, the case was short-circuited by precedure. Two years later the plaintiff tired of it and withdrew his suit. It was a case that interested no one. Only Alekos Constantinides in Simerini, and later Alithia, maintained some interest in the issue, but no one paid ny attention.
Tassos Praises Spyros
Even Tassos Papadopoulos, who in the mind of Spyros Kyprianou had been Kubjurn's accomplice, had joined the ranks of DIKO! On January 10th 1988, two months after the withdrawal of Kubjurn's lawsuit, he said in a public gathering in support of Kyprianou's re-election: "We believe that the correct national line followed today in Cyprus, is followed by today's and tomorrow's president Kyprianou. Against the call of threats for worse calamities we oppose the strength and the correct national course of president Kyprianou".
The brain, the conspiracies, the international defamation was the correct national course. But how was his own dignity abandoned? Papadopoulos did not find himself in opposition to Kyprianou because he had been defending justice and the truth. He was part of the same system, but due to circumstances he found himself holding the wrong end of the stick. When Kyprianou's throne started to rock he transcended, or rather politically invested in making the change, which in return gave him the presidency of the Republic fifteen years later. Tassos bowed to Kyprianou without asking for a public apology about the great conspiracy, for either himself or Kubjurn.
Kyprianou lost the elections to Vassiliou, who on May 20th as President of the Republic of Cyprus, apologised to the German diplomat for what his predecessor had put him through. Kubjurn was also given a substantial financial compensation. Beyond that, none of the newspapers or the reporters that had played leading roles felt the need for even a simple apology. Not even this Cypriot society, which feels itself mistreated by the whole world, has felt the need to ask its leadership for any explanation. And as Alekos Constantinides wrote in Alithia on December 23rd 1986: "A people capable of swallowing such a crass paranoid incident as the Great Conspiracy and the satanic Brain without reacting, and without punishing those responsible for this national humiliation, are a people without reflexes, a people who are seriously deficient".
Has it really been thirty years since then?
Makarios Droushiotis - Politis
(*) Published with Author's permission. Original Article at http://www.makarios.ws/cgibin/hweb?-A=727&-V=english