Greece to hand over 1974 'Cyprus file'

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Greek Parliamentarians have overwhelmingly supported the handover of documents to the Government of Cyprus concerning the events before and during the Greek coup of July 15, 1974 which led to the Turkish invasion of the island.

The ‘Cyprus file’ contains documents collected by an investigative committee set up by the Greek Parliament to examine the events during that time in the island’s history.

President of the Greek Parliament Nikos Voutsis will travel to Cyprus on July 14 for the handover ceremony. The documents, included in the so-called "Cyprus File", will only be used for parliamentary, scientific or historical purposes.

Voutsis later clarified that documents classified as ‘secret’ will not be released and included in this round of documents but will be considered for future release subject to legal and other considerations.

The committee to examine the events that led to the junta-led coup in Cyprus was set up in 1986 following a proposal by PASOK to "investigate the conditions under which the treacherous and criminal coup against the independence of the Cypriot Republic was planned and executed in Greece and Cyprus."

A large number of the meetings were devoted to procedural issues, while the rest focused on the examination of 86 witnesses. After 154 meetings, the committee delivered its findings in October 1988. The minutes of the meetings cover 20,798 pages, while, in addition to the minutes, the archives drawn up by the committee include dossiers of documents provided by the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice.

"I welcome the decision of the Greek parliament to give access to the Cypriot parliament to the 'Cyprus Fil' archive, the documents of which were compiled by the Greek parliament from 1986 to 1988, during the investigation into the 'Cyprus File'," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said earlier in a speech.

"This decision constitutes an unfulfilled debt of the Greek state towards the Cypriot people, a minimum tribute and a historical vindication to all those who fought, resisted and were sacrificed during the coup against Makarios and the invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus by the 'Operation Attila'," he added.

The two countries signed a cooperation protocol and an annex granting the Cypriot parliament access to the material which it had been requesting for many years.


GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.