The struggle against fascism and Turkish occupation
The failure of the enemies of Cyprus to dissolve the independent Cyprus Republic through the imposition of the various imperialist plans led the foreign centres of power to follow a policy of undermining Cyprus from within. In these new abhorrent plans they found the junta in Athens and also the local extreme right-wing as willing cooperators. Plans were hatched for the overthrow by a coup and the murder of Makarios, for the destruction of AKEL and the other democratic forces. Illegal organizations such as the National Front appeared. Grivas comes to Cyprus who organizes EOKA B; and carries out an orgy of terror through the murder of democratic citizens, kindnappings, the blowing up of police stations etc. He even enrolled the Church hierarchy in order to overthrow Makarios. Anti-communism, patriotic jingoism and chauvinism take on amazing and new founded dimensions. All of these are carried out on the pretext of the so-called struggle for Enosis whilst in essence they are preparing the ground for the Turkish invasion.
In the years of struggle against the betrayal and the fascism of the junta and EOKA B AKEL was once again in the forefront of the struggle. It supports with consistency Makarios and his policy. It leads and takes the main burden of the peoples mobilizations which repeatedly foil plans for a coup d etat. It warns and discloses the subversive plans and calls for the taking of measures against the undermining of the state. It demanded the cleansing of the National Guard, Policy and the state mechanism. It projects the need to establish a peoples militia and offers for this purpose one thousand members and cadres to be used by the lawful forces of the state. It asks for the setting up of an integrated staff plan for the tackling of a possible coup.
Unfortunately the danger of a coup was underestimated and the proposals of AKEL were not adopted. When, on the orders of the Junta and the Atlantic centres of decision making, the tanks of betray rolled onto the streets the heroic resistance of the democratic forces was not in a position to stop the nightmare.
On the 15th of July 1974 the members and cadres of AKEL were among the first to defend democracy. AKEL called on the whole of the Cypriot people to rally around and carry out resistance to the foreign-inspired fascist coup. Cadres of AKEL, EDON and other organizations of the People’s Movement sacrificed their lives or were injured fighting for democracy. Thousands of AKEL members and other left people were arrested by the coupists and EOKA B, imprisoned, tortured and their names went on lists for execution.
The fascist coup of the Junta and EOKA B opened the doors of Cyprus for the invasion of the Turkish Attila, as the Party had repeatedly warned. On the 20th of July 1974 AKEL calls for the defence of our homeland and declares that it will not compromise with the aggression. AKEL members and cadres once more are at the forefront in the defence of the independence of Cyprus. Many of them leave for the front straightaway from the prison cells where the coupists had thrown them in. The struggle is unequal and betrayed. Despite the heroic resistance of our people Attila takes possession of 37% of the territory of Cyprus and drives 1/3 of the Cypriot population into refugees. Many members of AKEL and the People’s Movement fell in battle or were injured in the battles against the foreign invader or are missing persons.
Despite the difficulties and trials in the years from the independence up to 1974 great socio-economic progress was made in Cyprus. We had gains in all spheres of political, socio-economic and cultural life. In the struggles and acquisitions of those years AKEL and the broader movement of the Left have their own indelible mark.