1960 Republic of Cyprus

The AKRITAS PLAN was drawn up in 1963 by the Greek Cypriot leadership and set out the guidelines towards achieving ENOSIS (annexation of Cyprus to Greece) through extermination of the Turkish Cypriot population on the island. A Greek Cypriot newspaper, ''Patris'', published the details of this plan for genocide in April 1966 until which time the document had remained a well-kept secret.

Soon after the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, President Makarios had begun setting up an organisation responsible for achieving the 'final solution' i.e union with Greece. The organisation was to be led by the Interior Minister, the chief of EOKA, Policarpos Yorgadjis, whose code name was AKRITAS. The Minister of Labor Thassos Papadopoulos was appointed deputy chief. The leader of the House of Representatives Glafcos Clerides (who is currently the so-called 'president' of the illegal regime in South Cyprus) was given the position of Chief of Operations, his code name was Hiperides.

Makarios and his team drew up the document, which was signed ''The Chief, Akritas'' and distributed it amongst the ranks of EOKA as a top secret circular several months prior to December 1963 when the Greek and Greek Cypriot forces launched an all out attack on the Turkish Cypriot population.


The Akritas Plan - Top Secret Headquarters

Recent public statements by Archbishop Makarios have shown the course which our national problem will take in near future. As we have stressed in the past, national struggles cannot be concluded overnight; nor is it possible to fix definite chronological limits for the conclusion of the various stages of development in national causes. Our national problem must be viewed in the light of developments which take place and conditions that arise from time to time, and measures to be taken, as well as their implementation and timing, must be in keeping with the internal and external political conditions. 

The whole process is difficult and must go through various stages because factors which will affect the final conclusion are numerous and different. It is sufficient for everyone to know, however, that every step taken constitutes the result of a study and that at the same time it forms the basis of future measures. Also, it is sufficient to know that every measure now contemplated is a first step and only constitutes a stage towards the final and unalterable national objective which is the full and unconditional application of the right of self-determination. As the final objective remains unchanged, what must be dwelt upon is the method to be employed towards attaining that objective. This must, of necessity, be divided into internal and external (international) tactics because the methods of the presentation and handling of our cause within and outside the country are different.


A. Method to be used Outside

In the closing stages of the (EOKA) struggle, the Cyprus problem had been presented to the world public opinion and to diplomatic circles as a demand of the people of Cyprus to exercise the right of self-determination. But the question of Turkish minority had been introduced in circumstances that are known, inter-communal clashes had taken place and it had been tried to make it accepted that it was impossible for the two communities to live together under a united administration. Finally the problem was solved, in the eyes of many international circles, by the London and Zurich Agreements, which were shown as solving the problem following negotiations and agreements between the contending parties.

(a) Consequently our first aim has been to create the impression in the international field that the Cyprus problem has not been solved and that it has to be reviewed.

(b) The creation of the following impressions has been accepted as the primary objective:

(i) that the solution which has been found is not satisfactory and just

(ii) that the agreement which has been reached is not the result of the free will of the contending parties.

(iii) that the demand for the revision for the agreements is not because of any desire on the part of the Greeks to dishonour their signature, but an imperative necessity of survival of them.

(iv) that the co-existence of the two communities is possible, and

(v) that the Greek majority, and not the Turks, constitute the strong elements on which foreigners must rely.

(c) Although it was most difficult to attain the above objectives, satisfactory results have been achieved. Many diplomatic missions have already come to believe strongly that the Agreements are neither just nor satisfactory, that they were signed as a result of pressures and intimidations without real negotiations, and that they were imposed after many threats. It has been an important trump in our hands that the solution brought by the Agreements was not submitted to the approval of the people; acting wisely in this respect, our leadership avoided holding a referendum. Otherwise, the people would have definitely approved the Agreements in the atmosphere that prevailed in 1959. Generally speaking, it has been shown that so far the administration of Cyprus has been carried out by the Greeks and that the Turks played only a negative part acting as a brake.

(d) Having completed the first stage of our activities and objectives we must materialise the second stage on an international level. Our objective in this second stage is to show:

(i) that the aim of the Greeks is not to oppress the Turks but only to remove unreasonable and unjust provisions of the administrative mechanism;

(ii) that it is necessary to remove these provisions right away because tomorrow may be too late;

(iii) Omitted

(iv) that this question of revision is a domestic issue for Cypriots and does not therefore give the right of intervention to anyone by force or otherwise;

(v) that the proposed amendments are reasonable and just and safeguard the reasonable rights of the minority.

(e) Generally speaking, it is obvious that today the international opinion is against any form of oppression, and especially against oppression of minorities. The Turks have so far been able to convince world public opinion that the union of Cyprus with Greece will amount to their enslavement. Under these circumstances we stand a good chance of success in influencing world public opinion if we base our struggle not on ENOSIS but on self- determination. But in order to be able to exercise the right of self-determination fully and without hindrance, we must first get rid of the Agreements (e.g. the Treaty of Guarantee, the Treaty of Alliance etc) and of those provisions in the Constitution which will inhibit the free and unbridled expression of the will of people and which they carry dangers of external intervention. For this reason, our first target has been the Treaty of Guarantee, which is the first Agreement to be cited as not being recognised by the Greek Cypriots. When the Treaty of Guarantee is removed no legal or moral force will remain to obstruct us in determining our future through a plebiscite. It will be understood from the above explanations that it is necessary to follow a chain of efforts and developments in order to ensure the success of our Plan. If these efforts and developments failed to materialise, our future actions would be legally unjustified and politically unattainable and we would be exposing Cyprus and its people to grave consequences.

Actions to be taken are as follows:

(a) The amendment of the negative elements of the Agreements and the consequent de facto nullification of the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance. This step is essential because the necessity of amending the negative aspects of any Agreement is generally acceptable internationally and is considered reasonable (passage omitted) whereas an external intervention to prevent the amendment of such negative provisions is held unjustified and inapplicable.

(b) Once this is achieved the Treaty of Guarantee (the right of intervention) will become legally and substantially inapplicable.

(c) Once those provisions of the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance which restrict the exercise of the right of self-determination are removed, the people of Cyprus will be able, freely, to express and apply its will.

(d) It will be possible for the Force of the State (the Police Force) and in addition, friendly military Forces, to resist legitimately any intervention internally or from outside, because we will then be completely independent. It will be seen that it is necessary for actions from (a) to (d) to be carried out in the order indicated. It is consequently evident that if we ever hope to have any chance of success in the international field, we cannot and should not reveal or proclaim any stage of the struggle before the previous stage is completed. For instance, it is accepted that the above four stages constitute the necessary course to be taken, then it is obvious that it would be senseless for us to speak of amendment (a) if stage (d) is revealed, because it would then be ridiculous for us to seek the amendment of the negative points with the excuse that these amendments are necessary for the functioning of the State and of the Agreements. The above are the points regarding our targets and aims, and the procedure to be followed in the international field.


The Internal Aspect

Our activities in the internal field will be regulated according to their repercussions and to interpretations to be given to them in the world and according to the effect of our actions on our national cause.

1. The only danger that can be described as insurmountable is the possibility of a forceful intervention. This danger, which could be met partly or wholly by our forces is important because of the political damage that it could do rather than the material losses that it could entail. If intervention took place before stage (c), then such intervention would be legally tenable at least, if not entirely justifiable. This would be very much against us both internationally and at the United Nations. The history of many similar incidents in recent times shows us that in no case of intervention, even if legally excusable, has the attacker been removed by either the United Nations or the other powers without significant concessions to the detriment of the attacked party. Even in the case of the attack on Suez Canal by Israel, which was condemned by almost all members of the United Nations and for which Russia threatened intervention, the Israelis were removed but, as a concession, they continued to keep the port of Eliat in the Red Sea. There are, however, more serious dangers in the case of Cyprus. If we do our work well and justify the attempt we shall make under stage (a) above, we will see, on the one hand, that intervention will not be justified and, on the other hand, we will have every support since, by the Treaty of Guarantee, intervention cannot take place before negotiations take place between the Guarantor Powers, that is, Britain, Greece, and Turkey. It is at this stage, i.e. at the stage of contacts (before intervention) that we shall need international support. We shall obtain this support if the amendments proposed by us seem reasonable and justified. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful in selecting the amendments that we shall propose. The first step, therefore, would be to get rid of intervention by proposing amendments in the first stage. Tactic to be followed: (Omitted)

2. It is evident that for intervention to be justified there must be a more serious reason and a more immediate danger than simple Constitutional amendments. Such reasons can be: (a) The declaration of ENOSIS before actions (a) to (c) (b) Serious inter-communal unrest which may be shown as a massacre of Turks. The first reason is removed as a result of the Plan drawn up for the first stage and consequently what remains, is the danger of inter-communal strife. We do not intend to engage, without provocation, in massacre or attack against the Turks. Therefore, (section omitted) the Turks can react strongly and incite incidents and strife, or falsely stage massacres, clashes or bomb explosions in order to create the impression that the Greeks attacked the Turks and that intervention is imperative for their protection. Tactic to be employed: Our actions for amending the Constitution will not be secret; we would always appear to be ready for peaceful talks and our actions would not take any provocative and violent form. Any incidents that may take place will be met, at the beginning, in a legal fashion by the legal Security Forces, according to a plan. Our actions will have a legal form.

3. (Omitted)

4. It is, however, naive to believe that it is impossible for us to proceed to substantial actions for amending the Constitution, as a first step towards our more general Plan as described above, without expecting the Turks to create or stage incidents and clashes. For this reason, the existence and the strengthening of our Organisation is imperative because:

(a) if, in case of spontaneous resistance by the Turks, our counter attack is not immediate, we run the risk of having a panic created among the Greeks, in towns particular. We will then be in danger of losing vast areas of vital importance to the Turks, while if we show our strength to the Turks immediately and forcefully, then they will probably be brought to their senses and restrict their activities to insignificant, isolated incidents.

(b) In case of a planned or unplanned attack by the Turks, whether this be staged or not it is necessary to suppress this forcefully in the shortest possible time, since, if we manage to become masters of the situation within a day or two, outside intervention would not be possible, probable or justifiable.

(c) The forceful and decisive suppressing of any Turkish effort will greatly facilitate our subsequent actions for further Constitutional amendments, and it should then be possible to apply these without the Turks being able to show any reaction. Because they will learn that it is impossible for them to show any reaction without serious consequences for their Community.

(d) In case of the clashes becoming widespread, we must be ready to proceed immediately through actions (a) to (d), including the immediate declaration of ENOSIS, because, then, there will be no need to wait or to engage in diplomatic activity.

5. In all these stages we must not overlook the factor of enlightening, and of facing the propaganda of those who do not know or cannot be expected to know our plans, as well as of the reactionary elements. It has been shown that our struggle must go through at least four stages and that we are obliged not to reveal our plans and intentions prematurely. It is therefore more than a national duty for everyone to observe full secrecy in the matter. Secrecy is vitally essential for our success and survival. This, however, does not prevent the reactionaries and irresponsible demagogues from indulging in false patriotic manifestations and provocations. Our Plan would provide them with the possibility of putting forward accusations to the effect that the aims of our leadership are not national and that only the amendment of the Constitution is envisaged. The need for carrying out Constitutional amendments in stages and in accordance with the prevailing conditions, makes our job even more difficult. All this must no however, be allowed to drag us to irresponsible demagogy, street politics and a race of nationalism. Our deeds will be our undeniable justification. In any case owing to the fact that, for well-known reasons, the above Plan must have been carried out and borne fruit long before the next elections, we must distinguish ourselves with self-restraint and moderation in the short time that we have. Parallel with this, we should not only maintain but reinforce the present unity and discipline of our patriotic forces. We can succeed in this only by properly enlightening our members so that they in turn enlighten the public. Before anything else we must expose the true identity of the reactionaries. These are petty and irresponsible demagogues and opportunists. Their recent history shows this. They are unsuccessful, negative and anti-progressive elements who attack our leadership like mad dogs but who are unable to put forward any substantive and practical solution of their own. In order to succeed in all our activities we need a strong and stable government, up to the last minute. They are known as clamorous slogan-creators who are good for nothing but speech-making. When it comes to taking definite actions or making sacrifices they are soon shown to be unwilling weaklings. A typical example of this is that even at the present stage they have no better proposal to make than to suggest that we should have recourse to the United Nations. It is therefore necessary that they should be isolated and kept at a distance. We must enlighten our members about our plans and objectives ONLY VERBALLY.

Meetings must be held at the sub-headquarters of the Organisation to enlighten leaders and members so that they are properly equipped to enlighten others. NO WRITTEN EXPLANATION OF ANY SORT IS ALLOWED.

LOSS OR LEAKAGE OF ANY DOCUMENT PERTAINING TO THE ABOVE IS EQUIVALENT TO HIGH TREASON. There can be no action that would inflict a heavier blow to our struggle than any revealing of the contents of the present document or the publication of this by the opposition. Outside the verbal enlightenment of our members, all our activities, and our publications in the press in particular, must be most restrained and must not divulge any of the above. Only responsible persons will be allowed to make public speeches and statements and will refer to this Plan only generally under their personal responsibility and under the personal responsibility of the Chief of sub-headquarters concerned. Also, any reference to the written Plan should be done only after the formal approval of the Chief of the sub-headquarters who will control the speech or statement. But in any case such speech or statement MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO APPEAR IN THE PRESS OR ANY OTHER PUBLICATION.

The tactic to be followed: Great effort must be made to enlighten our members and the public VERBALLY. Every effort must be made to show ourselves as moderates. Any reference to our plans in writing, or any reference in the press or in any document is strictly prohibited. Responsible officials and other responsible persons will continue to enlighten the public and to increase its morale and fighting spirit without ever divulging any of our plans through the press or otherwise.

Note: The present document should be destroyed by burning under the personal responsibilities of the Chief of the sub-headquarters and in the presence of all members of the staff within 10 days of its being received. It is strictly prohibited to make copies of the whole or any part of this document. Staff members of sub-headquarters may have it in their possession only under the personal responsibility of the Chief of sub-headquarters, but in no case is anyone allowed to take it out of the office of sub-headquarters.


  • From: C.H. Dodd, (1993), `Cyprus: A Historical Introduction', in C.H. Dodd (ed.), "The Political, Social, and Economic Development of Northern Cyprus", Eothen Press, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England.

Chronological History