Aug 16 was a day of history-making and rejoicing on the island of Cyprus. Independent?
Aug 16 was a day of history-making and rejoicing on the island of Cyprus. Independent since midnight for the first time in its 3,000 years of recorded history; Archbishop Makarios installed as the new Republic's President; Greek and Turkish troops arrive; and 21 amnestied EOKA men were given a heroes welcome as they landed form Rhodes by air a few hours after the last British Governor, Sir Hugh Foot, had sailed for Britain.
The morning began when Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Kutchuk were installed as President and Vice-President respectively during a ceremony at the Council of Ministers building in Nicosia. Afterwards they watched the new Republic's flag - a map of Cyprus in gold on a white field surmounted by two olive branches - was hoisted for the first time to the accompaniment of cheers from a mixed crowd of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Seven ships later arrived in Famagusta harbour bearing contingents of Greek and Turkish soldiers. They will take up garrison duties under the terms of the Zurich agreement. The Turkish contingent of 650 men were given a tumultuous reception as they marched through the Turkish quarter of Famagusta. The welcome for the 950 Greek troops was rousing but less boisterous.
Crowds broke police cordons at Nicosia Airport as the airliner bearing the returning EOKA men touched down. Wild with excitement, thousands of welcoming Greek Cypriots made it very difficult to open the aircraft's door. Cheering and crying, they greeted Nicosia Sampson, first man off the plane. Sampson was sentenced to death and then reprieved for carrying a gun. The crowd lifted him and the others shoulder high and carried them to a public welcome in Nicosia Stadium, where they were officially greeted by Archbishop Makarios.