July 20, 1974 – The end of a long and emotional week. On the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus tensions between Turkish and Greek Cypriots boiled over into violence, and an eventual invasion by Turkish forces. The Island of Cyprus, a little less than half the size of the state of Massachusetts with a population almost the size of Boston, the population was split about four to one; Greek descendants to Turkish descendants and that was the base cause of the dispute that prevailed over the island, the better part of 100 years. Cyprus gained independence in 1960, under Archbishop Makarios. For many years, Makarios championed the dream of the Greek majority of the island, for a union with Greece, but more recently had changed his tone to one of uniting the two feuding sections of the population. And it was that change which led to the overthrow of the Makarios government.
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, code-named by Turkey as Operation Attila, was a Turkish military invasion of the island country of Cyprus. It was launched on 20 July 1974, following the Cypriot coup d’état on 15 July 1974.
The coup had been ordered by the military Junta in Greece and staged by the Cypriot National Guard in conjunction with EOKA-B. It deposed the Cypriot president Archbishop Makarios III and installed the pro-Enosis Nikos Sampson. The aim of the coup was the annexation of the island by Greece, and the Hellenic Republic of Cyprus was declared.
In July 1974, Turkish forces invaded and captured 3% of the island before a ceasefire was declared. The Greek military junta collapsed and was replaced by a democratic government. As of this day, the invasion was on and diplomatic channels were thrown into action to bring about some order to the chaos.
In other news, the House Judiciary Committee neared the end of its task with Chief Counsel John Doer drawing up five specific counts of impeachment for the committee. At a press conference, Doer told reporters the evidence being presented warranted impeachment and was not ever a close call. The end was coming quickly – as the events in the world were spinning wildly out of control.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, via The World This Week from CBS Radio on July 20, 1974.