Makarios III


From The Republic of Cyprus Website

Archbishop Makarios was born on August 13, 1913, in the village of Panayia, in Paphos district. He became a novice at Kykko Monastery at the age of 13 and subsequently was sent by the Monastery to the Pancyprian Gymnasium, in Nicosia. In 1942 he graduated from the School of Theology of Athens University. He also attended the Law School of the same university for two years.

In 1938 he was awarded a scholarship by the World Council of Churches for further theological studies at Boston University. In 1948, while still a student in Boston, he was elected Bishop of Kitium. In addition to his church duties he assumed the chairmanship of the Office of the Ethnarchy.

In October 1950 he was elected unanimously Archbishop of Cyprus. The election gave him the status of Ethnarch, that is the national leader of the Greek people of Cyprus.

Archbishop Makarios was elected President on December 13, 1959, having received 66.29% of the total number of votes. He took up official duties as President on August 16, 1960, the date on which Cyprus was proclaimed an independent Republic. Prior to that date Cyprus had been a British Colony for 82 years. In 1959 the London-Zurich Agreements were signed granting independence to the Island. During the colonial rule Archbishop Makarios pursued a vigorous campaign for the liberation of the island. Within the framework of that campaign he carried out visits to many countries to enlighten governments and peoples on the Cyprus cause.

In February, 1954, Archbishop Makarios visited Athens and persuaded the Greek Government to place the Cyprus question before the United Nations. While in Athens, he laid the foundation for the organization of the Island’s national resistance and as a result EOKA, “National Organization of Cyprus Fighters”, was formed.

On August 20 of the same year, Greece submitted a petition to the United Nations requesting the application of the principle of self-determination to the people of Cyprus. After that, the colonial Government of Cyprus enforced the anti-sedition laws for the purpose of preventing or suppressing demonstrations for freedom; but the Archbishop defied them and continued demanding self-determination for Cyprus.

In October 1955, he started meetings with the Governor of Cyprus, Field-Marshal Sir John Harding, (later Lord Harding of Petherton) with whom he discussed the future of the Island. The talks, which continued until March 1956, did not result in agreement. As a consequence, Archbishop Makarios was exiled to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean on March, 9, 1956.

On the 28th March 1957, the Archbishop was released from exile on the condition that he should not return to Cyprus. He went to Athens where he was accorded a triumphant welcome by the people of Greece.

During the following two years he attended the General Assembly of the United Nations where the Cyprus question was discussed and worked hard to achieve freedom for his people.

In February 1959, he was invited by the British Government to London for talks on the future of Cyprus. The talks resulted in the signing of the London Agreement, as a continuation of the Zurich Agreement, which had been signed by the Governments of Great Britain, Greece and Turkey. Under those agreements Cyprus would be declared an independent Republic. The Archbishop was then free to return to the Island. He flew back on March 1, 1959, and was accorded an unprecedented welcome by the people of Cyprus.

Throughout 1959 he had discussions with the British Government on the implementation of the Zurich and London Agreements.

In January 1960, he flew to London where he attended a five-party Conference which centred mainly on the extent of the bases to be ceded to Britain under the agreements. The talks ended in deadlock but were resumed later in Cyprus and concluded in July 1960.

In the meantime, Archbishop Makarios was elected first President of the Republic on December 13, 1959, and was officially established as President on August 16, 1960, the day of the proclamation of the Cyprus Republic.

In March 1961 Cyprus was admitted as member of the Commonwealth and His Beatitude represented the Island at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers΄ Conference. In September 1961 he participated in the Belgrade Conference of Heads of State of Non-Aligned Countries.

In September 1962, His Beatitude participated in the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers held in London. He also represented Cyprus at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers΄ Conference in Lagos, Nigeria (January, 1966), in London (January 1969), in Singapore (January 1971) and in London (June, 1977).

On the 30th of November, 1963, President Makarios submitted to the Turkish leadership 13 proposals for amendment of the Cyprus Constitution which were aimed at removing obstacles in the way of the smooth running of the State. The Turkish side adopted a negative attitude towards the President’s proposals and in lieu of an answer a Turkish rebellion, which had long been planned with the object of bringing about the Island’s partition, broke out just before Christmas.

On July 15, 1974 a coup d΄ etat engineered by the military junta of Athens led to Archbishop Makarios leaving Cyprus.

Turkey, using the coup as a pretext, invaded Cyprus in July 1974 and occupied 36% of its territory and uprooted 200,000 Greek Cypriots. He returned on 7 December 1974 and resumed the office of President. President Makarios continued to struggle for the restoration of the territorial integrity, unity and full independence of Cyprus until his death on 3 August 1977.


A grieving mother holding photos of her missing son.
1600+ men, women and children still missing

Greek Cypriots taken prisoner and transported to Turkey.
up to 70,000 held hostage in concentration camps

A Greek Cypriot napalmed by the Turkish air-force.
5000+ massacred

Greek Cypriots subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment.
thousands raped and tortured
200,000 ethnically cleansed

Christian gave stones smashed by the Turks.
500+ churches desecrated or destroyed

The murder of Tasos Isaac.
murders of refugees continue to this day

The murder of Solomos Solomou.

2001/2005 HEC and Argyros Argyrou. Updated on 30 July 2005.