History

ACTION CYPRUS

AN HEC PROJECT

British Treason III

 

BRITAIN ARMS TURKISH TERRORISTS

 

UK's murky role in Cyprus crisis

Evidence has emerged that British undercover forces were involved in fomenting the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots ten years before the 1974 partition of Cyprus.

The new evidence found by BBC Radio 4's programme Document centres on the mystery of Ted Macey, a British army major who was abducted, presumed killed by Greek Cypriot paramilitaries.

I had no strong expectation that we would find the Turkish Cypriot village. We had a 40-year-old British army map, bearing only the old Greek names. Our guide, Martin Packard, had not been here for decades. The countryside was deserted, no one spoke English, and night had fallen.

In 1964, Martin was a naval intelligence officer, sent to Cyprus to do an extraordinary job. Fighting had broken out in the capital, Nicosia, between Greeks and Turks.

Unrest spread, and the British troops in Cyprus stepped in to keep the peace. But the British General, Peter Young, thought that peace meant more than keeping the two sides apart. He believed the communities could live side by side, sometimes in mixed villages, as they had for centuries.

But that meant small disputes had to be prevented from turning into big ones. Gen Young appointed Martin, a fluent Greek speaker, as a roving trouble-shooter and negotiator. With two officers from the mainland Greek and Turkish armies, he roamed the north of Cyprus by helicopter, settling disputes.

Diplomacy

We eventually found the village, and even an interpreter. Here, in Easter 1964, Martin had resolved a conflict over a flock of sheep, stolen from the Turkish villages by their Greek Cypriots neighbours. Martin tracked down the flock in a Greek village.

But none of the Turkish Cypriots were prepared to come with him to get them. So he went himself. He took the youngest lamb and flung it across his shoulder. The mother followed, and so did the rest of the flock.

"I walked a very long way, I was very tired, leading this flock of sheep," he said. "We arrived at the village and all of the villagers rushed out as if I were Moses coming back with some great message."

The old men of the village remembered the incident, but were not conspicuously grateful. It was a good thing Martin had got their sheep back, they said, grudgingly, because otherwise they were planning to steal a Greek flock in retaliation.

Martin believes such small episodes were the key to preventing the island drifting towards ethnic separation. But, he says, this was not what the Americans and British had in mind.

He recalls being asked to take a visiting US politician, acting secretary of state George Ball, around the island. Arriving back in Nicosia, says Martin, "Ball patted me on the back, as though I were sadly deluded and he said: That was a fantastic show son, but you've got it all wrong, hasn't anyone told you that our plan here is for partition?"

Undaunted, Martin pursued plans to move Turkish Cypriots back to the villages they had fled. But just as the first resettlement was about to take place, British General Michael Carver had him arrested and flown off the island - in an unmarked CIA plane.

The ostensible reason was that Cyprus had become too dangerous for Martin to operate in; the evidence given was that a British liaison officer, Major Ted Macey, had been abducted and presumed murdered just a few days before.

All the evidence points to the murder having been carried out by Greek Cypriot extremists.

In the Public Record Office in London, I found files showing that British military commanders in Cyprus had received "very reliable information" that Major Macey's abduction was planned "by Greek security forces with approval of high government circles and connivance of the police to extract information about Turkish invasion plans".

The Greek Cypriots were convinced that Major Macey was aiding the Turks.

Listening bases

TMT machine gunCould it be true? I spoke to a former Para who accompanied Major Macey on expeditions to Turkish Cypriot villages. There, says the Para, he demonstrated the use of British ammunition and sub-machine guns to the Turkish Cypriot irregular forces.

I also tracked down one of Major Macey's former drivers, who showed me a curious note, in the major's handwriting. It is a list of arms and explosives being stored in civilian premises in Nicosia: arms, says the driver, which Major Macey had supplied, under British orders, to the Turkish fighters.

So did the peacekeeping forces, and the big powers, really want Cyprus to remain an independent, unitary state? Or was it more important to head off the threat of a "Mediterranean Cuba" by keeping the island within Turkey's - and hence Nato's - sphere of influence?

Britain had, and has, electronic listening bases on the island - important parts of the Nato intelligence effort.

Nicos Koshis, a former justice minister, thinks that it was those bases that determined the fate of the island: "It is my feeling they wanted to have fighting between the two sides. They didn't want us to get together. If the communities come together maybe in the future we say no bases in Cyprus."

By Jolyon Jenkins

Producer, BBC Radio 4's Document 

You can hear Radio 4's investigation into Britain's role in the 1964 Cyprus conflict in Document on Monday 23 January at 2000GMT or afterwards at the Listen again page.

The real truth about British spy ring in Cyprus

FANOULA ARGYROU, a professional researcher, looks at allegations made this week in a BBC Radio programme about a British spy ring operating to support the Turkish Cypriots in 1964 and finds that the truth is even more amazing…THE murky side of Britain’s role in Cyprus was highlighted this week by a BBC Radio 4 programme that claimed a British spy ring cooperated with the Turkish Cypriots during the troubled days of 1964.

The following summary of the documentary was also available on the same day on the BBC 4’s website:

" Ever since the Turkish army invaded and occupied Northern Cyprus in 1974, the partition of the island between ethnic Greeks and Turks has seemed set in stone.

"But the first Green Line, through the capital, was drawn ten years earlier, by a British general (Young) using a green chinagraph pencil that happened to be at hand. Throughout 1964, British troops were on the island, supposedly for peace-keeping. But were they really bringing peace?

"In this programme, Mike Thomson examined new documents that suggest that the real motives of some of the peacekeepers were less than honourable."

The documents reveal the existence of a spy ring of British troops who were materially aiding Turkish insurgents by gun-running and spying on Greek Cypriot military installations.

Although one of the men was caught by the Greek Cypriots, the rest were spirited off the island by the British authorities before the Cypriot police could interrogate them.

The programme also investigated the long-standing mystery of a British army major, who was abducted, presumed murdered, by Greek Cypriot paramilitaries. New documentary evidence uncovered by the programme shows that he, too, was aware of illicit gun-running on behalf of the Turks and that, although the British authorities had good intelligence about the identities of his murderers, they chose not to press the Greek Cypriot authorities to investigate the case.

Intelligence officer

Many Greek Cypriots have long believed that the Nato powers, notably Britain and America, were opposed to the idea of an independent Cyprus because of fears that it could fall into communist hands and become a "Mediterranean Cuba" - a scenario that would have put at risk British electronic spying bases on the island.

The programme assesses the evidence that pro-American elements on the island in 1964 actively conspired to foment inter-communal strife in order to justify the effective partition of the island - a situation that came to pass in 1974."

The most striking part of the BBC documentary was the story of Martin Packard, a British naval intelligence officer who was sent to Cyprus from Malta on account of being a fluent speaker of Greek, to help prevent small incidents between Greek and Turks from escalating into serious ones.

It seems, though, that he was taking his mission very seriously, for just as he was being very successful in stopping bloodshed, he was virtually abducted by his superiors, put on a plane and flown out of the island.

Packard related his experience to the BBC that, after mediating successfully between a Greek and a Turkish village over some stolen sheep: "The US Acting Secretary of State George Ball, visiting the island at the time, patted me on the back, as though I were sadly deluded and he said: ‘That was a fantastic show son, but you’ve got it all wrong, hasn’t anyone told you that our plan here is for partition?’ "

Undaunted, Martin pursued plans to move Turkish Cypriots back to the villages they fled. But as the first settlement was about to take place, British General Michael Carver had him arrested and flown off the island in an unmarked CIA plane.

Not new documents

I listened to the programme very carefully and as a researcher I have the following comments to make.

It is necessary from the offset to set the record straight by underlining that these documents are not new releases but documents that were released ten years ago and ever since have available for research at the Public Records Office (PRO) in London.

As a regular researcher at the PRO myself, I have seen and researched thoroughly these documents long ago and refer to them in length in two of my books - ‘Conspiracy or Blunder?’ published in Nicosia in 2000, and ‘Top Secret,’ also published in Nicosia in 2004.

I have no doubt that the Radio 4 programme, although well intentioned, gave half the truth around the existence of the ‘spy ring’ in Cyprus that was aiding the Turkish Cypriots.British ‘conciliators’

Both Lt Commander Martin Packard and Major Ted Macey were, in fact, working in Cyprus under the instructions of the Foreign Office, specifically under the instructions of high-ranking official Sir Cyril Pickard.

Sir Cyril was at the time an Assistant Under Secretary directly involved with the Cyprus problem.

Their secondment to UNFICYP -Martin Packard as Conciliator for the Greek Cypriot side and Ted Macey as special Liaison Officer attached to Turkish Cypriot leader Dr Kutchuk’s office - had a hidden agenda.

In 1963, Lt Commander Martin Packard was rushed to Cyprus from Malta, where he was serving as a naval intelligence officer.

He mastered the Greek language perfectly.

After his peacekeeping in Cyprus he was awarded an MBE.

Invasion preparations

The same went for Major T. Macey. He mastered both the Greek and Turkish languages and had served in Greece for a number of years.

He had a rough ‘Rambo’ image and his ‘terms of reference’ were quite different from those of Packard for obvious reasons if one studies the British documents analytically vis-a-vis the Foreign Office policy of the period (which has hardly changed at all!).

Macey, indeed, provided the Turkish Cypriots with arms and ammunition, offered them training and, in general, he headed the preparation for an eventual Turkish invasion.

Packard, on the other hand, was working on a different level; that of a friendly conciliator, as the British policy needed the Greek Cypriots to be kept in check, quiet, unarmed, restrained and behaving themselves.

The knowledge of the local languages in these cases was a definite must and the best way to gain the confidence of the people.

According to PRO documents (which refer to a statement made by the then President Archbishop Makarios) Major Macey and his driver were murdered by a ringleader of a gang active in the Famagusta-Larnaca area.

Macey and his driver were accused of spying and working for the Turks.

In another document, it is revealed that two Greek Cypriot informants gave the British authorities information as to the place where the bodies lay.

The informants were helped by the British authorities to take asylum in England and also received the 2,000 reward offered.

Macey was also employed to make visits to Greek and Turkish villages throughout Cyprus (just like Martin Packard) reporting on the state of feeling in the countryside. In other words, both were engaged in collecting intelligence in a manner undetected by the locals and keeping things in check for their superiors.

The Foreign Office also regarded the positioning of British officers within the UN a necessity, in order to be privy to all information received by the UN. " His special experience (Macey’s) enabled him to play a unique role in efforts to maintain peace and save lives through his personal contacts with Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," it was noted in a report in the PRO files.

The British documents reveal the true ‘unique’ role of T. Macey as a British ‘spy ring leader’ aiding the Turkish Cypriots against the Greek Cypriots.

Martin Packard’s superiors, fearing for his life, days after Macey’s murder, rushed him out of Cyprus via a CIA plane that took him to an American base in Greece.British subversion

As it was correctly stated in the BBC programme, British officers were directly involved in subversive activities on the island: the manufacture of bombs, bombing Turkish properties to blame the Greek Cypriots, espionage and so on.

Their main objective was to de-stabilise Cyprus, bring chaos and confusion and assist the Turks in the execution of their long-term plans.

As Nicos Koshis stated, the British policy was to keep the two communities separated. But with an enlarged hidden agenda.

In February 1964, Archbishop Makarios handed a document to the British High Commissioner regarding those activities.

He referred to the case of Colonel Thursby who, on January 20, 1964, went to the Manager of the Cyprus Asbestos Mines Co Ltd and, under false pretences, demanded to be allowed to collect all the explosives in the stores.

Makarios also wrote to General Gyani (UN force) complaining and listing instances when British troops with the UN contingent did nothing to stop Turks from firing at Greek Cypriots. Marley (mentioned in the programme), Bachelor, Bass (mentioned), Heron, Tyft, Offard and Jones are among those accused of aiding and providing the Turks with arms, ammunition and other military equipment.

Some of those arrested had given sensational information but the Cypriot authorities were totally ignorant of the even more damning information they could have extracted.

But they did not have the chance. The British authorities, who knew full well the extent of the consequences in such a case, quickly arranged for them to be flown out of Cyprus. Marley, who was arrested (as stated in the programme) and gave vital information under interrogation, was tried and condemned to 15 years imprisonment.

However, the British authorities again ‘arranged’ with the then Attorney General (ex Colonial employee) Tornaritis (and not the Cypriot Government) to get him out of for health reasons.

Partition plans

Although Martin Packard refers to George Ball’s statement regarding "their policy being partition," he and the programmers make no mention whatsoever of the policy of the Foreign Office, which is clearly demonstrated in no uncertain terms through the PRO files.

In fact, George Ball was at the time referring to the British plans to which he and his department were privy.

In February, 1964, the Planning Department of the Foreign Office (Packard’s superiors) devised a comprehensive plan named ‘ The Future of Cyprus’ which stated: "It is now clear that any long term solution in Cyprus must involve geographical separation of the Greek and Turkish communities.

"This could of, course, be achieved by wholesale removal of the Turkish community elsewhere. Less drastic alternatives following some redeployment of the population in the island are:

"a Partition so that a predominantly Greek area is united with Greece and a predominantly Turkish area is united with Turkey.

"b Partition so that one or both areas are independent, perhaps with special relationships with Greece and Turkey respectively, or

"c A Federal Constitution, in which the island would be divided into cantons, one or two of which were Turkish.

"It would already be difficult for the Greeks to intervene successfully in Cyprus. The Turks would have completed their intervention before they could prevent it.

"The obvious Greek counter-move would be to invade Turkish Thrace. One way of preventing this would be for a small force drawn from all NATO countries to police the frontier.

"We could make much greater use of United States and British naval power to deter Greek naval assault across the Aegean. The ability of the Greeks to mount an airborne intervention is strictly limited…".

(A month before, in London, where representatives of both communities were summoned for a conference, Rauf Denktash had placed on the table in the presence of Glafcos Clerides, Tassos Papadopoulos, Stella Soulioti and others his and Turkey’s demands i.e. geographical federation...).

From the masses of the PRO documents released so far, one can build upon the theory that it was in fact the British and not the Americans who thought of, prepared and instigated the Greek Junta takeover in Greece in 1967, in order to achieve their planning objectives over Cyprus.

The Americans were used as and when it suited the British, always retaining a secondary and assisting role to date.

False accusations

Upon leaving Cyprus, Martin Packard prepared a report, which he handed to his superiors, in which he accused the Greek Cypriots of slaughtering 27 Turkish Cypriots in the Nicosia General Hospital.

His accusations appeared on April 2, 1988 in the ‘Guardian’ newspaper through his friend at the time Chief Editor of the paper Peter Preston, who, in 1964, was also working in Cyprus.

On February 10, 1994 Channel 4 Television showed a documentary called ‘Secret History – Dead or Alive’ which in a way addressed the drama of the 1,619 missing Greek Cypriots since the brutal Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974.

Martin Packard made an unexpected appearance to say that in 1963/64 he had prepared a report in which he included that: "The largest single element of these missing people were the Turkish Cypriot patients at the General Hospital. Nothing had been heard of any of them. It was assumed that they were being held in custody somewhere. The outcome of my investigation suggested that they had all of them been killed in the General Hospital. They had been removed at night, the bodies from there had been taken out to outlying farms up in the region of Skilloura and out there they had been dismembered and passed through farm dicing machines and they had then been seeded into the ploughed land."

I found these accusations too horrific to be true. Immediately, I wrote to the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Heathcoat-Amory and demanded to be allowed to view Packard’s report.

As he spoke about this report having definitely not been released, I found Mr Packard’s liberty to disclose such damning secret information, with no evidence at all to substantiate it, extraordinarily questionable.

Five-year fight

I raised the issue that he either had breached the Official Secrets Act as he spoke from knowledge of a report still retained or he spoke in his capacity of a British conciliator with the Department’s permission. Whatever the case, we had a right to see the evidence of what he was so freely accusing us.

My fight with the Foreign Office and other government departments lasted five years (1994-1999) until he was finally ‘ordered’ to close the matter by withdrawing the accusations.

Peter Preston, with an article in the ‘Guardian’ (which was equally guilty and responsible for printing unsubstantiated allegations), on May 3, 1999, wrote that Martin Packard revisited the island and found out that he was given wrong information, no evidence at all, and that in fact no Turkish Cypriot had been harmed.

I wrote an article in Simerini on May 18, 1999 and another one was written by Charalambos Charalambides on May 19, 1999, finally revealing the truth.

Packard was wrong and had no evidence whatsoever for those horrific allegations against us.

The damage, however, to the Greek side was immeasurable. The Turks had used Packard’s allegations to the full and in all international forums, as admitted by Peter Preston.

Packard was obliged to write to Kofi Annan withdrawing the allegations and restoring the truth, which is that no Turkish Cypriot had been killed.

They were all protected under Makarios’s orders.

And that was the result of Packard’s role in Cyprus in 1964 which had nothing to do with petty conflicts over….sheep between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Finally: "The programme assesses the evidence that pro-American elements on the island in 1964 actively conspired to foment inter-communal strife in order to justify the effective partition of the island - a situation that came to pass in 1974", is stated on the BBC 4’s website.

This is totally wrong.

The British documents reveal exactly the opposite. I find it extraordinary after such a broadcast to reach such a ridiculous assumption!

It was not the so called pro-American elements on the island in 1964 who actively conspired to foment inter-communal strife in order to justify the effective partition of the island, but the very British intelligence men - the ‘spy ring’ - as they chose to name them under direct orders of the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

They were the ones who were aided on the island by their pro-British elements within both communities who in their own way assisted the British and Turkish partitionist policy to gain ground.

This was an assistance they enjoy to this very day with disastrous results for our national cause.

Fanoulla Argyrou
Researcher/author
London 24.1.2006.

The Story Continued

Taksim Part 1: The 1950's - Terror campaign launched against Greeks

Taksim Part 2: The early 60's - Turkey provokes clashes and attempts to invade

Taksim Part 3: The late 60's - Turkey seizes strategic positions

Taksim Part 4: The Turkish invasion of 1974

American Duplicity Part 1: How America created the Greek junta

American Duplicity Part 2: Cyprus sacrificed for American spy bases

American Duplicity Part 3: A nation betrayed

American Duplicity Part 4: The CIA files

American Duplicity Part 5: Kissinger illegally abetted Turkish invasion

American Duplicity Part 6: US connived to facilitate Turkey

British Treason Part 1: How Britain masterminded Cyprus partition

British Treason Part 2: How Britain sabotaged a bi-communal agreement

British Treason Part 3: Turkish terrorists were armed by Britain

British Treason Part 4: The MI6 files

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 27 January 2006.