How many Britons where executed by the EOKA?
As the Simerini newspaper has recently informed us, President Tassos Papadopoulos will begin on 2 April 2005 to present medals to 21,000 EOKA [National Organization of Cypriot Fighters] fighters. According to our own information, the various fighters' associations have issued instructions that the medals should be large and heavy. Their cost is 50 Cyprus pounds each and the total charge to the state budget will amount to 1.05 million Cyprus pounds.
As we wrote in the Politis newspaper on 2 February 2004, under the heading "21,000 fighters produced on an assembly line", the number of fighters is excessive when compared to the 104 British soldiers and 203 Greek Cypriot civilians executed by the EOKA. The fighters' associations reacted to this with an announcement -- published in Politis on February 24th-- by suggesting that I suffer from "brain damage" and that "I am imagining things". Their announcement continues by refuting the above figures claiming that "from official sources that specify the name, serial number and army unit to which they belonged, the number [of British soldiers executed by EOKA] is 369 and not 104". According to the fighters' associations, this number does not include the members of the police force and of the intelligence services. The associations claim a discrepancy of 254 percent and suggest that I am, therefore, completely unreliable.
Official statistics published by the British since 1960, refer in fact to 104 dead British soldiers. The same statistics clarify that this figure does not include all those who were killed in accidents or were burned to death in two large forest fires. Contrary to the fighters' false claims, the number 369 is very recent, unreliable and not based on official sources. The list containing the 369 names (to be exact the correct number is 366, but apparently they made a mistake in counting) was produced under the following circumstances:
David Carter, a British journalist, applied some years ago to the British Ministry of Defense asking for an official and complete list of all those who died between 1955 and 1959 in Cyprus. The response was that no such list existed and although one such was under preparation, it would take some time before it was completed. Within a few months, Carter prepared his own list and, as he writes, he submitted it to the British Ministry of Defense. Carter's list includes the names of 366 British who died while serving in Cyprus, "including their serial number and army unit to which they belonged". Furthermore, in a separate list he prints the names of police officers and civilians that were cooperating with the army.
In other words, what the fighters are describing as official figures is nothing more than the list prepared by David Carter, who also owns the copyright. The same person released the list on the internet and it seems this is where it was discovered by the fighters' associations who then claimed it as their own, christened it as "official" and are now using it to prove that our own information is inaccurate. Carter's list refers to British servicemen who died while serving in Cyprus, from any cause, and its reliability is questionable. The following are two examples of the many inaccuracies we have detected:
- The list includes the names of 29 soldiers, including their serial number and army unit to which they belonged, who died in 1959 after the end of the EOKA struggle! Is the fighter's association claiming that they continued with killings after the end of the struggle?
- The same list also records the names of eight soldiers who died in December 1958. Only two of them are confirmed as having being killed as the result of an EOKA attack. Specifically, they were ambushed at the village of Galinoporni on 20 December 1958.
Who is he?
David Carter lives in the North part of Cyprus. He was brought to the island by Asil Nadir and is writing for his Cyprus Today newspaper. He has close connections with the Denktash regime and he was actively lobbying in Great Britain for the construction in the North of a memorial to the fallen British. He is also the author of the book "The Cyprus Tapes", while he is now writing the book "Aphrodite's Killers". According to him, the aim of this book is to "confront the Greek Cypriot propaganda that the members of the EOKA were freedom fighters, while the British were a brutal occupying force that raped, tortured and killed innocent women and children".
This author is the source of the "official" statistics used by the EOKA Fighters Associations, who also compose the SIMAE [Council for the Historical Preservation of the EOKA Struggle]. In the event that the fighters believe that Carter's research is valid, then they must also publish his books.
The fighters' associations have drawn on substantial public funds to write our history. However, instead of concentrating on research using original sources of information and thus be able to provide reliable evidence, they spread propaganda by reproducing David Carter's exaggerated data. Despite the funds they have expended, the fighters have been unable to answer even the most elementary questions regarding the EOKA struggle for which they do not need the British official or unofficial evidence. Among them are:
- Was Papadopoulos an EOKA regional commander, as he claims to have been, or not?
- Was Papadopoulos the head of the execution squads, as he has alleges, or did he serve in other sectors, as claimed by the fighters' associations?
As far as the 203 Greek Cypriots murdered by the EOKA are concerned, we have the official statistics given by the British and we are investigating them further. The list includes the victims' names, and the date, place and manner in which they were executed.
Makarios Drousiotis - Politis