MAKARIOS: “I am Cyprus”

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Summary

His name is synonymous with Cyprus. Thirty years after his death, The New Files reveal the unknown side of Makarios. For the first time on Greek television, the complete story of Makarios: the priest, the politician, the man. Alexis Papahelas presents a comprehensive portrait of the leader from his birth in 1913 in a remote Cypriot mountain village, to his death in 1977. How was the legend of Makarios created? What were his mistakes regarding Cyprus? The New Files speak to none other than Makarios’s arch-rival, former Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash who reveals his love-hate relationship with his Greek Cypriot counterpart. Also, Makarios’s sister talks for the first time on Greek television of her memories of living through Cyprus’s tumultuous past side-by-side with the historic figure. The three bodyguards who escaped with Makarios the day of the 1974 coup describe minute-by-minute how they fled through the back door of the presidential residence and eventually reached the radio station of Pafos from where the archbishop made his famous address to the Cypriot people, dispelling reports of his death. The New Files also reveal passages from the diary of ‘N.X.’, Makarios’s then personal secretary – a book that was published illegally and circulated briefly before being banned. In its pages is an image of Makarios much different to that taught today in schools. Finally, American and British diplomats talk to Alexis Papahelas about how foreign governments saw the leader of Cyprus. Political foes and allies, as well as Makarios himself through his historic speeches and documents, help piece together the truth of a turbulent life.

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His name is synonymous with Cyprus. Thirty years after his death, The New Files reveal the unknown side of Makarios. For the first time on Greek television, the complete story of Makarios: the priest, the politician, the man. Alexis Papahelas presents a comprehensive portrait of the leader from his birth in 1913 in a remote Cypriot mountain village, to his death in 1977. How was the legend of Makarios created? What were his mistakes regarding Cyprus? The New Files speak to none other than Makarios’s arch-rival, former Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash who reveals his love-hate relationship with his Greek Cypriot counterpart. Also, Makarios’s sister talks for the first time on Greek television of her memories of living through Cyprus’s tumultuous past side-by-side with the historic figure. The three bodyguards who escaped with Makarios the day of the 1974 coup describe minute-by-minute how they fled through the back door of the presidential residence and eventually reached the radio station of Pafos from where the archbishop made his famous address to the Cypriot people, dispelling reports of his death. The New Files also reveal passages from the diary of ‘N.X.’, Makarios’s then personal secretary – a book that was published illegally and circulated briefly before being banned. In its pages is an image of Makarios much different to that taught today in schools. Finally, American and British diplomats talk to Alexis Papahelas about how foreign governments saw the leader of Cyprus. Political foes and allies, as well as Makarios himself through his historic speeches and documents, help piece together the truth of a turbulent life.