More firsthand accounts of the Cyprus war, July 1974

I recently received links to a couple of remarkable documents from a Palestinian friend who goes back to my time in Cyprus. I described my harrowing last days there in The Lullaby Illusion.

In addition to the linked photos, I have posted below photos given to me by a UN employee.

Eyewitness Reports from the FBIS Mediterranean Bureau 20-23 July 1974

This extremely valuable historical document, describes how foreign and local personnel of the FBIS Mediterranean Bureau at Karavas, Kyrenia, were able to escape the ferocity and brutality of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974. It also raises several serious questions as to why the FBIS personnel and their families were left in the area and not evacuated before July 20, 1974, since the Turkish invasion of the island was planned years earlier and foreign and diplomatic sources knew in advance of what was about to happen. [emphasis added]

Noteworthy to those familiar with the bibliography, topography of the area and ensuing events, is how these eyewitness accounts vary depending on where someone was located at the time.

You can read these eyewitness accounts at:

Backup local link: FBIS_!974_September_EyeWitness_Accounts

A second account can also be found at:

Backup local link: Last days FBIS Med Bureau

Photographs from the FBIS Mediterranean Bureau experience can be found at:

I want to take this opportunity to thank Dwight Marsh for making these photographs available on the Internet.

Ersi Demetriadou

The rugged landscape near Kyrenia in northern Cyprus

Warships of the invading Turkish Navy
Turkish tank en route from Kyrenia to Nicosia
Turkish helicopters, Cyprus 1974
Dozens of attacking Turkish helicopters. There were three waves of them the day this photo was taken.
Civilian refugees at hilltop Tjikles UN camp between Kyrenia and Nicosia

Fierce forest fire started by Turkish bombing
Burned houses at Tjikles
Finnish UN troops moving away from raging fires
Charred human remains in Kyrenia
British Navy at Tjikles Camp preparing “Operation Refugees”
A home kitchen in Kyrenia after the Turkish invasion
I am in the peasant dress, left next to the armored car. My Israeli friend Ronit is to my right. We were evacuated from this beach.

HMS Hermes, the British aircraft carrier that took us from Cyprus, for the last time, and having lost everything.