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1956: Riots erupt in Cyprus over Archbishop
Rioting and demonstrations have broken out in the crown colony of Cyprus after yesterday's deportation by the British authorities of the head of the island's Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Makarios.

Reports say two British soldiers have been seriously injured when a bomb was thrown at their patrol, and a bomb was hurled at the police station in Ktima.

In Limassol, where two bombs were thrown at British-occupied houses, tear gas was used to break up a demonstration and troops baton-charged several hundred people who threw stones at the security forces.

No-one was injured in the bomb attack.

The secretary-general of the trade union movement in Cyprus, Michael Pissas, has been arrested.

Archbishop Makarios, the leader of the "enosis" campaign to unify Cyprus with Greece, was arrested for "actively fostering terrorism" and has been deported to the Seychelles.

British security forces have searched the archbishop's residence and say they have found one petrol bomb and ten similar bombs.

Greek anger

Demonstrations have taken place in towns and villages all over the island.

In Greece, the British consulate in Heraklion, Crete, was ransacked and 60 students were injured during protests in Athens and Salonika.

And in Athens, the windows of the offices belonging to British European Airways were smashed by rioters

The Greek government has recalled its British ambassador, Vassilios Mostras, and has protested to the United Nations over the deportation of Archbishop Makarios and three other Cypriot-Greek nationalists.

The Greek Cypriot guerrilla group, EOKA - the National Organisation for Cypriot Combatants - threatened to carry out a massive bombing campaign on the island following the decision to deport Archbishop Makarios.

The organisation has been at the forefront of a campaign to end British rule and achieve "enosis" with Greece.

Since last year, EOKA has carried out a number of bomb attacks on the island.

There have also been a series of confrontations with British troops, resulting in casualties on both sides.

Last November, following anti-British riots, the Governor of Cyprus, Sir John Harding, declared a state of emergency on the island.

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Archbishop Makarios
Archbishop Makarios was arrested and deported for "fostering terrorism"



In Context
Violence continued for the next three years until, in February 1959, an agreement between the UK, Greece and Turkey was signed giving Cyprus independence.

The following month Archbishop Makarios returned to the island and was elected president. In 1960 Cyprus gained independence after Greek and Turkish communities reached agreement on a shared constitution.

But the conflict between the Greek and Turkish communities has continued to be a problem.

In 1974, fearing for the rights of the minority Turkish population following a Greece-backed military coup, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus. Tens of thousands of Greeks subsequently fled or were expelled from the north.

The island was officially divided and the buffer zone between the two sectors is still patrolled by the United Nations.

The Turkish-occupied sector declared itself the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus in 1975. The name was changed to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. Both declarations were recognised only by Turkey.

In April 2004, the Greek Cypriots rejected a UN plan which had the backing of Turkish Cypriots to reunite the island.

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