Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The 25 November 1973 coup d'etat

35 years ago yesterday another coup d'etat took place in Greece.
In the aftermath of the Athens Polytechnic uprising, head of the military police, Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis toppled Papadopoulos and installed Lieutenant General Phaedon Gizikis as President of Greece.
Ioannidis came to be known as the 'invisible dictator' because he was the one pulling the strings during the last period of the Colonels' regime which ended with the Cyprus coup d'etat in July 1974 and the Turkish invasion of the island.

Dimitrios Ioannides (right) toasting with George Papadopoulos (middle) and Phaedon Gizikis (left) Ioannides and Gizikis overthrew Papadopoulos in a later coup.

The communique announcing the overthrow of the Markezinis government accused Papadopoulos of 'straying from the ideals of the 1967 revolution and 'pushing the country towards parliamentary rule too quickly'.

Here you can read BBC's report on these events.

The photos on the right are from an article of the London press on the British recognition of Ioannides' regime.

[You can also read an article (in Greek) on Ioannidis, Kissinger and the USA here.]

Monday, 17 November 2008

Athens Polytechnic Uprising

Thirty five years ago today the Athens Polytechnic uprising (info here and video here) ended in bloodshed.

This picture shows the tank that crushed the gates of the Polytechnic, stopped in front of the building. The picture was found at

This is a copy of the Vradyni Athens daily reporting on the events on the following day. I found this on website today; it is incorporated in a text commemorating the uprising.

The front page of the 18th November 1973 reminded me of another page of the same newspaper that I had come across in my research.

It is a cartoon published approximately a year before the November '73 events and it comments on Lord Carrington's visit to Athens in September 1972.

Lord Carrington was Defence Secretary at the time and his visit (the first one by a British minister under Heath) was presented to the public as 'unofficial', with his habit of holidaying in Greece used as a pretext.