DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE FOUNDING OF CYPRUS, INCLUDING THE TREATY OF
[From Documents on International Affairs 1959 edited by Gillian King Oxford University
Press, London, 1963]
1. DOCUMENTS REGARDING CYPRUS SIGNED AND INITIALLED AT LANCASTER HOUSE, LONDON,
FEBRUARY 19, 1959 1
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- Basic Structure of the Republic of Cyprus
- Treaty of Guarantee between the Republic of Cyprus and Greece, the United
Kingdom and Turkey
- Treaty of Alliance between the Republic of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey
- Declaration by the Government of the United Kingdom, 11 February
- Additional article to be inserted in the Treaty of Guarantee
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(A) BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
- The State of Cyprus shall be a Republic with a presidential regime, the President being
Greek and the Vice-President Turkish elected by universal suffrage by the Greek and
Turkish communities of the Island respectively.
- The official languages of the Republic of Cyprus shall be Greek and Turkish. Legislative
and administrative instruments and documents shall be drawn up and promulgated in the two
- The Republic of Cyprus shall have its own flag of neutral design and colour, chosen
jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic. Authorities and
communities shall have the right to fly the Greek and Turkish flags on holidays at the
same time as the flag of Cyprus.
The Greek and Turkish communities shall have the right to celebrate Greek and Turkish
- The President and the Vice-President shall be elected for a period of five years.
In the event of absence, impediment or vacancy of their posts, the President and the
Vice-President shall be replaced by the President and the Vice-President of the House of
In the event of a vacancy in either post, the election of new incumbents shall take place
within a period of not more than 45 days.
The President and the Vice-President shall be invested by the House of Representatives,
before which they shall take an oath of loyalty and respect for the Constitution. For this
purpose, the House of Representatives shall meet within 24 hours after its constitution.
- Executive authority shall be vested in the President and the Vice-President. For this
purpose they shall have a Council of Ministers composed of seven Greek Ministers and three
Turkish Ministers. The Ministers shall be designated respectively by the President and the
Vice-President who shall appoint them by an instrument signed by them both.
The Ministers may be chosen from outside the House of Representatives.
Decisions of the Council of Ministers shall be taken by an absolute majority.
Decisions so taken shall be promulgated immediately by the President and the
Vice-President by publication in the official gazette.
However, the President and the Vice-President shall have the right of final veto and the
right to return the decisions of the Council of Ministers under the same conditions as
those laid down for laws and decisions of the House Of Representatives.
- Legislative authority shall be vested in a House of Representatives elected for a period
of five years by universal suffrage of each community separately In the proportion of 70
per cent for the Greek community and 30 per cent for the Turkish community, this
proportion being fixed independently of statistical data. (N.B.-The number of
Representatives shall be fixed by mutual agreement between the communities. )
The House of Representatives shall exercise authority in all matters other than those
expressly reserved to the Communal Chambers. In the event of a conflict of authority, such
conflict shall be decided by the Supreme Constitutional Court which shall be composed of
one Greek, one Turk and one neutral, appointed jointly by the President and the
Vice-President. The neutral judge shall be president of the Court.
- Laws and decisions of the House of Representatives shall be adopted by a simple majority
of the members present. They shall be promulgated within 15 days if neither the President
nor the Vice-President returns them for reconsideration as provided in Point 9 below. The
Constitutional Law, with the exception of its basic articles, may be modified by a
majority comprising two-thirds of the Greek members and two-thirds of the Turkish members
of the House of Representatives. Any modification of the electoral law and the adoption of
any law relating to the municipalities and of any law imposing duties or taxes shall
require a simple majority of the Greek and Turkish members of the House of Representatives
taking part in the vote and considered separately. On the adoption of the budget, the
President and the Vice-President may exercise their right to return it to the House of
Representatives, if in their judgment any question of discrimination arises. If the House
maintains its decisions, the President and the Vice-President shall have the right of
appeal to the Supreme Constitutional Court.
- The President and the Vice-President, separately and conjointly shall have the right of
final veto on any law or decision concerning foreign affairs, except the participation of
the Republic of Cyprus in international organisations and pacts of alliance in which
Greece and Turkey both participate, or concerning defence and security as defined in Annex
- The President and the Vice-President of the Republic shall have. separately and
conjointly, the right to return all laws and decisions. which may be returned to the House
of Representatives within a period of not more than 15 days for reconsideration. The House
of Representatives shall pronounce within 15 days on any matter so returned. If the House
of Representatives maintains its decisions, the President ,and the Vice-President shall
promulgate the law or decision in question within the time-limits fixed for the
promulgation of laws and decisions. Laws and decisions, which are considered by the
President or the Vice-President to discriminate against either of the two communities,
shall be submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court which may annul or confirm the law
or decision, or return it to the House of Representatives for reconsideration, in whole or
in part. The law or decision shall not become effective until the Supreme Constitutional
Court or, where it has been returned, the House of Representatives has taken a decision on
- Each community shall have its Communal Chamber composed of a number of representatives
which it shall itself determine. The Communal Chambers shall have the right to impose
taxes and levies on members of their community to provide for their needs and for the
needs of bodies and institutions under their supervision. The Communal Chambers shall
exercise authority in all religious, educational, cultural and teaching questions and
questions of personal status. They shall exercise authority in questions where the
interests and institutions are of a purely communal nature, such as sporting and
charitable foundations, bodies and associations, producers' and consumers' co-operatives
and credit establishments, created for the purpose of promoting the welfare of one of the
communities. (N.B.-It is understood that the provisions of the present paragraph cannot be
interpreted in such a way as to prevent the creation of mixed and communal institutions
where the inhabitants desire them. ) These producers' and consumers' co-operatives and
credit establishments, which shall be administered under the laws of the Republic, shall
be subject to the supervision of the Communal Chambers. The Communal Chambers shall also
exercise authority in matters initiated by municipalities which are composed of one
community only. These municipalities, to which the laws of the Republic shall apply, shall
be supervised in their functions by the Communal Chambers. Where the central
administration is obliged to take over the supervision of the institutions,
establishments, or municipalities mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs by virtue of
legislation in force, this supervision shall be exercised by officials belonging to the
same community as the institution, establishment or municipality in question.
- The Civil Service shall be composed as to 70 per cent. of Greeks and as to 30 per cent.
of Turks. It is understood that this quantitative division will be applied as far as
practicable in all grades of the Civil Service. In regions or localities where one of the
two communities is in a majority approaching 100 per cent., the organs of the local
administration responsible to the central administration shall be composed solely of
officials belonging to that community.
- The deputies of the Attorney-General of the Republic, the Inspector General, the
Treasurer and the Governor of the Issuing Bank may not belong to the same community as
their principals. The holders of these posts shall be appointed by the President and the
Vice-President of the Republic acting in agreement.
- The heads and deputy heads of the Armed Forces, the Gendarmerie and the Police shall be
appointed by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic acting in agreement. One
of these heads shall be Turkish and where the head belongs to one of the communities, the
deputy head shall belong to the other.
- Compulsory military service may only be instituted with the agreement of the President
and the Vice-President of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus shall have an army of 2,000 men,
of whom 60 per cent. shall be Greek and 40 per cent. Turkish. The security forces
(gendarmerie and police) shall have a complement of 2,000 men, which may be reduced or
increased with the agreement of both the President and the Vice-President. The security
forces shall be composed as to 70 per cent. of Greeks and as to 30 per cent. of Turks.
However, for an initial period this percentage may be raised to a maximum of 40 per cent.
of Turks (and consequently reduced to 60 per cent. of Greeks) in order not to discharge
those Turks now serving in the police, apart from the auxiliary police.
- Forces, which are stationed in parts of the territory of the Republic inhabited, in a
proportion approaching 100 per cent., by members of a single community, shall belong to
- A High Court of Justice shall be established, which shall consist of two Greeks, one
Turk and one neutral, nominated jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the
Republic. The President of the Court shall be the neutral judge, who shall have two votes.
This Court shall constitute the highest organ of the judicature (appointments, promotions
of judges, &c.) .
- Civil disputes, where the plaintiff and the defendant belong to the same community,
shall be tried by a tribunal composed of judges belonging to that community. If the
plaintiff and defendant belong to different communities, the composition of the tribunal
shall be mixed and shall be determined by the High Court of Justice.
Tribunals dealing with civil disputes relating to questions of personal status and to
religious matters which are reserved to the competence of the Communal Chambers under
Point 10, shall be composed solely of judges belonging to the community concerned. The
composition and status of these tribunals shall be determined according to the law drawn
up by the Communal Chamber and they shall apply the law drawn up by the Communal Chamber.
In criminal cases, the tribunal shall consist of judges belonging to the same community as
the accused. If the injured party belongs to another community, the composition of the
tribunal shall be mixed and shall be determined by the High Court of Justice.
- The President and the Vice-President of the Republic shall each have the right to
exercise the prerogative of mercy to persons from their respective communities who are
condemned to death. In cases where the plaintiffs and the convicted persons are members of
different communities the prerogative of mercy shall be exercised by agreement between the
President and the Vice-President. In the event of disagreement the vote for clemency shall
prevail. When mercy is accorded the death penalty shall be commuted to life imprisonment.
- In the event of agricultural reform, lands shall be redistributed only to persons who
are members of the same community as the expropriated owners.
Expropriations by the State or the Municipalities shall only be carried out on payment of
a just and equitable indemnity fixed, in disputed cases, by the tribunals. An appeal to
the tribunals shall have the effect of suspending action.
Expropriated property shall only be used for the purpose for which the expropriation was
made. Otherwise the property shall be restored to the owners.
- Separate municipalities shall be created in the five largest towns of Cyprus by the
Turkish inhabitants of these towns. However:-
(a) In each of the towns a co-ordinating body shall be set up which shall supervise
work which needs to be carried out jointly and shall concern itself with matters which
require a degree of co-operation. These bodies shall each be composed of two members
chosen by the Greek municipalities, two members chosen by the Turkish municipalities and a
President chosen by agreement between the two municipalities.
(b) The President and the Vice-President shall examine within four years the
question whether or not this separation of municipalities in the five largest towns shall
continue. With regard to other localities, special arrangements shall be made for the
constitution of municipal bodies, following, as far as possible, the rule of proportional
representation for the two communities.
- A treaty guaranteeing the independence, territorial integrity and constitution of the
new State of Cyprus shall be concluded between the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, the United
Kingdom and Turkey. A Treaty of military alliance shall also be concluded between the
Republic of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. These two instruments shall have constitutional
force. (This last paragraph shall be inserted in the Constitution as a basic article.)
- It shall be recognised that the total or partial union of Cyprus with any other State,
or a separatist independence for Cyprus (i.e., the partition of Cyprus into two
independent States) , shall be excluded.
- The Republic Of Cyprus shall accord most-favoured-nation treatment to Great Britain,
Greece and Turkey for all agreements whatever their nature. This provision shall not apply
to the Treaties between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom concerning the bases
and military facilities accorded to the United Kingdom.
- The Greek and Turkish Governments shall have the right to subsidise institutions for
education, culture, athletics and charity belonging to their respective communities.
Equally, where either community considers that it has not the necessary number of
schoolmasters. professors or priests for the working of its institutions, the Greek and
Turkish Governments may provide them to the extent strictly necessary to meet their needs.
- One of the following Ministries-the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence
or the Ministry, of Finance-shall be entrusted to a Turk. If the President and the
5'ice-President agree they may replace this system by a system of rotation.
- The new State which is to come into being with the signature of the Treaties shall be
established as quickly as possible and within a period of not more than three months from
the signature of the Treaties.
- All the above Points shall be considered to be basic articles of the Constitution of
A The defence questions subject to veto under Point 8 of the Basic Structure are as
(a) Composition and size of the armed forces and credits for them.
(b) Appointments and promotions.
(c) Imports of warlike stores and of all kinds of explosives.
(d) Granting of bases and other facilities to allied countries.
The Security questions subject to veto are as follows:
(a) Appointments and promotions.
(b) Allocation and stationing of forces.
(c) Emergency measures and martial law.
(d) Police laws. (It is provided that the right of veto shall cover all emergency
measures or decisions, but not those which concern the normal functioning of the police
and gendarmerie. )
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(b) Treaty of Guarantee between the Republic of Cyprus and Greece, the United Kingdom
The Republic of Cyprus of the one part, and Greece, the United Kingdom and Turkey of
the other part:-
I. Considering that the recognition and maintenance of the independence,
territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, as established and regulated
by the basic articles of its Constitution, are in their common interest;
II. Desiring to co-operate to ensure that the provisions of the aforesaid
Constitution shall be respected:
Have agreed as follows:
The Republic of Cyprus undertakes to ensure the maintenance of its independence,
territorial integrity and security, as well as respect for its Constitution. It undertakes
not to participate, in whole or in part, in any political or economic union with any State
whatsoever. With this intent it prohibits all activity tending to promote directly or
indirectly either union or partition of the Island. ARTICLE 2
Greece the United Kingdom and Turkey, taking note of the undertakings by the Republic
of Cyprus embodied in Article 1, recognize and guarantee the independence, territorial
integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, and also the provisions of the basic
articles of its Constitution. They likewise undertake to prohibit, as far as lies within
their power, all activity having the object of promoting directly or indirectly either the
union of the Republic of Cyprus with any other State, or the partition of the Island.
In the event of any breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, the United
Kingdom, and Turkey undertake to consult together, with a view to making representations,
or taking the necessary steps to ensure observance of those provisions. In so far as
common or concerted action may prove impossible, each of the three guaranteeing Powers
reserves the right to take action with the sole aim Of re-establishing the state of
affairs established by the present Treaty.
The present Treaty shall enter into force on signature. The High Contracting Parties
undertake to register the present Treaty at the earliest possible date with the
Secretariat of the United Nations, in accordance vith the provisions of Article 102 of the
E. A. -T.
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(c) Treaty of Alliance between the Republic of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey
- The Republic of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey shall co-operate for their common defence and
undertake by this Treaty to consult together on the problems raised by this defence.
- The High Contracting Parties undertake to resist any attack or aggression, direct or
indirect, directed against the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of
- In the spirit of this alliance and in order to fulfill the above purpose a tripartite
Headquarters shall be established on the territory of the Republic Of Cyprus.
- Greece shall take part in the Headquarters mentioned in the preceding article with a
contingent of 950 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers and Turkey with a
contingent of 650 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers. The President and the
Vice-President of the Republic of Cyprus, acting in agreement, may ask the Greek and
Turkish Governments to increase or reduce the Greek and Turkish contingents.
- The Greek and Turkish officers mentioned above shall be responsible for the training of
the Army of the Republic of Cyprus.
- The command of the tripartite Headquarters shall be assumed in rotation and for a period
of one year each by a Cypriot, Greek and Turkish General Officer, who shall be nominated
by the Governments of Greece and Turkey and by the President and the Vice-President of the
Republic of Cyprus.
F. R. Z.
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(d) Declaration by the Government of the United Kingdom, 11 February
DECLARATION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, having
examined the documents concerning the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising
the Basic Structure for the Republic of Cyprus the Treaty of Guarantee and the Treaty of
Alliance, drawn up and approved by the Heads of the Governments of Greece and Turkey in
Zurich on February 11, 1969, and taking into account the consultations in London, from
February 11 to 16, 1969, between the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United
A. That, subject to the acceptance of their requirements as set out in Section B
below, they accept the documents approved by the Heads of the Governments of Greece and
Turkey as the agreed foundation for the final settlement of the problem of Cyprus.
B. That, with the exception of two areas at
(a) Akrotiri-Episkopi-Parmali, and
(b) Dhekelia-Pergamos-Ayios Nikolaos-Xylophagou, which will be retained under full
British sovereignty, they are willing to transfer sovereignty over the Island of Cyprus to
the Republic of Cyprus subject to the following e conditions:-
- that such rights are secured to the United Kingdom Government as are necessary to enable
the two areas as aforesaid to be used effectively as military bases, including among
others those rights indicated in the Annex attached, and that satisfactory guarantees are
given by Greece, Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus for the integrity of the areas retained
under British sovereignty and the use and enjoyment by the United Kingdom of the rights
referred to above;
- that provision shall be made by agreement for:-
(i) the protection of the fundamental human rights of the various communities in
(ii) the protection of the interests of the members of the public services in
(iii) determining the nationality of persons affected by the settlement;
(iv) the assumption by the Republic of Cyprus of the appropriate obligations of the
present Government of Cyprus, including the settlement of claims.
C. That the Government of the United Kingdom welcome the draft Treaty of Alliance
between the Republic of Cyprus, the Kingdom of Greece and the Republic of Turkey and will
co-operate with the Parties thereto in the common defence of Cyprus.
D. That the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus shall come into force and the
formal signature of the necessary instruments by the parties concerned shall take place at
the earliest practicable date and on that date sovereignty will be transferred to the
Republic of Cyprus.
E. A. -T.
The following rights will be necessary in connexion with the areas to be retained under
(a) to continue to use, without restriction or interference, the existing small
sites containing military and other installations and to exercise complete control within
these sites, including the right to guard and defend them and to exclude from them all
persons not authorised by the united Kingdom Government
(b) to use roads, ports and other facilities freely for the movement of personnel
and stores of all kinds to and from and between the abovementioned areas and sites
(c) to continue to have the use of specified port facilities at Famagusta;
(d) to use public services (such as water, telephone, telegraph, electric power,
(e) to use from time to time certain localities, which would be specified, for
(f) to use the airfield at Nicosia, together with any necessary buildings and
facilities on or connected with the airfield to whatever extent is considered necessary by
the British authorities for the operation of British military aircraft in peace and war,
including the exercise of any necessary operational control of air traffic;
(g) to overfly the territory of the Republic of Cyprus without restriction;
(h) to exercise jurisdiction over British forces to an extent comparable with that
provided in Article VII of the Agreement regarding the Status of Forces of Parties to the
North Atlantic Treaty, in respect of certain offenses committed within the territory of
the Republic of Cyprus:
(i) to employ freely in the areas and sites labour from other parts of Cyprus;
(j) to obtain, after consultation with the Government of the Republic Of Cyprus,
the use of such additional small sites and such additional rights as the United Kingdom
may, from time to time, consider technically necessary for the efficient use of its base
areas and installations in Cyprus.
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(e) Additional article to be inserted in the Treaty of Guarantee
The Kingdom of Greece, the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus undertake to
respect the integrity of the areas to be retained under the sovereignty of the United
Kingdom upon the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, and guarantee the use and
enjoyment by the United Kingdom of the rights to be secured to the United Kingdom by the
Republic of Cyprus in accordance with the declaration by the Government of the United
1 The agreement on Cyprus was aproved by the Greek Parliament on 28
February, by 170 votes to 118 by the Turkish Parliament on 4 March, by 347 votes to 139
with 2 abstentions, and by the House of Commons on 19 March with no division, after an
opposition amendment criticising the Government's policy since 1954, had been defeated by
299 votes to 246. On 10 November 1959 agreement wns reached on the question of executive
authority in the new constitution. On 13 December Archbishop Makarios was elected first
President of the future republic ot Cyprus, he received 70 per cent of the votes. The
state of emergency on the island ended on 4 December 1959.
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