Inter-communal conflicts 1963-64
The trigger for the 1963-64 inter-communal conflicts was the thirteen amendments to the Constitution which President Archbishop Makarios III had suggested. The revisions were rejected by the Turkish Cypriot part, which constituted only about 18% of the country’s population, because they would limit their political power. Subsequently, the segregation of the two communities which started in 1958 deepened even more and separate municipalities with autonomous administration began to develop in Cyprus’ five main cities. The armed conflicts in December 1963 between Turkish Cypriot members of paramilitary groups and the National Guard (see category National Guard) turned that Christmas into what became known as “bloody Christmas”.
Extensive conflicts took place during the following year where atrocities were committed by both sides. Considerable numbers of victims were counted, though mainly on the Turkish Cypriot part, where they were counted in thousands.