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No one ever seems to see the same Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus. Those who have been involved in diplomatic negotiations find him baffling, enigmatic, and often infuriating. The 500,000 Greek Cypriots of his island home revere him as a guileless saint, a selfless patriot, and a tenderhearted humanitarian. The 100,000 Turkish Cypriots, a minority terrified of racial extinction, view him as a bloody-handed monster and “the devil of duplicity incarnate.”

The man stirring up these contradictory emotions is a mystical prelatewho leads an ascetic personal life. About the only ornament in his bedroom is an icon of Christ on the cross, and his combined salaries as President and archbishop ($21,280) go to charities. Makarios is so compellinga public speaker that Cypriots flock to hear his sermons, described as “full of poetry and light and love.”

Blessed Monk. Esthete Makarios comes of earthy origins. He was born Michael Mouskos in 1913 in the coastal village of Panayia. His father, a typical gnarled and baggy-trousered peasant, recalls that he was a “bad goatherd,” and thought him rather stupid. Not so the abbot of Kykko monastery, who was attracted by young Michael’s intelligence when the boy became a novice at the age of 13; he later took the name Makarios, which means “blessed.” By entering Kykko, which was founded eight centuries ago high in the Troodos Mountains, and is today the wealthiest monastery in Cyprus with assets estimated at $56 million, Makarios was joining the “black,” or celibate, clergy as opposed to the “white” Greek Orthodox priests who may marry, but who seldom rise far in the hierarchy and cannot become bishops.

Makarios was studying law and theology at the University of Athens when Greece was overrun by the Nazis. He showed his fierce patriotism and his taste for intrigue by becoming a member of the Greek resistance. In 1946, on a scholarship from the World Council of Churches, he studied theology at Boston University until called home to become a bishop.

The Orthodox Church of Cyprus has for centuries led the Greek communitypolitically as well as spiritually. Makarios at once plunged into the enosis movement, calling for union of Cyprus with Greece, and staged an island-wide plebiscite in which Greek Cypriots voted 97% for enosis. In 1950 Makarios was elected Archbishop of Cyprus and simultaneouslybecame Ethnarch, that is, leader of his people. He founded a militant youth group, which grew into the terrorist EOKA, and fought a savage four-year struggle against the British garrison. Arrested and exiled to the remote Seychelles Islands for a year, Makarios returned in triumph in 1959.

Prideful Heads. When the constitution was drawn up, Makarios hailed it as a victory. “We have won!” he cried to the delirious crowd massed outside his palace. “Cyprus is free. Celebrate, my brethren, and raise your heads high with pride.” He promised that Cyprus would now become a strong link between Greece and Turkey and a factor of stability in the Middle East. It might well have if Makarios had not decided that the constitution was unworkable because it conflicted “with internationally accepted democratic principles and creates sources of friction between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.” Most observers agree that the constitution is an unwieldy and difficult document. In an effort to safeguard the interests of the Turkish community, who make up 20% of the population, the constitution requires that 40% of the army, 30% of the civil service, and 30% of the police be drawn from Turkish Cypriots. Both the President and the Vice President have the right of veto over certain laws created by the House of Representatives and certain decisions of the Council of Ministers. The result is a series of deadlocks. For example, no Cypriot army has emerged because Makarios wants the units to be completely integrated while Turkish Cypriot Vice President Dr. Fazil Kuchuk holds out for separate Greek and Turkish Cypriot detachments.

Kuchuk complains that Makarios “never intended or even tried to implementthe constitution. I told him it was like rejecting a new car before even trying it out. I urged him every day to press the starter and try it.

He never tried. He killed the constitution as he’d always planned to do. He only signed it to get rid of the British.” Makarios smilingly denies Kuchuk’s indictment, but does concede that he always had a number of “objections and strong misgivings” about the constitution he signed in 1959. Last November he sent to all interested parties 13 proposals for amending the constitution. Since the amendments would obviously diminish the influence of Turkish Cypriots, thegovernment of Turkey at once rejected them, and both factions on the island tookout their guns, oiled and cleaned them, and began the shooting that the U.N. is now trying to stop.

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