Eastern Mediterranean 1974: Turkish invasion of Cyprus
In July 1974 the military junta in power in Greece at the time backed a coup in Cyprus, threatening to unite that island nation with Greece. In response, Turkey landed troops in northern Cyprus, occupying over a third of the country by mid-August. Although both the Greek junta and their Cypriot allies fell from power within days of the Turkish intervention, Cyprus was left militarily divided by the crisis and in 1983 a separate state would be proclaimed in the Turkish-occupied north.
18 Jan 1974 Israel–Egypt Disengagement Treaty▲
After the ceasefire between Egypt and Israel in the Sinai (25 October 1973), the United Nations General Assembly established the second United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF II) to supervise the two sides. In January 1974 a disengagement treaty was signed, allowing the UNEF II to establish a buffer zone as Israeli forces deployed away from the Suez Canal.
31 May 1974 Israel–Syria Disengagement Agreement▲
Despite the ceasefire ending the Yom Kippur War (October 1973), Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights and neighboring parts of Syria continued to fight a war of attrition as negotiations proceeded. Eventually Israel agreed to withdraw to the Purple Line (the 1967 armistice line in the Golan) and a United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDOF) was established in Syrian territory as a buffer zone between the two sides.
15 Jul 1974 Cypriot Coup▲
In the early morning of 15 July 1974 Greek army officers—taking orders from Dimitrios Ioannidas, leader of the military junta in Greece—led the Cypriot National Guard to seize the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, narrowly avoiding capturing Cypriot President Makarios III (who fled to British-controlled Akrotiri). Between 8 am and 9 am the coup leaders proclaimed their victory, installing a pro-Enosis (union with Greece) regime under Nikos Sampson and cracking down on Makarios supporters. In response to the coup, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus on 20 July, provoking the resignation of Sampson on the 23rd and the collapse of the military junta in Greece the next day.
20 Jul–18 Aug 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus▲
In response to the Greek-backed coup in Cyprus in July 1974, the Republic of Turkey launched Operation Atilla, landing troops at Kyrenia in the island’s north. Invoking its rights under the London-Zürich Agreements to protect the Turkish population, Turkey proceeded to capture 3% of Cyprus before the UN Security Council was able to impose a ceasefire on 22 July. After further clashes, a second Turkish offensive in mid-August fanned out to occupy 36% of the island before a final ceasefire that month left the Republic of Cyprus divided, with a de facto Northern Cyprus under Turkish occupation and separated from the south by a UN Buffer Zone.