Glafcos Clerides

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Glafcos Clerides
Glafcos Clerides.jpg
4th President of Cyprus
In office
28 February 1993 28 February 2003
Preceded by George Vasiliou
Succeeded by Tassos Papadopoulos
In office
23 July 1974 7 December 1974
Preceded by Nikos Sampson (acting)
Succeeded by Archbishop Makarios III
1st President of the House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded by Tassos Papadopoulos
1st President of DISY
In office
Succeeded by Yiannakis Matsis
Personal details
Born(1919-04-24)24 April 1919
Nicosia, Cyprus
Died15 November 2013(2013-11-15) (aged 94)
Nicosia, Cyprus
Political party Patriotic Front (1959–1969)
Eniaion (1969–1976)
Democratic Rally (from 1976)
Lilla Erulkar
(m. 1947;died 2007)
Alma mater King's College London
Signature Signature of Glafcos Clerides.svg

Glafcos Ioannou Clerides (Greek : Γλαύκος Ιωάννου Κληρίδης; 24 April 1919 – 15 November 2013) was a Greek Cypriot politician and barrister who served as the fourth President of Cyprus from 1993 to 2003. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living former President of Cyprus.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

President of Cyprus head of state and head of government of the Republic of Cyprus

The President of Cyprus is the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Cyprus. The office was created in 1960, after Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Currently, the President of Cyprus is Nicos Anastasiades, since 28 February 2013.


Personal life

Clerides was born and died in Nicosia. He was the eldest son of the lawyer and statesman Ioannis Clerides and Elli Argyridou. He had one sister, Chrysanthi, and one brother, Xanthos. [1] Clerides married Bombay-born Indian Jew Lilla Erulkar (31 October 1921 – 6 June 2007), [2] daughter of Dr Abraham Erulkar, personal physician to Mahatma Gandhi, in London in September 1946. [3] They have a daughter, Katherine (born 1949 in London), who was a member of the House of the Representatives for the Democratic Rally Party. [4] He died on 15 November 2013 at a hospital in Nicosia. [5] He was 94 years old.

Nicosia City

Nicosia is the largest city, capital, and seat of government of the island of Cyprus. It is located near the centre of the Mesaoria plain, on the banks of the River Pedieos.

Ioannis Clerides QC CBE, sometimes known as John Clerides, was a Greek Cypriot lawyer and politician. He served as Mayor of Nicosia and was a candidate for President in Cyprus' first presidential election in 1959, where he was defeated by Archbishop Makarios III. He was the father of future President of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides.

Mumbai Megacity in Maharashtra, India

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million as of 2011. Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016. Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.

World War II

During World War II, he served in the British Royal Air Force. In 1942 his airplane was shot down over Germany and he was captured. He remained a prisoner of war until the end of the war. [4] His name was mentioned in dispatches for distinguished services.

Royal Air Force Aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

A member of the armed forces mentioned in dispatches is one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which his or her gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy is described.

Post World War II

Following the war, he studied law at King's College London graduated in 1948 as a barrister through Gray's Inn, and later practiced law in Cyprus. He was a member of the EOKA organization that sought the liberation of Cyprus from British Rule and participated in the struggle under the pseudonym "Ypereides." During that period he defended numerous EOKA fighters arrested by the British. One of his most famous accomplishments was a preparation of a dossier that enumerated and provided evidence of instances of Human Rights violations by the Imperial administration of Cyprus and its agents.

Kings College London public research university located in London, United Kingdom

King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter, and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, the Institute of Psychiatry, the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Grays Inn one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, a person must belong to one of these Inns. Located at the intersection of High Holborn and Gray's Inn Road in Central London, the Inn is both a professional body and a provider of office accommodation (chambers) for many barristers. It is ruled by a governing council called "Pension", made up of the Masters of the Bench, and led by the Treasurer, who is elected to serve a one-year term. The Inn is known for its gardens, or Walks, which have existed since at least 1597.

EOKA former Greek Cypriot nationalist guerrilla organization

EOKA, acronym for Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, was a Greek Cypriot nationalist guerrilla organisation that fought a campaign for the end of British rule in Cyprus, for the island's self-determination and for eventual union with Greece.

Cypriot independence

Clerides participated in the 1959 London Conference on Cyprus and during the transitional period, from colonial administration to independence (1959–1960), he served as Minister of Justice. During the same period he was Head of the Greek Cypriot delegation in the Joint Constitutional Committee. In July 1960, he was elected to the House of Representatives which, in turn, elected him as its first President. He held this position until 22 July 1976. In the first presidential elections Clerides backed Makarios III, the other candidate being his father Ioannis Clerides.

Makarios III Archbishop and 1st President of Cyprus

Makarios III was a Greek Cypriot clergyman and politician, who served as the Archbishop and Primate of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus (1950–1977) and as the first President of Cyprus (1960–1977). In his three terms as president he survived four assassination attempts and a coup d'état. He is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".

Cyprus became independent in 1960, and Clerides gained political power as a member of the United Democratic Party. Following the 15 July 1974 coup d'état in which EOKA B, a Greek Cypriot pro-enosis paramilitary organisation, overthrew the democratically elected Makarios and installed Nikos Sampson as a President with dictatorial powers, Turkey invaded Cyprus. Eight days later, Sampson was forced to resign. On the same day, 23 July 1974, Clerides temporarily assumed the duties of the President of the Republic, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution. He exercised these duties until the 7 December 1974, the day of the return of Archbishop Makarios, President of the Republic, who was forced to flee on 16 July 1974 on account of the coup. Both President Makarios and the House of Representatives thanked Glafcos Clerides publicly for the task he performed during that period. Critics, especially from EDEK refer to that period as the post-coup, implying that democracy was not fully restored until the return of Makarios. Clerides on the other hand has repeatedly condemned what he called "violence and counter violence" that led to the coup (i.e. the conflict between Grivas's EOKA-B and "efedriko", a special anti-terrorist police body formed to fight EOKA-B).

The 1974 coup d'état in Cyprus was a military coup d'état by the Greek Army in Cyprus, the Cypriot National Guard and the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. On 15 July 1974 the coup plotters ousted President Makarios III and replaced him with pro-Enosis nationalist Nikos Sampson as dictator. The Sampson regime was described as a puppet state, whose ultimate aim was the annexation of the island by Greece; in the short term, the coupists proclaimed the establishment of the "Hellenic Republic of Cyprus". The coup was viewed as illegal by the United Nations and violated human rights laws.

EOKA-B was a Greek Cypriot paramilitary organisation formed in 1971 by General Georgios Grivas ("Digenis"). It followed an ultra right-wing nationalistic ideology and had the ultimate goal of achieving the Enosis (union) of Cyprus with Greece. During its short history, the organisation's chief aim was to block any attempt to enforce upon the Cyprus people what the organisation considered to be an unacceptable settlement to the Cyprus issue. In addition the organisation drafted various plans to overthrow President Makarios. The organisation continued its activities until it officially declared its dissolution and disbanded on February 11th 1978.


Enosis is the movement of various Greek communities that live outside Greece, for incorporation of the regions they inhabit into the Greek state. Widely known is the case of the Greek-Cypriots for union of Cyprus into Greece. The idea of enosis is related to the Megali Idea, an irredentist concept of a Greek state which dominated Greek politics following the creation of the modern Greek state in 1830. The Megali Idea was a project which called for the annexation of all ethnic Greek lands, parts of which had participated in the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s but which were unsuccessful and remained under foreign rule.

Post independence

From 1961 to 1963 he held the position of President of the Cyprus Red Cross. In recognition of his outstanding services he was awarded a Certificate of Honour and Life Membership in recognition of distinguished services to the Red Cross.

In 1976 he founded the right wing Democratic Rally (Demokratikos Synagermos). He was a candidate for the presidency of Cyprus six times and elected to two five-year terms, in 1993 and in 1998. In 1998 his main opponent was Georgios Iakovou. He was defeated in the 2003 presidential election by Tassos Papadopoulos.

He was the author of the autobiographical overtoned depiction of 20th century Cypriot history, My Deposition, in four volumes. Glafcos Clerides is an Honorary Member of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

Presidency of Cyprus

During his presidency (1993–2003) [4] Cyprus prospered significantly. Cyprus' stable economy made the island the wealthiest of the ten countries which acceded to the European Union in 2004. The Clerides government is credited with the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. He lost some of his popularity due to his strong support of the Annan Plan for the reunification of Cyprus. While 65% of the Turkish Cypriot community voted in favor of the plan in a referendum, the Greek Cypriot community rejected it by over 75% of the popular vote.

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1959 Cypriot presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Cyprus for the first time on 13 December 1959. Only two candidates contested the election; Makarios III, who was backed by EOKA and Ioannis Clerides, a member of the Democratic Union, who was also supported by AKEL. The result was a victory for Makarios III, who won 66.8% of the vote, although he did not take office until 16 August 1960. Voter turnout was 91.2%.

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Nicos A. Rolandis was born in Limassol, Cyprus on 10 December 1934. He graduated the Pancyprian Gymnasium in 1952. He studied law in London at the Middle Temple and he became a Barrister-at-Law.


  1. [ dead link ]
  2. "On File: India-born former first lady of Cyprus passes away". 2007-06-20.
  3. "Erulkar -".
  4. 1 2 3 "Profile: Glafcos Clerides", BBC News, 2003-01-03
  5. "Glafcos Clerides: Man who steered Cyprus into EU dies", BBC News, 2013-11-15, retrieved 2013-11-15
Preceded by
Nikos Sampson
Acting President of Cyprus
July 1974 – December 1974
Succeeded by
Archbishop Makarios III
Preceded by
George Vasiliou
President of Cyprus
Succeeded by
Tassos Papadopoulos