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Greek dictator Dimitris Ioannidis dies

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Greek dictator Dimitris Ioannidis dies


The man blamed for sparking the modern day conflict over Cyprus has died.

Former Greek dictator Dimitris Ioannidis, one of several figures who seized power in a counter coup in 1967, died a day after suffering breathing problems in prison. He was 87.

Ioannidis, the Junta’s feared police chief, also helped instigate a bloody crackdown against a student pro-democracy uprising at Athens Polytechnic in 1973.

Only days after, he and several army hardliners would overthrow dictator George Papadopoulos. They would rule Greece for the next eight months.

It was during that time Ioannidis launched another coup to overthrow Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios in 1974. That move is blamed for triggering the Mediterranean island’s present day division after Turkish forces responded by invading.

Within days of Ankara’s military intervention the dictatorship in Athens fell and civilian rule was restored.

In 1975, Iaonnidis was sentenced to death for high treason, later commuted to life imprisonment.

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