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Makarios III(mäkä`rēôs), 1913–77, Orthodox Eastern archbishop and Cypriot statesman, first president of Cyprus (1960–77). Born Michael Mouskos, Makarios was elected bishop of Kition in 1948 and archbishop of Cyprus in 1950. Leader of the Greek Cypriots in the movement for enosis (union with Greece), he was exiled by the British in 1956 on charges of encouraging terrorism. He was released in 1957. In 1958 he began to press for Cypriot independence from Great Britain rather than union with Greece. When agreement was reached on the independence of Cyprus, he was elected president. Makarios pursued a neutralist policy, favoring a peaceful solution between the island's Greek and Turkish communities. After his term of office had expired in 1965 and had been extended to 1968, Makarios was reelected in 1968 and 1973. In 1972 he came under increasing pressure from the Greek government to allow for greater Greek influence in Cypriot affairs; the Cypriot Orthodox Church pressured him to resign if he failed to do so. Gen. George Grivas, leader of the enosis movement, launched a terrorist campaign aimed at overthrowing Makarios. This effort finally succeeded (July, 1974), when a Greek-sponsored coup deposed Makarios. After several months of exile he returned to Cyprus in Dec., 1974, and resumed the presidency.
See biography by P. N. Vanezis (1971).
(secular name, Michael Christendous Mouskos). Born Aug. 13, 1913, in Panayia, near the city of Paphos. Church and state leader of Cyprus.
Makarios graduated from departments of theology at the University of Athens (1943) and Boston University (1948). During 1948-50 he served as bishop of Kition. From October 1950 he was archbishop, head of the autocephalous Orthodox Church, and ethnarch (leader) of the Greek community. Makarios took an active part in the struggle against British domination and for the independence of Cyprus; in 1956 and 1957 he was in exile on the Seychelles Islands. From 1957 to 1959 he lived in Athens, since the British authorities did not permit him to return to Cyprus. In February 1959, as the representative of the Greek community, he signed the agreements worked out by Great Britain, Greece, and Turkey in Zurich and London; these agreements formed the basis of the constitution of Cyprus. Since Dec. 13, 1959, Makarios III has been president of the Republic of Cyprus.