Nikos Sampson

Nikos Sampson

Cypriot politician and revolutionary
Date of Birth: 16.12.1935
Country: Cyprus

  1. Biography of Nikos Sampson
  2. Political Activism
  3. Arrest and Imprisonment
  4. Political Career
  5. Presidential Appointment and Resignation
  6. Imprisonment and Return

Biography of Nikos Sampson

Nikos Sampson was a Cypriot politician and revolutionary. Born with the surname Georgiadis, he changed it to Sampson when he started working as a photographer for The Cyprus Times.

Political Activism

Sampson played an active role in the nationalist movement in Cyprus. In 1960, he founded and became the editor of the nationalist newspaper "Makhi," where he expressed his views on the conflicts between the Greek and Turkish communities. He also joined the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) and fought for the island's independence from Britain.

Arrest and Imprisonment

As a result of his involvement in armed clashes and his writings in the newspaper, Sampson was arrested and initially sentenced to death for the murder of policemen. However, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment, which he served in the United Kingdom for a year and a half. In 1959, the London Agreements were signed, granting Cyprus autonomy, and Sampson was released under amnesty. He was able to travel to Greece and return to Cyprus after the island gained independence in August 1960, where he was hailed as a national hero.

Political Career

In 1970, Sampson became a member of parliament for the Progressive Party. Following the return of EOKA leader Georgios Grivas to the island in 1971, he participated in the formation of EOKA-B, which advocated Enosis, the union of Cyprus with Greece. This movement was actively supported by the military junta ruling Greece at that time.

Presidential Appointment and Resignation

On July 15, 1974, with the support of Greek forces stationed on the island, President Makarios of Cyprus was overthrown and exiled, and Sampson was declared his successor. However, Turkey used the pretext of protecting Turkish Cypriots and invaded the island, occupying a third of its territory, including the city of Famagusta and part of the capital, Nicosia. On July 23, Sampson was forced to resign and transfer power to Glafkos Clerides, the President of the Parliament.

Imprisonment and Return

In 1976, Sampson was sentenced to 20 years in prison for treason. However, in 1979, he was allowed to leave for France for medical treatment, where he stayed until 1990. Upon his return to Cyprus in 1992, he resumed his involvement in the newspaper business.