Our country experienced seven years under military dictatorship before democracy was restored on July 24, 1974. Turkey invaded Cyprus following a "failed junta-instigated coup" on July 20, 1974 and as a result, Turkey occupied one-third of the island. The situation which arose at the time, could not be successfully resolved by the dictatorship in Athens, who then had no choice but to allow the politicians to handle the government, which saw the restoration of democracy. Constantinos Karamanlis was appointed as the Prime Minister of Greece.
[caption id="attachment_1653" align="alignright" width="150"] Karamanlis being sworn in as Prime Minister on 24 July 1974[/caption]
Karamanlis has previously served as the Prime Minister, and returned from exile in Paris, to serve once again. Greeks welcomed him with open arms, as he was sworn in as Prime Minister only two hours after returning to the country.
On that same day, many politicians from the Center and Right Wing were sworn in as part of the new government. The other cabinet members were sworn in later, on 26 July 1974.
[caption id="attachment_1654" align="alignleft" width="300"] Greeks celebrate democracy each year on 24 July[/caption]
Political history in Greece saw a drastic change that year, and once democracy was restored, several actions took place. Many political prisoners were released, some were offered amnesty for political offenses, and camps that were housing political prisoners were completely shut down.
Greeks who had been stripped of their citizenship were able to reclaim their identity as Greeks; many changes were implemented to restore the country to normality, with much emphasis on the armed forces and police within the nation.
The other changes which took place included the the legalization of the Greek Communist Party and other leftist parties and factions. The country also adopted a new constitution, as a referendum was held in December of 1974 when two-thirds of the population voted for democracy.
The day democracy was restored in our country 41 years ago changed Greek history forever, and each year as a nation, we still celebrate this memorable day.