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TURKISH AND TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS ON THE KILLING OF TWO UNARMED

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH AND TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS ON THE KILLING OF TWO UNARMED GREEK CYPRIOTS

BY TURKS IN CYPRUS

  • [01] Introduction

  • [02] YENIDUZEN (12.8.96)

  • [03] ORTAM (12.8.96)

  • [04] YENIDUZEN (13.8.96)

  • [05] ORTAM (13.8.96)

  • [06] BIRLIK (13.8.96)

  • [07] YENI YUZYIL (13.8.96)

  • [08] TEMPO (reprinted in ORTAM, 24.08.1996)

  • [09] HURRIYET (27.8.96)


    [01] Introduction

    The killing of two unarmed Greek Cypriot demonstrators by so-called Turkish Cypriot "police", members of the Turkish ultra right-wing nationalist "Grey Wolves" and "Idealist Hearths" organisations and Turkish occupation troops on 11 and 14 August was given wide coverage in the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot press.

    [02] YENIDUZEN (12.8.96)

    The Turkish Cypriot newspaper YENIDUZEN (12.8.96), reporting on the killing of the demonstrator Anastasios (Tassos) Isaac at Dherynia on 11 August under the banner headline: "The result of fanaticism", says: "Especially in Dherynia and Akhna, police and civil defence members were instrumental in the escalation of events when they demonstrated extensive tolerance and turned a blind eye to the Idealist Hearths militants who entered the buffer zone carrying iron clubs, bars, stones, chains used in battles as well as firearms. In Dherynia, when the Greek Cypriot youth Anastasios Isaac (24) from Paralimni tried to run away from the site of the incidents, he was trapped by the barbed wires and was lynched by a group of Idealists armed with iron clubs and bars. Especially in the Akhna region, while reporters were banned from entering into the area in their own cars, it was observed that Idealist militants armed with shotguns opened fire on the Greek Cypriots on the other side".

    [03] ORTAM (12.8.96)

    The Turkish Cypriot paper ORTAM (12.8.96) reports under the heading "Bloody Action": "It has been observed that Idealists who were brought against the Greek Cypriots were armed with iron bars and wooden clubs and were carrying firearms. What is specially interesting is the way the TRNC (tr. note : The self-styled "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" which is not recognized by any country except Turkey) officials allowed them to carry firearms". The Turkish Cypriot papers of 13 August 1996 report that a group of ultra-nationalist Idealist Hearths organisation members from Turkey, who arrived in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus in the wake of the Greek Cypriot motorcyclists' decision to hold a protest rally against the occupation on 11 August, visited the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash.

    [04] YENIDUZEN (13.8.96)

    YENIDUZEN (13.8.96), reporting on the "Idealists'" visit to Mr Denktash, wrote: "The group started shouting racist and fascist slogans, `Grey Wolf Denktash', `Hands extended on Turks will be broken', `Cyprus is Turkish and will stay Turkish'". YENIDUZEN adds that this group arrived in the occupied area using the Greek Cypriot motorcyclists' protest rally as an excuse and that it stirred up trouble and caused the escalation of the incidents. YENIDUZEN further reports that Mr Denktash thanked the "Idealists" for coming from Turkey and giving their support.

    [05] ORTAM (13.8.96)

    ORTAM (13.8.96) reports that Mr Denktash welcomed the "Idealists" and said: "The Greek Cypriots should sit and think: `Only part of them came from Turkey. What shall we do if the whole of Turkey came?'". Mr Denktash said, moreover, that if the Greek Cypriots do not give up this kind of protest activities they will face more trouble.

    [06] BIRLIK (13.8.96)

    BIRLIK (13.8.96) reports that before their departure the "Idealists" once more shouted: "Cyprus is Turkish and will stay Turkish".

    [07] YENI YUZYIL (13.8.96)

    The Turkish paper YENI YUZYIL (13.8.96), reporting the incident on 11 August, wrote: "... Meanwhile the Idealists, who started gathering near the Turkish security region with their Grey Wolf emblems and tri-crescent flags, entered into the military security area and wanted to go to the Green Line ( i.e. the cease-fire= line). At the beginning they were precluded, but then this angry mob was set free to go. An official who came near the demonstrators said to them `Comrades do not go anywhere. When need be we will use you'. People, wave after wave, were going to the `front'. Everywhere there were Turkish and tri-crescent flags. In their hands they were holding wooden clubs, on their belts diver's and hunter's knives, iron bars, water pipes, large knives, long carving knives, catapults, stones and clubs with nails on them. They were singing the national anthem and shouting slogans. The mob became uncontrolled. In the meantime some Greek Cypriots entered the buffer zone and started shouting and making unbecoming gestures to the Turks. Meanwhile fanatics from both sides passed the barbed wires and entered into the buffer zone. In order to catch these Greeks, the Turks entered the buffer zone too. A Greek Cypriot running away was trapped in the barbed wire and was unable to escape and he was beaten with iron bars. Tassos Isaac (24), who received heavy blows on his head, was fatally injured and died in hospital. And then the Turks launched another attack shouting `Allah, Allah' (God, God). The UN soldiers tried to stop the events in a nice manner, but it was no use. They were outnumbered. Towards the evening, when the news arrived that the Greek Cypriot motorcyclists had dispersed and the events were over, Turkish demonstrators made their way home with their guns in their hands".

    [08] TEMPO (reprinted in ORTAM, 24.08.1996)

    Azmi Karamahmutoglu, head of the Idealist Hearths organisation, gave an interview to the Turkish weekly magazine TEMPO which was reprinted in the Turkish Cypriot paper ORTAM on 24 August 1996. Azmi Karamahmutoglu talked about the Idealist Hearths' activities and particularly about the organisation's role in the killing of two unarmed Greek Cypriots during demonstrations on 11 and 14 August. He said: "We are impartial when it comes to any problem concerning Turkey and the Turks. We involve ourselves. It may be in the Steppes of Central Asia or on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. We are involved in every problem concerning Turkey and the Turks in Europe... We can go to north Cyprus with our identity cards. The organization, which is a voluntary communal establishment, adopted a voluntary decision to dispatch some of its members to north Cyprus..." Referring to the decision of the organisation's members to go to Cyprus, Karamahmutoglu said: "The plan aimed to create a confrontation between the Turkish troops and Greek Cypriot civilians... We were a group of about 3,000 people. We were in the areas where the Greek Cypriots would be most likely to cross into the TRNC. Later we were told that the Greek Cypriot side had cancelled its action. Believing that the Greek Cypriot officials had said they were cancelling the action so that they would not be blamed for anything, we asked our group members not to disperse. What was initially feared occurred at about 1600. We were told that clashes had taken place in Dherinia. We sent all our colleagues in Nicosia there. The Greek Cypriots fled when they saw them. Of course some did not. We reacted against those we found on our territory. One person was killed in the incidents..."

    [09] HURRIYET (27.8.96)

    The Turkish paper HURRIYET (27.8.96) reports that the Deputy Secretary General of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey, Istanbul deputy, Mehmet Sevigen, accused the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller of paying 65 billion Turkish Lira* to the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves and Idealist Hearths members who went to Cyprus to confront the Greek Cypriot demonstrators. Mr Sevigen said that while the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Necmettin Erbakan, was abroad on a 10-day tour of the Far East, Mrs Ciller was acting Prime Minister and during that time she took away control of the Enlightenment Fund from the Prosperity Party Minister and placed it under State Minister Ufuk Soylemez of the True Path Party. She gave back control of the fund to the Prosperity Party Minister on the eve of Mr Erbakan's return to Turkey. Wondering why Mrs Ciller took control of this fund for ten days, Mr Sevigen submitted a motion to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 26 August to be answered by Mr Erbakan. In his motion, Mr Sevigen asks whether Mrs Ciller had withdrawn 65 billion TL either from the Enlightenment Fund or from the Sectional Head Office of the Administrative and Financial Department of the Prime Minister's Office during her ten days as acting Prime Minister. Mr Sevigen said that there are claims that part of this money was given to supporters of a political party that went to Cyprus, and part of it was spent during Mrs Ciller's visit to Mus and Adana.
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