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Antenna News in English 140896

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From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

News in English, of 14/08/1996


  • Anger over the Turkish murder of a Greek-Cypriot.
  • A British magazine speculates on a possible Turkish invasion of Greece.
  • And, remembering the struggle to liberate Macedonia.


Greek-Cypriot authorities have postponed the funeral of 24-year-old Tassos Isaac, the Greek- Cypriot murdered by a Turkish mob in the island's neutral zone Sunday.

Turkish soldiers, paramilitaries and nationalists descended attacked peaceful protestors at several points along the line separating free from Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

The demonstrators were protesting the ongoing division of Cyprus owing to the Turkish occupation.


The sadness over Tassos Isaac's is mingled with anger. Anger over the fact that United Nations peacekeepers stood idly by while their son was beaten to death for 15 minutes. Anger that the world continues to tolerate Turkish brutality.

Initial reports following the beating of Isaac said he died in the hospital. But it later became known that he died during the assault. An Antenna video reveals that the murder weapon was an axe.

An independent autopsy shows that Tassos Isaak was hit in the head and body by metal bars, stones, and an ax.

Eyewitnesses say Isaak was bludgeoned for 15 minutes, while UN peacekeepers looked on.

Antenna's camera recorded the chilling episode Sunday in the neutral zone in Dirinia. It also records that the murder weapon was an ax.

It was around 4pm when around 200 Turks attacked a small group of Greek-Cypriots in the neutral zone. The Cypriots retreated. Three young men, separated from the main group, got tangled in the barbed wire separating the neutral zone from free Cyprus. A fourth, Tassos Isaak, was brought down by some object.

The bestiality ensued. For a quarter of an hour, he was beaten with metal bars and rocks... and an ax.

When they had finished Isaak off, the Turks who'd murdered him retreated hastily to Turkish- occupied territory.

The Turks beating the other three continued their gory task.

While United Nations peacekeepers watched, Greek-Cypriots managed to retrieve Isaak's body, and free the other three.

One of the survivors and Isaak were taken to the hospital in a jeep. For Isaak, it was too late.

The United Nations' reaction to the hair-raising episode has provoked a sense of rage among Greeks and Cypriots.

Despite the video documentation of the murder, UN representative Gustav Saykel said he had no official word if the dead man was one of the men lynched on the film. Adding insult to injury, he even blamed the Cypriot government for the Turkish barbarism, saying it could have prevented the episodes if it had intervened earlier.

That remains indelibly inscribed on Greek and Cypriot minds is the fact that the UN troops, who according to Saykel lacked the manpower and training to intervene to stop the Turks, had no problem preventing the Cypriot police from intervening to stop the lynching.

UN representative Sylvana Foa said the UN forces couldn't stop the quickly moving protestors on both sides. Like Saykel, she blamed the Cypriot police for moving in too slowly.

Cypriot interior minister Alekos Michailides says Foa is covering the episode up. The Cypriot authorities aren't letting the UN's attitude stop them from seeking justice. They're doing what they can to identify the men who killed Isaak, and issue an international warrant for their arrest. The Cypriots also want to reveal the connection the murderers have to the Turkish state.

Whatever the outcome of the investigations, there is no consolation for Isaak's bereaved parents and wife, who feel they lost their son to Turkish brutality and the UN's cynical indifference.


Avoiding taking a clear stand on the attacks Sunday, state department spokesman Glynn Davis suggested that direct talks should start between Greece and Turkey, aimed at ending the division of Cyprus.

Davis said the "tragic violence underscores the need to reduce tension along the line dividing the island".

He added that the US wants to know exactly what happened before taking a firm position on Sunday's events.

The US spokesman said it appears to have been a peaceful protest, and that the violence, including the raw murder of Isaak, should never have occurred.

The US ambassador to Cyprus will meet with the head of the UN forces on the island to determine exactly what happened, and how similar episodes can be avoided in the future.


Greece has good reason to be wary of Turkey. Not only does Turkey occupy northern Cyprus; it has recently made repeated claims on Greek islands in the Aegean.

Greece isn't alone in believing Turkey could resort to force to advance its designs on Greek territory. A widely-read British military magazine has come up with three possible scenarios for a Turkish invasion of Greece.

"Air Forces" says one possible scenario is a Turkish invasion of the tiny Greek island of Kastelorizo, just a few miles off the Turkish coast in the southeastern Aegean.

But the magazine says the Turks would gain little from such a landing. The large islands of Lesvos, Chios, and Samos are more attractive strategically to the Turks, the journal concludes.

The second scenario is a Turkish invasion of Thrace in northeastern Greece. "Air Forces" says that scenario is unlikely, because both Greece and Turkey have strong land forces.

The magazine also fins the third scenario, a Turkish invasion of free Cyprus, unlikely, because it would result in an international uproar.


The Prince of Wales continues his summer holiday in Greece.

Prince Charles is sailing the waters of the Aegean, a guest on the yacht of Greek billionaire Yiannis Latsis.

With his kids and a number of friends in tow, Charles is swimming and water-skiing off the coast of the Peloponese.

The royal entourage is keeping well out of the public eye, prefering beaches that are secluded.

Prince Charles was supposed to visit Mount Athos this week, but rough seas have cancelled that trip. Charles has a deep interest in Orthodox heritage. His father is an orthodox Christian, and close ties to the ecumenical patriarchate.


What goes up, must come down they say. Add to that: what goes away, must come back. Piraeus port authorities are already bracing themselves from the rush back to Athens after the holiday weekend.

Passenger flow onto ferries in Piraeus is moderate this week. Most boats are sailing no more than 70 per cent full.

One ticket agent says things are slow, leading most people to conclude that whoever's spending the 15th of August out of town...has already left.

The hordes are expected back next Monday and Tuesday. So extra boats are being scheduled, especially to the island of Tinos, which receives thousands of religious visitors each August, and Paros, a popular vacation spot.

Olympic airways is also preparing for the great influx. Its laying on extra flights from Kos, Samos, Paros, Santorini, and Chios. It's also scheduling larger planes to fly to a number of other islands.


The ideals of freedom and nationhood are bringing a town down south closer and place up north closer together.

Admiral Demestikas played a key role in freeing Macedonia.

And his hometown of Kotrona in the Peloponese has remembered him with a statue.

His likeness was unveiled in the town square. The mayor, Pavlos Pizakis said the statue will "remind us all of the ideals of love of country and freedom", embodied in the admiral.

Dionysis Kasapis, president of the Macedonian Struggle Society sang the admiral's praises. He said, "With great respect and emotion we bring you a little Greek colour, bloodied by the heroes of the fight for Macedonia. You were largely responsible for liberating Macedonia, and making it part of Greece".

Grigoris Demestikas honoured the admiral as "a father and for his four decades of service to Greece".

A religious service was held at the unveiling, and wreathes were laid by a number of military and political leaders.

© ANT1-Radio 1996

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