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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] New information about Turkish atrocities

  • 1400:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] New information about Turkish atrocities

    Nicosia, Feb 6 (CNA) -- A second testimony by a Kurd on the killing of Greek Cypriots, mainly civilians, and their burial in mass graves during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus was surfaced today.

    The local weekly magazine "Selides" (Pages) publishes an interview with a Kurd, who was serving with the Turkish invasion troops. Ali Hak says he buried around 60 people and saw about 600 Greek Cypriots being transferred to Turkey.

    However, speaking to CNA the heads of the committees of relatives of missing persons expressed reservations about the authenticity of the information while on his part the Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner said this information would be looked into.

    The writer of the article says he has a video tape and the transcript of a interview Ali Hak had given to the late president of the Cyprus Solidarity Committee with Kurdistan, Theophilos Georgiades, murdered in 1994 by persons believed to work for the Turkish intelligence service (MIT).

    Lakis Pingouras, also a member of the Committee, says Georgiades gave him the information a few months before he was murdered, fearing for his life.

    He adds that he is making the interview public today, four years later, after a testimony of another Kurd was published on January 27, 1998 in pro- Kurdish daily "Oezguer Politika" that some 100 Greek Cypriots were killed and buried near the capital Nicosia.

    In his interview Hak says he drove the bulldozer used to pick up bodies buried temporarily and was ordered to open a grave three to four metres deep where at least 60 Greek Cypriots were buried.

    "I tied a piece of cloth around my face and put on perfume in order to pick up the bodies which smelt badly," he said.

    Asked how many people were buried he said "at least 60. There were definitely seven to eight women of all ages, about 20 to 25 soldiers and young children of 10 or 11 years."

    Regarding the prisoners of war taken to Turkey, the Kurd said that on his arrival at Kyrenia harbour he saw some 400 men, mostly civilians, rounded up at the port ready to embark on a boat, with blindfolds and their hands tied back.

    He adds that another 200 prisoners of war were transferred to Kyrenia with military vehicles, one of which was driven by him. They were also put on boats heading for Turkey.

    "I witnessed the execution of six people," Hak says, adding that at the time "voices were coming from various sites. Many people were killed," he says.

    In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 1619 Greek Cypriots were reported as missing.

    The Turkish side has reported about 500 Turkish Cypriots missing, mainly during intercommunal clashes in 1963.

    Information on some of the missing persons and their burial sites was exchanged last month between representatives of the two sides, after an agreement reached between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, during a meeting in Nicosia in July 1997.

    Relatives of the missing persons expressed their opposition to such information being published today.

    Nicos Theodosiou told CNA that from his knowledge the Committee has no such testimony and said "any such information should be investigated into before it can be used."

    He added this is what the Relatives of Missing Persons Committee will do.

    Father Economos Christoforos, of the Committee of the Struggle for Missing Persons, who has been involved in the issue for years, also said he has no such information.

    On his part, Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner, Takis Christopoulos, questioned why this information was made known today and said it would be investigated as is the normal practice in such cases.

    "First of all we have to see whether it is trustworthy," he told CNA.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
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