Friday, 23 January 2009

Turkish actor admits Cyprus war crimes

In this post last week, I tried to make it clear that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 was a land-grab, an excuse for looting, theft and mass murder. That the invasion of Cyprus was an act of savage aggression is confirmed by this report (in Greek) in yesterday's Kathirmerini in which a prominent Turkish actor, Attila Olgac, a star in the popular Valley of the Wolves series, which spawned a notorious anti-American and anti-Israeli film of the same name, admits while being interviewed on Turkish Star television, that during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 he cold-bloodedly murdered 10 Greek prisoners.

Below is Olgac's story as published by Kathimerini (my translation), while the video clip above is from yesterday's RIK news, which led on Olgac's confession that he is a war criminal. That Olgac makes out that he was a reluctant war criminal leads us to wonder, of course, how those less imbued with his artistic sensitivities went about their business on defenceless Cyprus 35 years ago. It's worth reiterating that some 4,500 Greeks were slaughtered in Cyprus in 1974, while another 1,600 are regarded as missing, and must be presumed dead. Indeed, Olgac's confession reveals to us how many of those 1,600 missing must have met their fate.

Turkish actor 'reveals' how many he killed during the Attila invasion

'I killed 10 prisoners,' said a well-known Turkish actor, referring to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, where he fought during his national service.

'The first one I killed was a 19-year-old prisoner,' said Attila Olgac.

Speaking on the Turkish television channel Star, the actor said that while the 1974 invasion was being prepared, he was one day away from being discharged, but once the operation started he left from Mersin for Cyprus.

During the television programme, the actor said: 'I said to our commanding officer that I'm an artist and I can't kill. "This is where art ends and real life – war – begins. I've given you an order and you will kill", the commanding officer told me.'

Olgac continued: 'The first one I killed was a 19-year-old soldier taken prisoner. As I extended my gun towards him, he spat at me. I shot him in the head and he died. Later, I killed nine more. And every time I killed, I went to the barracks and cried but
, the next time, I killed again. I can't get these images out of my dreams. For a long period, I was in psychotherapy and as a result of what happened I still can't eat meat or look at blood, because I immediately remember the boys I killed.'

The actor said he was revealing the truth for the first time and stressed:
'The war affected me for a long period – in my professional life too. I couldn't do anything. Even today I remember my commanding officer telling me, "you think killing is only for the stage; take a gun and kill someone for real, to see how it feels".'


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Anonymous said...

Once again you are the font of all the useful information most of us have missed. Thanks for posting this important news.

I remember watching the documentary Attila '74: The Rape of Cyprus some years back. Did not a former high ranking Turkish politician (former Prime Minister?)openly admit in an interview included in this movie that the Turks *DID* kill 1,300 of the missing Greeks in cold blood and in violation of international law? I could have sworn I saw something like this.

I still have the DVD and will search for that part.


john akritas said...

GW: Thanks for the good words and offer.

Apostolos: I uploaded a while ago the whole of The Rape of Cyprus here:

I think the part you mean is when the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktash admits that some Greeks listed as missing were, indeed, murdered by Turkish Cypriot irregulars and he says they did this as revenge for (unspecified and unsubstantiated) atrocities committed by Greeks – as if revenge were a valid reason for massacre.

However, Denktash and the Turks have always insisted that the vast majority of missing Greeks were killed by other Greeks during the coup. This is a downright lie and, indeed, Denktash's reason for saying that Turkish Cypriot irregulars may have killed some Greek prisoners is to exonerate the Turkish army of any atrocities. The importance of the Turk actor's statement, therefore, is that, firstly, it directly implicates the Turkish army – and by extension the Turkish government – in the massacres that took place; and, secondly, it is the first time a Turk has come out and said that, yes, I took part in the killings.

We all suspected – and witness statements and evidence from the remains of those missing recently discovered have confirmed suspicions – that thousands of Greeks were slaughtered in the way the Turk actor describes, but no Turk has ever had the courage or conscience (not that the Turk actor has either of these, as an imminent HA post will show) to admit responsibility and provide details of what actually happened to captured Greeks in 1974.

I should add that the Turk actor's statement confirms, once again, that the Cyprus problem is not one of a breakdown in relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and how to patch up those relations; but an issue of a brutal foreign invasion and occupation.