Thursday, 12 February 2009
‘Don’t show any mercy; burn and destroy’
Following the confession of Turk actor Attila Olgac that he murdered 10 Greek Cypriot prisoners during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, above is a report (with English subtitles) from RIK news (02/04/09) in which further details of Turkish war crimes in Cyprus are described. The accounts are by Turkish soldiers and officers, who spoke to the Kurdish journalist Roni Alasor for his book, Order: execute the prisoners.
Below is an article by Dinos Avgoustis (my translation) that appeared in Simerini on Tuesday, which also discusses the revelations in Alasor’s book and rails against successive governments in Athens and Nicosia for failing to bring Turkey to account for its war crimes in Cyprus, and not only those committed in 1974, but also the murders of Theophilos Georgiades, president of the Cyprus-Kurdistan solidarity committee, gunned down by the Turkish secret services outside his home in Nicosia in 1994; and those in 1996 of Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou, murdered during protests against the Turkish occupation at Dherynia.
Order: execute the prisoners…
‘Ayshe can start her holidays.’
With this coded order given by Turkey’s ‘democratic’ prime minister Bulent Ecevit to the Turkish military on 13 August 1974, Ankara broke off the Geneva peace talks and began the second phase of its invasion of Cyprus. At the same time in Athens, the celebrations [for the end of the junta] had not yet died down. The self-exiles returned and drunk with the sweet nectar of power they absolved themselves of responsibility for the events in Cyprus. Their justification simple: the dictators are to blame for everything. There didn’t exist the appropriate military preparedness, they told us. Unfortunately, however, for them, the facts and the accounts of Turkish veterans who took part in the invasion prove them wrong.
This is what Mahmoud Renas, eyewitness and leader of a group of Turkish commandos said: ‘The first Turkish invasion of Cyprus [on 20 July] was a fiasco. The head of the operation made terrible tactical mistakes, which wouldn’t be found in any army in the world. If Greece had decided to respond militarily, believe me, not only would the Turkish army not have occupied half the island, but it would also have suffered huge losses. The “success”of the Turkish army was based on there being no organised resistance by the Greeks.’
This is by way of a small introduction and response to those who shamelessly insist that we couldn’t have thrown the Turks into the sea. Those who continue to stick to the biggest lie of all and persist with their ignorance and misinformation…
Even if it is now 35 years since the barbaric Turkish invasion, one by one, the blood-soaked pages are being turned…
Some of the most tragic incidents took place in the villages of Assia and Aphania. Assia counts 83 missing and Aphania 15. Thirty-five years on, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot witnesses indicate that 70 of the missing from Assia were executed in cold blood by the Turkish army in 1974.
These memories have only been revived because Attila Olgac spoke up… but it’s worth remembering that there are other, even more shocking, revelations that have gone unremarked.
‘Don't show any mercy; burn and destroy. Even if they don’t strike you, strike them; even if they don’t threaten you, kill them.’ These were the orders of Captain Toufan Anli, according to Hassan Kofen, head of a heavy weapons unit during the invasion.
And this is the shocking admission of Mustafa Onkan: ‘In the village of Mora, near Nicosia, there was a mass execution of 100 Greek Cypriots… Among those killed were the elderly, women and children. After the massacre, the corpses remained unburied for a week…’
And there is no end to the cold-blooded killings. This is how another eyewitness, lieutenant, and later professor, Yalcin Kucuk, describes events: ‘For those who were taken prisoner, the method of murder varied: some were shot on the spot, others they told to run and with sadistic satisfaction they shot them in the back. Others were placed against the wall in groups and mowed down with automatic weapons… There were just a few officers who behaved properly and honourably in Cyprus. The majority were bloodthirsty and barbarian, hell-bent on theft and looting… The worst atrocities I saw took place in the village of Tymvou… The village was almost empty. Suddenly, there was a commotion and then a voice: “I've killed, sir, I’ve killed.” They’d unloaded two magazines into the uterus of a young woman, whose hands were tied behind her back and legs spread… she was a handicapped girl. I saw many murders in Cyprus, but this one shocked me the most.’
All the above and countless other shocking incidents are described in Roni Alasor’s book, Order: execute the prisoners, which Alasor dedicates to Theophilos Georgiades [president of the Cyprus-Kurdistan solidarity committee], ‘who devoted his life to the idea of an independent Cyprus, which, as he himself said, passes through the mountains of a free Kurdistan…’
Theophilos Georgiades was gunned down by agents of the Turkish secret services [in 1994] and Hellenism has done nothing to put the killers before a court. Just like we’ve done nothing about the cold-blooded murders of [Tassos] Isaac and [Solomos] Solomou. All we did and continue to do is pave with rose-petals genocidal Turkey’s European road.