Saturday, 14 February 2009

The murders of Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou

In my previous post, I mentioned the murders in 1996 of Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou, and above are two videos that remind us of the nature of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and the barbarism of the Turkish state and Turkish nationalism. Isaac was beaten to death by a Turkish mob on 11 August during an anti-occupation protest in the UN buffer zone while, three days later, also in the buffer zone, following Isaac’s funeral, his cousin Solomou was shot to death trying to pull down a Turkish flag.

I’ve provided English subtitles for the second video, even though some of the commentary details have subsequently proved inaccurate. In particular, the film suggests that it was a Turkish soldier who killed Solomou; but the Cypriot investigation into the crime showed that the fatal shots were actually fired by Kenan Akin (see picture) and Erdal Haciali Emanet, who were positioned on a balcony overlooking the Turkish sentry post where Solomou was shot.

Emanet, a Turkish settler, was commander of the so-called security forces in the occupied areas, while Akin, another settler, was serving as the occupation regime's ‘minister of agriculture and forests’. Interpol warrants have been in place against the two since 1996, but neither has been handed over. Indeed, it emerged earlier this week that Akin, who used to belong to Serdar Denktash's Democratic Party, will be standing in this April’s 'parliamentary elections' in Turkish-occupied Cyprus as a candidate for the Freedom and Reform Party, which is currently part of the occupation regime's coalition ‘government’.


Hermes said...

The last two posts are extremely important. Personally, I know about these stories but other Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians or simply human beings with little knowledge of Turkish crimes or Greeks seeking reapproachment must read these articles.

I watched Andrei Rublev again last night. A truly incredible movie. The more I learn about Russian history and identity and its relationship with Byzantium, Russia's struggle with foreign occupation and the place of The Trinity icon in this strugle, the richer this movie becomes. Very few directors work at this level (dealing with national-historical consciousness) these days. Angelopoulos retains some of this.

john akritas said...

I'm aware that a lot of people, both in Greece and the diaspora, are not aware of what the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus actually involves and, hopefully, some of these posts will draw attention to what the Turks are capable of and provide a warning to Greeks to never trust the Turks and to never let their guard down.

Andrei Rublev is great. I haven't seen it for a while, but I'll make the effort to track it down.

I have to admit that my knowledge of Russia's relationship with Byzantium is pretty superficial; and I remain to be convinced that because of our cultural and historical connections with the Russians, this should now translate into a strategic partnership. Sometimes, I get the impression that the Russians flatter us about these connections in order to deceive us, to try and detach us from our other alliances in the West – while the Russians build a partnership with Turkey. Also, my impression is that, as in the 19th century, pan-Slavism is more important to the Russians than pan-Orthodoxy.

Hermes said...

John, I was not arguing that because of the common spring of culture between modern Greece and modern Russia should we automatically form a strategic relationship. Simply that Rublev and some other directors think at a national-historical level whilst many others; particularly today, deal at the private level which results in narcissistic rubbish.

However, Russian flattery is not any different than British or American flattery. As mentioned before numerous times Greece must make decisions that serve its long term interests.

john akritas said...

H. I know you weren't making that point, but others do. I mentioned it because it's always been a a prominent temptation among Greeks to think that because of the cultural connections we have with the Russians, this is sufficient grounds to get into bed with them strategically. I've even noticed Karembelias and Sarris suffer from this naive and wishful thinking. On the point you make about national-historical art, Andrei Rublev was made in 1966 and I've no idea if the Russians are bucking the trend in Europe and America and still making this kind of art or whether they've succumbed to the type of 'private' culture you refer to. I suspect the latter.

Hermes said...

I would not really consult Karambelis or Sarris for serious geopolitical or international relations analysis. Panagiotis Ifestos is much better and his thoughts are readily available on the Internet. There are several others as well. Karambelias has a some insights into internal Greek and European contemporary and historical societies; particularly, from a class and cultural perspective, whilst Sarris is good on culture and internal Turkish issues. Note, Karambelias is a journalist, not an academic.

Sukorov is one Russian that has bucked the trend.

Hermes said...

John or anyone else, ET1 showed a serial on Karyotakis last year. Did anyone watch it? Is it worthwhile downloading?

john akritas said...

I don't know anything about the serial; but I'd be grateful if anyone out there knows where to get NET on the web. The hopeless sods at ERT no longer appear to be streaming their programmes. I'd also be curious to know if anyone's ever managed to watch anything from the ERT archives – There appears to be a lot of good stuff in the archives, but the video player doesn't work!!!

Hermes said...

You can download the Karyotakis serial from here:

The ERT archives works fine. I strongly recommend every Greek and more generally decent human being watches the two historical dramas on the two Zakynthian poets, Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me people, but this article was about Issac and Solomou, not some kind of intellectual coffee discussion about Russian/ Turkish geo/film/ENTERTAINMENT political science rhetoric! Start another thread please!

This is about two cousins, flesh and blood who were brutally murdered, THEY WERE UNARMED! They were not some part of an army or force! They were people who felt so strongly about what had happened to their families, they gave their lives to DEMONSTRATE.

I could say that the being responsible is a dog, or scum... no he is what we call a psychopath, like those little boys who kill babies, or cats or dogs because they 'felt like it'. The man was a minister of Agriculture when he shot Mr. Solomou! What was he doing at that checkpoint, what was he defending? HIs grain? his meat, HIS CATTLE?
I hope when he dies he is sewn into a pigskin casket and is buried face up! In fact he is not even human enough to be called Turkish. Most of the Turkish people I know are disgusted by this action. Most of the Turkish Cypriots I know want to join with the Real Cyprus in the south, but are being held hostage by the Ankara regime and Turkish NAZI brainwashing jack booted thugs!

Anyway enough of my ranting today!