Below is a report I’ve translated into English that appeared in Politis newspaper on Monday. In the report, a Turkish Cypriot says that during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, he was eye-witness to the kidnap and murder of 17 Greek Cypriots, whose remains were then thrown down a well near St Hilarion castle, south-west of Kyrenia. It should be noted that the Turkish Cypriot terrorist organisation TMT took over the castle in 1964 and used it as a headquarters from which they controlled several Turkish villages and the main highway linking Kyrenia and Nicosia.
Seventeen Greek Cypriots buried near St Hilarion castle.
The remains of 17 Greek Cypriots missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 are believed to be buried in a well near St Hilarion Castle in occupied Cyprus.
These details have been given to Politis by a Turkish Cypriot, who told the newspaper that he witnessed 10 Turks (four of whom were Turkish Cypriots), led by a Turkish army officer, shortly after the first phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, seize 17 Greek Cypriots from their homes in Nicosia and then execute and throw them down a well near St Hilarion castle.
According to the testimony of the Turkish Cypriot, 16 of the 17 Greek Cypriot men were civilians and only one was wearing a military uniform.
‘After hitting them with their guns and kicking them,’ the Turkish Cypriot said, ‘the Greek Cypriots were loaded into a truck, taken to a different spot and executed.’
The Turkish Cypriot added: ‘The bodies of the 17 Greek Cypriots were then thrown down a dry well near St Hilarion castle. At the time and for years after, the area was home to a Turkish army camp and, among all the Turks and Turkish Cypriots who served there, it was common knowledge that the well was the grave of 17 people.’
Later, the Turkish Cypriot eye-witness said, boulders either fell or were deliberately placed at the opening to the well.
According to the Turkish Cypriot, who preferred to remain anonymous: ‘The Turkish army left the area years ago, and St Hilarion is now one of the most promoted tourist attractions in the north. Imagine, tourists come and take photographs of the castle and underneath their feet there are the remains of Greek Cypriot missing. It is more than tragic.’
He went on: ‘Two of the four Turkish Cypriots involved in the murders live in [occupied] Kyrenia and one in [occupied] Nicosia. They live among us, we know them and what’s worse… some of them visit the free areas.’
As to the identities of the 17 dead men, the Turkish Cypriot could provide no details. He only knew that the 10 killers initially arrested the Greek Cypriot wearing a military uniform, then they snatched a group of five Greek Cypriots before taking away the rest.