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The right to know


Until when?
Uncertainly is killing
 
Eye witness accounts and sworn testimonies documenting the arrest of persons, still missing, by the Turkish forces after the cessation of hostilities
 
Summary of testimony given by Froso Demou from Voni village


She states that on 14.8.1974, the day the second phase of the Turkish invasion began, while she was at home with her husband and children, 37 soldiers of the Cypriot National Guard took refuge in her house. She provided them with civilian clothes and they burnt their army uniforms and hid their weapons. That night they stayed over at her house and at two other adjacent houses which belonged to her relatives. During the night, 35 out of 37 soldiers entered their names in a catalogue and the remaining two mentioned their names to her. This list was prepared for her to hand over to the International Red Cross. Also white cloth was hanged over the doors of the houses they were staying to indicate their intention of giving them- selves up. In the morning of 15.8.1974 two of the soldiers left the house to see if there was an escape route and they would re- turn. After a while though, that is at about 08:00 - 09.00, and while the two soldiers were still out, armed Turks appeared out- side her house and started shooting. She recognised them as the Turkish Cypriots Assasis Fahri from Beykoy, and the shepherds Halil ans Sallahis, the son of the Muktar, both of them from Epiho. The 35 soldiers gave themselves up. All those who were arrested were led on foot in the direction of the Turkish village of Epiho. Ever since then their fate has been unknown.

 
Summary of testimony given by Lambis Elia from Hartsia village


"On 13.9.1974 the Turks arrested my two sons, Michael, aged 17, and Elia aged 19, and took them to their camp near our village. On the same day I met the Turkish Cypriot, Nazim Ahmet, aged 60, who is a friend of mine and I asked him to take me to the Turkish Army Officer. He did take me and the following day, on 14.9.1974, the Turkish Officer allowed me to see my sons for ten minutes. The next day, 15.9.1974, the Officer allowed me to see them again and this time I was with my wife. We saw them for some time in the Turkish camp where they were being held. On 16.9.1974 at around 14:00, a deligates of the International Red Cross visited our village. I told them about the arrest of my sons and I led them to the area of the Turkish camp. Unfortunately, however, the Turkish Army Officer denied that he was holding any prisoners and did not allow the Red Cross to carry out an investigation. Since then, nothing has become known about the fate of my two sons."

Sightings of missing persons in mainland Turkish prisons
 
Summary of testimony given by Christakis Ioannou from Pano Dhikomo


On 15.8.1974 he was taken prisoner by the Turks at Palekythro. He was transferred together with other prisoners to Pavlides garage and on 31.8.1974 to Adana prisons, Turkey. He was in cell No. 9. In the same cell was also Andreas Varnava from Potamia, whom he met there and whose name he heard being called out by the Turks. Andreas Varnava who is now missing stayed in the witnesses cell for 3-4 days and he was thereafter transferred to another place. He has not been seen since then.

 
Summary of testimony given by Andreas Nicodemos from Trimithi, Kyrenia District


He was a reservist. On 29.9.1974 while he was in his village Trimithi he was taken prisoner by Turkish soldiers together with other co-villagers. On 30.7.1974 he was transferred to Turkey to Adana prisons together with many other prisoners. On 20 or 21.8.1974 while the Turks were taking them out in the yard of the prisons he heard someone call out his name. The person who called him, as he immediately found out, was his co-villager Kyriakos Frixou, who is now missing. He shook hands with him and they spoke about where and how they were arrested. At that moment they were ordered by the Turks to enter their cells.

 
Summary of testimony given by Costas Themistokleous from Omorfita


He mentions that he was taken prisoner at Palekythro by Turkish troops during the 2nd round of the Turkish invasion. After staying at different detention centres he, together with other prisoners, ended up at Adana prisons in Turkey. On 17.10.1974 while the prisoners were preparing to be transported to Cyprus for their release, he saw Savvas Apostolides, now missing, from Neo Chorio Kythrea, who was a good friend of his. He did not speak to him, for it was forbidden. Instead he greeted him raising his hands and the missing reciprocated.
reciprocated.

 
Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons of Cyprus