Historical story

Tasos Isaac, 25 years later - Minister of the pseudo-state one of his murderers

Last updated:2022-07-25

On August 2, 1996, about 200 motorcyclists from 12 European countries responded to the call of the Cypriot Motorcyclist Federation and organized a motorcade from Berlin (the last divided city in Europe, excluding Nicosia) to occupied Kyrenia, on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion on the big island. On August 10, they arrived in Cyprus and joined their local colleagues. However, following international and internal pressure, the Cypriot Motorcyclist Federation canceled the part of the protest within Cyprus and organized its main event at the Makarios Stadium on the morning of Sunday, August 11.

A group of motorcyclists disagreed with the decision and decided to continue riding towards the occupied territories. One of them was 24-year-old Tasos Isaac. From an unguarded military outpost they entered the UN dead zone, the so-called "Green Line", as the Cyprus Police failed to intercept them. At the same time, in the so-called "Attila line", at least 1,000 Turkish Cypriots had gathered, among them many fans of the "Grey Wolves", who had arrived from Turkey.

From the moment the Greek Cypriot protesters found themselves inside the dead zone, the situation began to drag out, writes sansimera.gr. At 4 pm, a group of Turkish Cypriots in turn entered the dead zone and brandishing batons and iron fists attacked the Greek Cypriot protesters. Tasos Isaac, in his attempt to help a persecuted friend, was trapped and beaten to death by citizens and policemen of the pseudo-states. Two Irish police officers, members of the international peacekeeping force of the UN (UNFICYP), were unable to free him from the hands of the enraged Turkish Cypriots.

Tasos Isaac breathed his last 95 meters from the Greek Cypriot side and 32 from the Turkish Cypriot side, according to the OHE report. A total of 54 Greek Cypriots, 17 Turkish Cypriots and 12 members of the peacekeeping force were injured in the general clash in the dead zone.

Tasos Isaac's funeral was held in a grand manner on August 14. His wife, who was pregnant with their first child, was a tragic figure. After the funeral, his enraged cousin Solomos Solomou, 26, tried to remove a Turkish flag from a "Green Line" outpost, only to be killed by gunfire from the Occupied Territories.

On 22 November 1996, the Cyprus Police issued an international arrest warrant for the murder of Tassos Isaac against:

  • Hasim Yilmaz, settler and former executive of MIT (Turkish KYP)
  • Neifel Mustafa Ergun, a settler from Turkey and policeman of the pseudo-state
  • Polat Fikret Koreli, Turkish Cypriot from Famagusta
  • Mehmet Mustafa Arslan, Turkish settler and head of the "Grey Wolves" in the Occupied Territories
  • Erhan Arikli, a Turkish settler from the former Soviet Union. Arikli was arrested in September 2012 in Kyrgyzstan, but was released following pressure from Turkey.

The latter is actually the "Minister of Energy and Economy" of the pseudo-state.

On April 28, 1997, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Theodoros Pangalos, baptized in Paralimni, in a moving atmosphere, the daughter of Tasos Isaac, who was given the name Anastasia. Harris Alexiou dedicated to her the "Song of the Swallow", which he wrote especially for her.

On June 24, 2008, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Turkey guilty of the murder of Tasos Isaac, under Article 2 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. He also awarded monetary compensation to the family of Tasos Isaac.

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