A ceremony was held yesterday to commemorate the 126 people who were killed by the Greek Cypriot terrorist organization EOKA on 14 August 1974 in the villages of Muratağa, Sandallar and Atlılar.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Mustafa Akıncı said that the incidents experienced on 14 August 1974 were “inhuman savagery”. He stressed that these incidents should never be forgotten, so that they can never be allowed to happen again.
President Akıncı continued, “No matter how we decide to shape our future, we must establish a peaceful relationship on these lands. We will continue our lives as two equal polities on this island, as there is no other way.”
The President also said that the Greek Cypriot side’s reluctance to share a federal government with the Turkish Cypriots has been demonstrated once again in the negotiations. He said, “It cannot continue like this forever. Somehow, we will find a way to live together, and regardless of the circumstances in which we live together in the future, the lessons learned from these experiences must be remembered”.
Emphasizing that it is important to educate future generations about these experiences and the lessons learned, Akıncı said, “In both societies, future generations should be raised and educated as ‘peaceful generations’. We are doing our part, we may be missing something or be wrong, but we do not educate our children to be racist.”
He pointed out that students in the North are not taught that the Greek Cypriot side is the enemy, and said, “Organizations like ELAM will never exist among us. They could never grow. We have a right-wing party, a left-wing party, a social democratic party and a liberal party but we do not have a racist party. There are many Greek Cypriots who do not want to hear ‘the Turkish name’ in Cyprus, that throw stones at Turkish cars, that swear at Turkish Cypriots, and that want to close the crossing points. They are the members of an organization called ELAM, which has 2 seats in the Greek Cypriot Assembly.”
Özgürgün: “The incidents of August 1974 are the most painful and bitter memories”
Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said that the massacres in Muratağa, Sandallar and Atlılar, which were commemorated in a ceremony, were “the most painful and bitter memories” in the history of the Turkish Cypriots.
Özgürgün stated that the Turkish Cypriot people will never forget the massacre of 126 innocent and defenceless people, from a 26 day old baby to a 95 year old. He stressed that the people living in Muratağa, Atlılar and Sandallar 43 years ago were not the first victims of the Enosis mission of the terrorist organization EOKA, but that they will be the last as no other massacre will take place as long as the Turkish Armed Forces stay on the island to ensure the security of the Turkish Cypriot people.
He also said that the Turkish Cypriot people know what the real intention of the Greek Cypriot side is when they insist on “zero troops, zero guarantees”. Özgürgün continued, “We won’t be stuck in the past, but we should take lessons from the past. We must work to create a safe future for the next generation. Our state and our martyrs are the expression of our sovereignty, of our freedom”.
A funeral ceremony was held for the martyrs whose bodies were recently identified
Ayşe Süleyman, Zalihe Süleyman, Dilnevaz Süleyman and Güldane Mehmet, who were killed by the Greek Cypriots in the villages of Muratağa and Sandallar in 1974, but whose bodies were only recently identified, were buried during a military ceremony at Muratağa-Sandallar Martyrdom.
Speaking during the ceremony, President Mustafa Akıncı referred to the work carried out for the identification of the martyrs and expressed relief that they will now rest in peace.
Akıncı also said that 11 men, 33 women and 45 children under the age of 16 were killed in the villages of Muratağa and Sandallar.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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