By Chris Elliott….
Having been to Erenköy on a number of occasions and as a member of TFR, I was pleased to see that yet even more people had made their way to the site of the Erenköy siege of Turkish Cypriots by Greek Troops and Greek Cypriot National Guard which started on 6th August 1964 and learn the truth of this important part of Northern Cyprus history.
On the 8th August when the UN forces in Cyprus had not been able to stop the attacks on Erenköy, the Turkish Air Force intervened with their F-100 Super Sabre jets flying at will over the attackers’ positions and destroying their trucks, armoured cars and artillery and by the 10th of August the attacks were stopped, never to start again.
During this operation Turkish pilot Cengiz Topel was shot down, captured and taken to a hospital from which the Cyprus National Guard allegedly took him from the hospital to their headquarters at Kykkos Monastery. An autopsy of his body showed that he was heavily tortured and was shot afterwards.
This visit is in fact more important as the Chairman of TFR, Willy Lindh, was a Swedish UN platoon Commander who was in the Erenköy area during this period trying to keep the warring parties apart and gave an interview about this siege and you can see more of this in our CyprusScene video below.
Dear members of TFR!
Here comes the review of the visit of our members to the Erenköy Remembrance Day, written by our Events Manager Pamela Tschersich:
“On Wednesday 8th August, 34 TFR members set off from Alsancak at 5a.m to head for Erenköy to experience first hand the Peace and Freedom Day which marks a very important date in the history of the TRNC.
The adventure started at the Gecitkoy reservoir, when the 2nd bus boiled over, fortunately our lead bus was only 5 minutes ahead so quickly turned around to give assistance. The verdict was soon clear ….CAPUT, luckily many buses were heading the same way for the celebrations and our passengers were quickly divided up on the first buses with empty seats……all good ….but not a great feeling for Mother Hen who didn’t have an inkling as to where her chicks had gone !!!
Arriving at Yesilirmak in time to not be noticeably late we joined the long queue to park, refresh, ready to continue the hot, slow journey to Erenköy. Well worth it was the general option of everyone who was privileged to witness the ceremony plus wander around the site that generally is not open to the public.
Plenty of UN presence guiding and presiding over our presence, making sure no boundaries were crossed. A picnic lunch of chicken, rice plus a dessert was on offer, with refreshments all courtesy of the Army and the government. The band played music to add to the congenial atmosphere of Turkish Cypriots and expats enjoying this very important date in the history of Northern Cyprus. The exodus, once under way was a lot quicker than the arrival, tired and hot but a very enjoyable day, thank you TRNC for sharing it with us.”