October 2, 2022

A State Ceremony was held for the burial of 11 children who were massacred by Greek Cypriot EOKA terrorist group in 1974.

President Ersin Tatar attended the state ceremony where 11 Turkish Cypriot schoolchildren, aged between three and 17 years who were massacred by Greek Cypriot EOKA-B terrorist organisation on August 14, 1974, were individually laid to rest.

The martyred schoolchildren were from the villages of Muratağa and Sandallar. Their remains had been exhumed from a mass grave by the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) and were identified through DNA testing.   Special funeral prayers were held individually for each child which was conducted by the Grand Müftü and head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Ahmet Ünsal.   
 “We shall never return to pre-1974”
Addressing the ceremony that was held at the Muratağa — Sandallar martyrdom near to the individual caskets draped in the flags of the Republic of Turkey and TRNC, President Ersin Tatar paid tribute to the work of the CMP in their efforts to find the burial locations, exhume and identify the remains of those who went missing between 1963 to 1974.

The President said that the TRNC is commemorating Martyrs’ Week – which marks the anniversary of when the ‘Bloody Christmas’ attacks against the Turkish Cypriot people had been started by Greek Cypriots with the aspiration of annexing the island to Greece (ENOSIS).
 “The attacks had started after Archbishop Makarios, by his own confession, had stated that the 1960 established partnership state that was based on the equality of the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, was a ‘springboard’ for ENOSIS. In order to achieve this, there was an attempt to exterminate the Turkish Cypriot people, with attacks starting on December 21, 1963. For 11 years, Turkish Cypriot villages were attacked by Greek Cypriot forces under the Akritas Plan, more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots fled from 103 villages whose homes and properties were destroyed to prevent their return and our people were forced to live in small enclaves in three per cent of the island’s territory up until 1974,” the President said.
 “The Turkish Cypriot people have suffered massacres that have not been seen in the history of the world”

President Tatar added: “It is not possible to turn the clock back to pre-1974. The continuation of Turkey’s active and effective guarantee is essential under all circumstances for the security of the Turkish Cypriots and for peace on the island.    The presence of Turkish troops on the island must be maintained for us to live independently and freely.”
The President added that “we are here today to lay to rest the remains of 11 of our schoolchildren, who were massacred just because they are Turkish, on August 14, 1974. It is very sad, very painful. . .children, elderly, even babies were not exempt from this massacre. Turkish Cypriot people have suffered massacres that have not been seen in the history of the world.  We share a great bereavement. May Allah (God) grant their loved ones and families patience. May the Martyrs rest in eternal peace”.

“The struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people will continue”
President Tatar said: “If we are today living as sovereign, free and independent in our own homeland under the roof of our own state, we owe it to our martyrs, veterans, the sacrifice and resistance of our people, and our motherland, Turkey.”
Emphasising that there was an aspiration to force Turkish Cypriots to make them cave-in through oppression and isolation in order to impose a fait accompli, President Tatar said: “The Greek Cypriots tried to fulfil this dream through massacres and acts of genocide. Today, they are trying to reach this objective through isolating us.”

Referring to his late father, Rüstem Tatar, who was the long-standing chairman of the Martyrs’ Committee for 22 years, the President said: “My father bore the pain of the massacre deep within his heart. This was evidenced by his inclusion of the photographs of the children who were martyred in the villages of Muratağa, Sandallar and Atlılar in the first pages of the book which was published before his death.” He said the photo of the children’s class was included on the first page of the book, and that as all the children were massacred,  there was nobody left to sit in the classroom the following year.
President Tatar added: “It is our duty to continue our struggle, to trust Motherland Turkey, and to defend our national cause so that we, our children and grand-children can live in sustainable peace and security in the future. That is why we have to bring the correct position to the negotiating table in the best way possible and to protect our rights there.”

The names and ages of the 11 children who were laid to rest are as follows:
Uğur Hasan (5), Özcan Hasan (3), Ersoy Hasan (12), Talat Mehmet Tavukçu (5),     Mustafa Mehmet Tavukçu (10), Songül Mehmet (6), Mustafa Mehmet (17),  Semral Mehmet (14), Hasan Mehmet (13), Savaş Mehmet (11), Cengiz Topel Mehmet (10).

Source: Presidency of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus


1 thought on “2021 Martyrs’ Week officially started in the TRNC

  1. Its time the world accepted that Turkish Cypriots are here to stay. I am based in London and we have prejudice every day here against us. I live in hope that that one day the greeks Cypriots will pay for what they have done, who knows maybe we will have the whole island.

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