CYPRUS: Turkish lieutenant general responsible for Solomos Solomou's murder has died

Cyprus Solomos Solomou Hasan Kundakçı

The retired lieutenant general of the Turkish occupying army in Cyprus, Hasan Kundakçı, the man who confessed to having ordered the brutal murder of Solomos Solomos at the Deryneia roadblock, on August 14, 1996, breathed his last in a private hospital of the occupiers.

As reported by Turkish Cypriot media and cited by Alpha News Cyprus, the 86-year-old former head of the Special Warfare Department of the occupying army felt unwell yesterday morning while at home and was taken to the hospital, where it was found that he had suffered a heart attack.

He then died at noon.

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Kundakçı was unrepentant for the cowardly murder of Solomos Solomou. An international arrest warrant was issued for him by Interpol and he has not traveled abroad since.

He himself confessed that before the incidents he had already given orders at the Deryneia roadblock that no Greek Cypriot would cross the barbed wire. When Solomon Solomon attempted to take down the flag of occupation from the mast, a wave of Kundakçı's hand was enough for him to be shot dead.

His name was recently involved in the case of the murder of the Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adalı in 1996 in occupied Nicosia, where he was then the head of the Turkish army's "peacekeeping force" in the occupied territories.

From Berlin to Famagusta

On August 2, 1996, a Pan-European Motorcyclist March had started from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with the aim of ending up in the occupied Kyrenia to give the message of the need to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.

The symbolism of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the need to tear down the barbed wire of the green line in Cyprus, scared Turkey. The Cypriot secret services had information that the Turks would attack and President Glafcos Clerides tried to reason with the motorcyclists.

The motorcyclists from various countries started from Berlin, passed through Prague, Budapest, Belgrade, Volos and ended up at the port of Piraeus where they boarded ships bound for Cyprus.

The motorcyclists arrived at the Port of Limassol on August 10, 1996, with the aim of attempting to go to Kyrenia the next day, symbolically throwing down the dividing wall. They were welcomed by the deceased, then MEP, Giannos Kranidiotis and the mothers of those missing from the invasion of 1974.

On August 11, 1996, approximately 8,000 motorcyclists gathered in Nicosia, to attempt to break the green line and follow a peaceful symbolic march to Kyrenia.

The then President of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation G. Chatzikostas was summoned to the presidential palace by President Clerides, who convinced him that the march should be canceled for "supreme reasons of national security".

But it was too late...

The people in the streets could not be controlled and so they broke into groups without any guidance and began to attempt to break the green line, finding the armored Turkish soldiers opposite.

The largest volume of motorcyclists headed to the Deryneia roadblock, just a few metres away from the curbs of occupied Famagusta.

They killed Tassos Isaac

In Deryneia, while the demonstrators were walking unarmed towards Famagusta, they found themselves in front of Turks who had hidden behind bushes.

Among them was the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktaş who was holding a camera to record a premeditated killing by the Turkish Far-Right Grey Wolves organisations who had been recruited as allegedly disgruntled Turkish Cypriots.

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They started hitting the Greek Cypriot protesters with bats and stones, after they let them approach the barbed wire that had been spread on the ground. The 24-year-old Tassos Isaac got involved in these barbed wire fences, and unable to get up, he was attacked by the "Grey Wolves".

He died from blows with stones, wood, and kicks. A month later, his wife gave birth to their daughter Anastasia.

With a cigarette in his mouth

On August 14, 1996, Tasos Isaac's funeral was held in Paralimni, which became the occasion for new tensions. After the funeral, a group of motorcyclists decided to go to the scene of the murder in the dead zone to lay some flowers.

The attempt of the Cypriot police and the UN forces to stop them was unsuccessful and thus the demonstrators found themselves in the dead zone opposite the Turkish soldiers.

The first shots were fired, which instead of dispersing the crowd enraged it. The wounded were taken to the free areas and the rest continued to march towards the Turkish outpost. More shots followed.

A young man in black asked for a cigarette and starts running towards the Turkish flagpole.

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"I'm going to take down the flag," said Solomou, to the man who opened the package giving him the last cigarette.

"Where are you going mal.... Come back. They will kill you...."

Only a few seconds passed and Solomou climbs the mast. Three shots are heard and Solomon, hugging the mast, slides to the ground drowning in blood. Gunshots continue and the crowd falls to the ground.

11 people were injured, including soldiers of the UN peacekeeping force.

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