It has been 24 years since the brutal murders of Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou and the perpetrators are not only living their lives undisturbed, but are even active in politics in the occupied territories. Although national and international arrest warrants have been issued for those involved in the brutal killings on 11 and 14 August 1996, so far none of them has been executed. In fact, one of the murderers, Erhan Arıklı , recently ran for president in the illegal “presidential” elections of the occupied territories.

Thus, it is evident that the efforts to punish those involved in the murders and to bring justice were only left on paper. The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus had then identified 13 perpetrators, for whom a national warrant was issued. Furthermore, they succeeded in registering 10 persons in the list of wanted persons of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), although Interpol rejected the request of the Republic for the issuance of arrest warrants for three more perpetrators.

To this day, the arrest warrants remain unexecuted in the Interpol database, five of them concerning the murder of Isaac and another five concerning the murder of Solomos. The names are available to the law enforcement authorities who have access to the Interpol database. In fact, one of the perpetrators has a place on Interpol’s list of most wanted persons; he is 65-year-old Erdal Haciali Emanet, then chief of the so-called “Special Forces” of the occupied territories.

Among those wanted for the murder of Isaac is Erhan Arıklı, leader of the “Rebirth Party” of Turkish settlers, who ran for “president” of the Pseudo-state. The only time any of these warrants was about to be executed was in 2012, when the Kyrgyz authorities arrested the current “presidential” candidate, Erhan Arıklı, but to no avail, since the case fell apart through the intervention of the Turkish diplomatic authorities and Arıklı was released. In 2017 he was on vacation in Tunisia, again without being disturbed by anyone.

For the two cases, the Republic of Cyprus issued a total of 13 arrest warrants in the autumn of 1996. The warrants, issued by order of the then-Attorney General of Cyprus, the late Alekos Markidis, were also forwarded to Interpol, which in turn issued international arrest warrants for the 10 of them.

The names of those wanted for the murder of Tassos Isaac, who are also wanted internationally according to an announcement dated 22 November 1996, were:

Hasim Yilmaz: Turkish settler and former member of the Turkish Secret Service (MIT), who in 1996 had a coffee shop in the city of Kyrenia.

Neyfel Mustafa Ergun: Turkish settler, then 26 years old and a member of the illegal Turkish Cypriot police, who arrived in the occupied territories as a child.

Polat Fikret Koreli: Turkish Cypriot, 17 years old at the time and resident of occupied Famagusta.

Mehmet Mustafa Arslan: 41-year-old Turkish settler and leader of the Grey Wolves in the occupied territories. Resident, at the time, of the occupied part of Nicosia.

Erhan Arıklı: The current candidate for the “presidency” of the pseudo-state, a settler from the former Soviet Union, 40 years old at the time and a permanent resident of the occupied territories since 1986.

On October 30, 1996, the Attorney General’s Office requested the arrest of a total of five people for the murder of Solomos Solomou, who was shot while on the flagpole, while two UN men were also wounded by bullets.

The suspects wanted by Interpol are the following:

Kenan Akin: At the time Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the occupied territories.

Erdal Haciali Emanet: He served as chief of the so-called “Special Forces” of the occupied territories.

Hasan Kundakci: Former commander of the occupation army.

Attila Sav: At the time Chief of Police of the pseudo-state.

Mehmet Karli: Major General of the occupation army.

The tragic events of August 1996

Everyone’s memories are still fresh. What happened is difficult to forget. At the beginning of 1996, the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation announced its decision to organize, in August 1996, a grand anti-occupation rally from Berlin to occupied Famagusta under the slogan: “ Liberation is the only solution”. The march started on August 2 from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, following a long route through European countries. The motorcyclists arrived in Limassol, Cyprus on August 10 from Greece by ship.

On the morning of August 11, 1996, 7,000 motorcyclists marched on the barricades of the occupied territories in order to protest. On the afternoon of the same day, 24-year-old Tassos Isaac was brutally murdered while attempting to help another Greek Cypriot, who was being beaten by the Turks. He was attacked by “rabid” Turks who began to beat him mercilessly with stones and bats, while members of the UN Peacekeeping Force watched, standing idly by.

Tassos Isaac left behind his wife, parents, and sisters. His wife was pregnant and on September 17, 1996, she gave birth to a baby girl named Anastasia, after her father.

Three days later, on August 14, 1996, the day of the occupation of Famagusta and the day of Isaac’s funeral, the murder of 26-year-old Solomos Solomou took place. Groups of protesters marched on the Deryneia barricade to lay wreaths and flowers at the site where Tassos Isaac was beaten to death. The Turkish soldiers open fire on protesters and the area is shaken once again.

Suddenly, Solomos Solomou ran in front of the protesters and, escaping from the hands of the Peacekeepers, climbed the flagpole to lower the flag of shame, the Turkish flag. Then, settler Kenan Akin, a former officer of the Turkish army, so-called minister of the pseudo-state and agent of the Turkish secret services, shoots Solomou in cold blood. At his side stands Rauf Denktaş, then leader of the occupied territories.

Source: Phileleftheros newspaper