Turks Murder Journalist

Protests against assassination of Turkish Cypriot journalist

by Emilia Christophi

Nicosia, Jul 9 1996 (CNA)

Turkish Cypriots were protesting today with work stoppages throughout the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus against the assassination of prominent Turkish Cypriot columnist, Kutlu Adali.

Adali, 61, columnist with "Yeni Duzen" daily, was shot dead on Sunday by an unknown assailant outside his home in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia.

The Turkish Cypriot daily "Kibris" reported yesterday that it received a phone call from an unknown person, claiming that Adali was assassinated by the "Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT)", an underground terrorist organisation of Turkey's right-wing fascist Grey Wolves group.

Adali was known as a harsh critic of the pseudo-state and its policy implanting Turkish settlers in the occupied areas. He also advocated the withdrawal of Turkish troops, the common values of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots, human rights and the freedom of thought.

Three days after his assassination, political parties, unions, organisations and associations in the occupied areas continue to issue statements condemning the assassination. They also warn that the situation in the occupied areas has reached the point of no return.

Twenty unions were due to stage a two-hour work stoppage from midday today, when Adali will be buried while shops will close for two hours.

At the same time, Rauf Denktash, the occupation regime's leader in statements published today in the Turkish Cypriot press, claimed he was "worried" about the escalation of violence in the occupied areas, but refused to blame the Turkish settlers. Instead, he cast the blame on unemployed and poor Turkish nationals who visit the occupied areas for a day or two.

However, he rejected calls for passport control even for those who enter the occupied areas from Turkey but called on Turkish Cypriots to cooperate with the so-called "Police" to fight the crime.

Denktash also wondered why the assassination took place now that there is mobility on the Cyprus problem. He went on to say that this kind of crimes make the Greek Cypriots look as though they are the "champions" of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

He even claimed that if there are people who are eager to start political terrorism and assassinations, they should know that they "back the wrong horse" and that they "will lose the game and be destroyed".

Meanwhile, "Yeni Duzen" reported today that the organisation TIT, which claimed responsibility for the murder, was also responsible for the murder of Ferhad Tepe, of the Kurdish paper "Ozgur Gundem" issued in Turkey. The organisation's name was also involved in the murder of another journalist.

Adali's murder is regarded as the last blow to the situation in the Turkish-occupied areas. Statements issued by political parties and various organisations indicate that the reverberations of the murder will continue.

The Central Executive Committee of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), strongly condemned Adali's murder and called on those people who say "I want to exist in this country as a free and democratic person and as a Turkish Cypriot" to protest accordingly.

The Turkish Cypriot Secondary Teachers Union said "the time has come for the Turkish Cypriot community to break its silence and say enough is enough".

The Democratic Party, the National Unity Party and the Communal Liberation Party spoke of ideological assassinations and escalation of events.

Former RTP President Ozker Ozgur said the assassination was a challenge to those who defend the existence and the identity of the Turkish Cypriots.

KTAMS, the Human Rights Association, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union, the Peace Association, the Artists and Writers Union and other associations issued statements condemning the association.

The newspapers in the occupied north carried the news of the murder with headings such as "We will not be silenced. Ideas cannot be assassinated", said "Yeni Duzen".

"Ortam" said "It is enough", while "Vatan" said "Damn it". Pro Denktash "Kibris" said "Political Murder".

Born in Nicosia in 1935, Adali completed his education in Antalya, south Turkey. He published his first poems in 1955 and wrote about the Turkish Cypriot customs and traditions.

After working in the so-called "civil service" in the Turkish-occupied areas, Adali became a columnist in "Yeni Duzen" in 1987. His column was named "Blue Cyprus Notes". He was also one of the founding members of the Cyprus Peace Association.

Adali attacked the chauvinist Turkish administration in the occupied areas, accusing it of being guilty of every crime in the occupied areas. He often questioned whether crimes for petty things such as bracelets, or a few pounds were committed before 20th July 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

Recently, he said "in the coming 20 years, it will be difficult to pinpoint a single Turkish Cypriot. Denktash is justified in taking so much pride in his work".

Adali was dismissed from the "civil service" when during his capacity as "official" of the illegal Department of Registrations, he admitted that the transfer of population from Turkey, which started after the invasion, "affected the demographic structure of Cyprus".


Cypriot journalists denounce columnist's murder

Nicosia, Jul 10 (CNA)

The Cyprus Union of Journalists has protested to international unions of journalists about the cruelty of the Denktash regime in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island, to bar a Union delegation to attend yesterday the funeral of murdered prominent Turkish Cypriot columnist, Kutlu Adali.

The Union had sent a written request to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces Spokesman, Waltemar Rokoszweski, asking him to mediate so that a five-member delegation could attend the funeral in the Turkish-occupied areas. However, the reply from the Denktash regime was negative.

The Greek Cypriot journalists made a second attempt to attend the funeral when they went to the Ledra Palace checkpoint but were again refused entry.

They handed a wreath to a Turkish Cypriot journalist at the checkpoint and asked him to pass on their condolences.

The journalists also sent a written letter of condolences to the Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Yeni Duzen", the newspaper Adali worked for, condemning the murder.

In a press release the Union said the murder was a "political crime which is directed against all Cypriots, Turks and Greeks, who work for the restoration of unity in an independent and peaceful country, without foreign troops, settlers or interventions."

The Union will continue sending letters to international press organisations, condemning the assassination of the 61-year-old columnist, on Saturday.

A group calling itself "Turkish Revenge Brigade" (TIT), an underground terrorist organisation of Turkey's right-wing fascist Grey Wolves group, claimed responsibility for the murder.

Adali was well known for his harsh criticism against the pseudo-state and its policy of implanting Turkish settlers in the occupied areas following the Turkish invasion of 1974 and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

The funeral of Adali was the main front page story in the Turkish Cypriot press today.

"Yeni Duzen" said "We have handed him over to eternity". "Halkin Sesi" said "Kutlu Adali in the grave as thousands cheered". "Birlik" wrote "Rest in peace". Pro-Denktash newspaper "Kibris" wrote "Thousands of people are shouting: Do not silence. When you are silent, your turn will come".

It also referred to the wreath laid on behalf of Greek Cypriot politicians and the presence of Greek Cypriot journalists. A ceremony was also held at the offices of "Yeni Duzen" in memory of Adali.

As his coffin was carried throughout the occupied part of Nicosia, people shouted "We shall not become a Turkish prefecture", "People like Adali do not die", "End the state terrorism".