Turks kill Greek Cypriot soldier
Nicosia, Jun 3 1996 (CNA)
Turkish soldiers killed a Greek Cypriot National Guardsman here this morning.
He is Stelios Panagi Kalli, 19, a refugee from the Turkish-occupied village of Kythrea, and resident of Yeri village.
According to a press release issued by the island's Defence Ministry, the National Guardsman entered unarmed the UN-controlled buffer zone at Ayios Andreas area of Nicosia before 0700 local hours (0400 GMT).
The Turkish soldiers, who manned the Turkish posts on the demarcation line shot and killed the Greek Cypriot soldier.
The UN peacekeepers took the seriously wounded soldier to the Nicosia General Hospital but the doctors there verified his death.
President Glafcos Clerides went to hospital, expressing his sympathy to the soldier's parents.
According to eyewitnesses, the Guardsman entered unarmed the buffer zone, for unknown reasons, and approached the Turkish observation post. Another Guardsman repeatedly asked him to return.
He was talking to a Turkish soldier when a second Turkish soldier from a nearby post shot and killed him.
State coroner made an autopsy. Later on, she will conduct a post mortem examination.
Defence Minister Costas Eliades and National Guard Commander, Lieutenant General Nicolaos Vorvolakos rushed to the area and gave instructions for additional security measures along the demarcation line.
The Minister ordered an investigation into the circumstances under which the incident took place.
CNA GP/1996 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
UN continues investigations into buffer zone killing
Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA)
New elements about Monday's killing of an unarmed Greek Cypriot soldier in the UN-controlled buffer zone continue to emerge, a spokesman for the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) told CNA today. ''We continue to investigate yesterday's killing and new elements are coming up,'' the spokesman said.
The conclusions of the investigation, once this is completed, would not be made public, he added, as normal procedure dictates.
Asked if the UN had established the identity of the killer, the spokesman said ''I expect Turkish Cypriot security forces to be deployed in that area. However the true identity of the person who fired the shots against the Greek Cypriot guardsman has not been established yet, it could be a Turkish Cypriot.'' Commenting on the UN role in the incident, the spokesman acknowledged that ''our action was somewhat delayed by the Turkish forces.''
It took the UN peace-keepers about 30 minutes before they reached the body of the Greek Cypriot soldier Stelios Panagi Kalli, aged 19, the eighth National Guardsman killed by the Turks in the last ten years.
The UN was prevented from getting there earlier by the Turkish military who fired warning shots in the area.
In the aftermath of the killing, which happened in Ayios Andreas area of the Nicosia buffer zone where the Greek and Turkish Cypriot military posts are in close proximity, UNFICYP commander, Brigadier General, Ahti Toimi Vartiainen, is scheduled to meet National Guard Commander Lieutenant General Nikolaos Vorvolakos to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, UN resident representative Gustave Feissel said today ''we are very saddened by this tragic incident and useless loss of life of a young Greek Cypriot.''
Feissel left this morning for Constaninople (Istanbul) Turkey to attend a meeting tomorrow with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who is there on the occasion of a UN conference, with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Boutros-Ghali will have a similar meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on June 11 in Geneva.
Feissel said ''we are pursuing our investigation and I hope that within a couple of days we will have completed it.''
He said in the meantime, the UNFICYP Commander has already met with the Turkish force Commander raising this matter ''in very strong terms.'' He will also meet the National Guard Commander and there will be further meetings with the Turkish Commander.
The UN official acknowledged that the UN force can not control the whole of the buffer zone.
''Obviously, it is impossible for the UN to stand shoulder to shoulder, so to speak for the entire 180 km of the buffer zone.
He stressed that the cooperation of the two sides is indispensable in order to ensure the security of the buffer zone and that people from either side do not enter the buffer zone illegally.
Feissel confirmed that the Greek Cypriot soldier had entered the buffer zone unarmed.
In New York, UN Secretary-General's Spokeswoman Sylvana Foa referred to the incident, saying a UN sentry observed one Turkish Cypriot soldier walking down the river bed inside the buffer zone while later he heard a single shot. "The soldier was observed running back towards where he'd come from. There was only one shot and the guy was seen running back. Within a few minutes the UN sentry went to the area to investigate and was told by Cypriot National Guard personnel that one of their soldiers had been shot. He reported the incident and requested an ambulance, she said.
Pathologists Eleni Antoniou and Marios Matsakis found that the soldier was hit by two bullets, one in the abdomen and one on the shoulder.
The spokeswoman said the local UN troop commander went to the scene of the shooting but wasn't able to move to the National Guard soldier as there were three shots fired in the air by Turkish Cypriot soldiers. In other words, the UN tried to move to the scene rightway and they were shot and prevented from going in.
The UN spokeswoman said after negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot force that caused delay of about 25 minutes, the UN soldiers finally were able to rescue the body. It was taken by ambulance to Nicosia General Hospital. He was reported dead on arrival.
The Cyprus government has protested to the UN and foreign governments over the incident, which took place in the UN-controlled buffer zone.
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides described the killing as ''a cold-blooded murder''.
He stressed that the Greek Cypriot soldier entered the zone unarmed and recalled that the incident had taken place within the no man's land, which is under the UN control.
All the island's Greek Cypriot political party leaders expressed abhorrence for the soldier's murder.
Greece's Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas described the murder as an ''act of shame'' for today's civilised world, which reveals the barbarity of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus.
He said ''this murderous act should draw even more the attention of the international community to the conditions which prevail today in Cyprus'' as a result of the Turkish occupation of the island's northern territory.
In Washington, State Department Spokesman Glyn Davis, replying to a CNA question said the incident ''underscores, once again, the importance of extending the 1989 unamanning agreement to cover all areas of the UN buffer zone where the two sides are in close proximity. Extension of the unamanning agreement could reduce the risk of tragic incidents such as the one today (yesterday) ''.
House of Commons on killing of soldier and Chrisotrimithiotissa
Nicosia, Jun 7 (CNA)
The shooting of a Greek Cypriot National Guard soldier last Monday and the attempt of the Turkish occupation regime to discard the cultural heritage of Cyprus have been noted in notices of motion of the House of Commons. Regretting the fatal shooting of 19-year old Stelios Panayi, the House of Commons notes that this was ''just one more in a long series of such murders.'' It is also noted that the young soldier ''had left his post as a friendly gesture to exchange military hats with a Turkish soldier on the dividing, Green Line.'' MPs express sadness with the fact that ''after 22 years of division it is still necessary, for the security of the indigenous people of Cyprus, for a UN peacekeeping force to keep vigil on the border whilst 30 thousand Turkish troops in the occupied area pose a threat to all Cypriots.''
In the same motion, the MPs also express the wish that the efforts of Britain's Special Envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, towards ''an agreement which will result in a free united Cyprus on a federal basis'', will be successful.
Such a solution, it is pointed out, ''has thus far been hindered solely by the reluctance and refusal of the Turkish side in negotiations to display any sign of political will.'' Finally, they call on the British government to ''redouble its efforts to find a lasting and just settlement''.
In another notice of motion, a number of MPs stress that the House is ''appalled by the ongoing attempt by the illegal Turkish regime to illegally sell the site of Panagia Chrysotrimithiotissa, including the church of Agios Charalambos in the Turkish occupied district of Kyrenia.''
The motion notes that ''this is part of a continued effort by the unrecognised regime to discard the historical wealth of cultural and religious identify of the island, compounding the difficulties of repatriation and unification when a solution to the division of the island is reached''.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. A regime set up in the occupied areas in 1983 is recognised only by Ankara.
CNA EC/MCH/1996 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY