Ismail Veli of Embargoed!, during the group's vigil outside the Greek Cypriot embassy in
Today marks the start of a dark chapter in
21 and 31 December fifty-one years ago, 133 Turkish Cypriots were murdered or abducted, while thousands more
were made homeless in a period dubbed Bloody
The campaign's timing was deliberate: starting a few days before Christmas, when many of
foreign press and diplomats would have left for their vacations. By the
start of 1964, the Greek Cypriots had succeeded in their brutal coup, taking
over the running of the government of the Cyprus
while Turkish Cypriots sought to save their lives. Republic of Cyprus
Among those mercilessly killed were Mürüvet İlhan and her three children Murat, Kutsi and Hakan, all found slain in their bath at their home in Kumsal, Lefkoşa. Other victims included 10-year-old Ayse and her grandmother Ayse Hasan Buba, who were buried alive in Ayvasil. Many were also killed as they lay sick in state-run hospitals.
To date, the Greek Cypriot authorities have yet to admit their guilt and apologise for these murderous acts.
Back in 2010, Turkish Cypriot human rights group held a vigil outside the
South Cyprus embassy to remember the victims of Bloody Christmas. The group's members
undertook a painful study, collating the details of each of the 133 victims, their
names and ages all displayed on boards, along with photos, and a candle lit in
memory of each person who passed during this tragic period.
With the passage of time, it's important we all learn to forgive and to also remember that Greek Cypriots have suffered immensely as a result of this conflict. Yet it's important Turkish Cypriots do not forget their own victims and allow others to whitewash history as if this tragedy never occurred.
133 victims of Bloody Christmas remembered, Greek Cypriot authorities told to recognise and apologise for the attacks, 21 December 2010