Police investigations into incidents against Turkish Cypriots continue

Police investigations into incidents against Turkish Cypriots continue

Police continue intensive investigations into complaints of assault incidents against Turkish Cypriots on Monday, Police Deputy Spokesperson Nikoleta Tyrimou has told CNA.

At the same time she categorically denied reports in the Turkish Cypriot press on Tuesday that policemen were present during some incidents but did not intervene.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades unequivocally condemned the incidents in a written statement on Monday. “The state will not tolerate similar conduct from isolated persons or minor groups that, by invoking pseudo-patriotism, have the final partition of our homeland as their goal,” President Anastasiades stressed.

House President Yiannakis Omirou also condemned the attacks in a written statement on Tuesday saying they were “a disgrace” and called on the police to fully investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

Replying to CNA questions, Tyrimou said the police headquarters criminal investigations department continues its intensive investigations into the matter.

“Police show particular sensitivity for such cases and take their investigation very seriously,” she pointed out.

Already, she noted, several people have been called in to give a statement, while close circuit television cameras recording (CCTV) from shops in the surrounding area are being examined in the hope that suspects will be identified.

“Certainly, such behaviour is condemnable and unacceptable,” Tyrimou stressed.

Asked to comment on allegations in Turkish Cypriot publications that policemen were present during the incidents but did not help, she said “police categorically deny such claims.”

Quite the opposite, she said, as soon as complaints were made, instructions were given out to immediately investigate them.

In one case, she added, the complainant did not want to file a complaint with the police and was escorted by police to the Ayios Dometios crossing point so that he can safely cross into the northern Turkish occupied areas.

She also rejected reports that police had told Turkish Cypriots they must not cross to the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus during these days. “Such allegations are unsubstantiated and unfounded,” she added.

Cyprus has been divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks resumed in May aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Turkish Cypriots announced a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) on November 15 1983, in the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, an action condemned by the UN Security Council and the international community as legally invalid.

There are several crossing points operating along the 180 kilometres long ceasefire line, dividing the island, to facilitate the movement of people between the northern Turkish occupied areas and the southern government controlled part of the country.