Cyprus 1-14 August 1996

The murder of Isaak and Solomou by the Turks and the turk islamo-fascists paramilitary greywolves, between 11-14 August 1996.


2 August 1996 - 10 August 1996 - 14 August 1996.

In 1 August 1996, in order to commemorate the 22nd year of Cyprus being a divided country, over 300 bikers from several European countries had organised a rally from Berlin (the last divided city in Europe besides Nicosia) to Kyrenia. They left Berlin on the 2nd of August and were planning to arrive at their destination on the 11th.

Simultaneously, around 2,500 members of the right-wing organisation Grey Wolves were planning to travel to Cyprus from Turkey.

Due to heavy political pressure (even by the U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali) being applied to the Cypriot Motorcycle Federation to cancel the 11th August event, CMF finally succumbed. This was met with disapproval by a large portion of the bikers and other protesters, who decided to march on their own towards the buffer zone.

Among them was Tasos Isaak.

At a moment, Isaac was trapped in barbed-wire without his co-protesters noticing he was left behind soon enough. A large group of Grey Wolves, realising he was helpless, managed to run towards his side and started clubbing, punching, kicking and throwing rocks at him. They continued for several minutes, unchallenged by the nearby UN peacekeepers, until the Greek Cypriots managed to take back from the mob Isaak's dead body

Tasos Isaak's funeral was held on the August 14 and was attended by thousands of people. Protests after the funeral led to the assassination of Isaak's cousin, Solomos Solomou.

On the November 22, 1996, the Cypriot government issued arrest warrants for the murder of Tassos Isaac against Hasim Yilmaz, a Turkish settler and former member of the Turkish Secret Service, Neyfel Mustafa Ergun, a Turkish settler, serving in the illegal Turkish Cypriot police, Polat Fikret Koreli, a Turkish Cypriot from Famagusta, Mehmet Mustafa Arslan, a Turkish settler, leader of the Grey Wolves in the occupied areas and Erhan Arikli, a Turkish settler from the former Soviet Union.

When Isaak was killed, he left behind his pregnant wife. As a token of gratitude for his services to the Greek nation, the Hellenic Republic decided to be the godparent of the yet unborn baby. When the baby girl was born, she was baptised Anastasia (after her father), by the then Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos. The Greek singer Haris Alexiou has dedicated to her the song "Tragoudi tou Helidoniou" ("Swallow's Song").

New Protests in Memory of Isaac and Solomou - The Bikers plan huge protest

THE largest ever motorbike protest against the Turkish occupation is planned for this August, after Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou were murdered in Dherynia during a similar rally back on 1996.

News of the demonstration was outlined yesterday by George Hadjicostas, President of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation.

"We plan to have a chain of motorcycles stretching from Polis Chrysochou to Famagusta," he said.

While the details have yet to be finalised, Hadjicostas claimed they would have no trouble attracting the 12,000 bikers they estimate would be necessary to cover the 100-mile-plus stretch of the island.

"We expect to have the plan finalised by July," Hadjicostas said. "Obviously the exact details could change between now and when it is held."

While the precise date has not yet been fixed, the chain of bikers is expected to be the culmination of a three-day event to take place in the third week of August.

"We are inviting bikers from all over Europe to come. One thousand members of the FEM (Federation of European Motorcyclists) from Greece have said they will come."

Hadjicostas said Polis has been chosen as a starting point for the protest as it is a safe distance away from the buffer zone and there is a large camp site there where the participating bikers could stay.

He said the government has been made aware of the plan, although no official comment on the matter has been made yet. "They never react when you tell them, only later," he said.

Last August Tassos Isaac was beaten to death by members of the Turkish extremist Grey Wolves group after protests in the buffer zone following the cancellation of the final leg of a freedom ride from Berlin to Kyrenia, an event also organised by the federation.

Three days later Solomos Solomou was shot dead as he climbed a flagpole to pull down a Turkish flag in the buffer zone during protests after the funeral of his cousin Isaac.

Hadjicostas said the bikers had not contacted the families of the victims to let them know of their plans.

He said the Motorcycle Federation is hoping to raise £20,000 through the sale of tee-shirts to build a memorial to Solomou and Isaac and erect a building where visitors will be shown the horrific footage of their violent deaths.

Speaking yesterday about this summer's protest, Hadjicostas commented: "I hope the event will pass off peacefully but we need the help of the government to do that and from the police. Without their help we can't control so many bikers."

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