Erdogan Photographed Alongside Man Accused Of The 1996 Murder Of Greek Cypriot Protester Solomos Solomou

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Erdogan Photographed Alongside Man Accused Of The 1996 Murder Of Greek Cypriot Protester Solomos Solomou

Turkish President Recep Erdogan, during a recent visit to occupied Northern Cyprus, has been photographed alongside a man who is accused of murdering a Cypriot protestor during disturbances in 1996.

Kenan Akin, was no simple street thug at the time of the killing, he was the Northern Cypriot Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources and is accused of shooting dead Solomos Solomou who was trying to remove a Turkish flag from a flagpole.

The 1996 incident occurred in the United Nation's Buffer Zone that separates the Turkish controlled Northern Cypriot state and independent Cyprus to the South. Solomou's cousin had himself been killed by the Turkish far-right fascist organisation, The Grey Wolves, only weeks before, further enflaming the young man's anger at the Turkish occupation.

Akin has addressed the allegations before and was interview by Interpol in 2004. He stated that the order to shoot had been made by military commanders and that the former Turkish Military Commander Halil Sadrazam was ultimately to blame. Akin has also been arrested previously by Turkish authorities on smuggling charges.

The Cypriot police currently hold arrest warrants for both Akin and Chief of Special Forces of Northern Cyprus, Erdal Haciali Emanet, over the murder. Turkey and Northern Cyprus have continually refused their extradition.

The photograph of Solomou climbing the flagpole moments before he was shot has become one of the most iconic images of the occupation of Northern Cyprus.

The visit of Erdogan to Northern Cyprus, a nation that is not recognised as a legal state by any other nation except Turkey, led to widespread protests in both halves of the island. Erdogan is also accused of breaching United Nations mandates by opening up areas of the town of Famagusta which had been fled by Greek refugees in 1974.

Turkey invaded Cyprus, then part of the Greek state, in 1974 and has illegally occupied the North of the island ever since. The opening of Famagusta is just one more action that Recep Erdogan can put on his resume in terms of acting against his neighbours and in contravention of international agreements and laws. In 2019, Turkey invaded Northern Syria and has been financing Jihadis in the recent war in Artsakh. It has also been carrying out war-crimes against its own Kurdish population and violating maritime law by moving into Greek and Cypriot waters in search of oil. France recently sent its navy to the Eastern Mediterranean to back up both Greek and Cypriot forces and push back against the Turkish aggression.

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Thinking Humanity: Erdogan Photographed Alongside Man Accused Of The 1996 Murder Of Greek Cypriot Protester Solomos Solomou
Erdogan Photographed Alongside Man Accused Of The 1996 Murder Of Greek Cypriot Protester Solomos Solomou
Turkish President Recep Erdogan, during a recent visit to occupied Northern Cyprus, has been photographed alongside a man who is accused of murdering
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