How the UN describes Isaac’s Killing

How the UN describes Isaac’s killing

Cyprus Weekly 28/10/2006

In deciding to admit the Isaac case, the ECHR went through a great deal of evidence, including testimonies by UNFICYP soldiers, who at their peril tried to save young Greek Cypriot demonstrators from the clutches of the Turkish mob.

These testimonies and other court material give a graphic and hair-raising account of how Tassos Isaac, 25 and expectant father, was bludgeoned to death and had his head crushed with a stone.

Irish UNFICYP police officer Frank Flood said in a written statement that he saw about 100 Turkish Cypriots enter the buffer zone, accompanied by a number of Turkish Cypriot “policemen” and Turkish Military personnel in camouflaged uniform. They were armed with sticks and large batons.


Next he saw them attack a Greek Cypriot, whom they knocked to the ground and started beating him mercilessly. With the help of two other UN colleagues, Sergeant Carney and Sergeant Stack, they managed to get the victim on his feet and wrench him away from his attackers.

At that time they saw another demonstrator being knocked to the ground about 10 meters away. It was Tassos Isaac.

“I ran over to assist the second man … As I approached this man I observed that he appeared to be unconscious and there was blood coming from his nose and mouth,” Flood said in his statement, and continued as follows:

“I pushed one man away from the man on the ground and shouted at the crowd ‘Stop. You‘ll kill him’. I was attacked from behind . There were approximately 10 of 12 people around the man on the ground at this stage, including a number of T/C policemen. I pushed some of these people away and eventually the attackers moved away.

“I briefly checked the man on the ground for signs of life. I observed no sign of life. I stood up and as I did so I observed a man who was wearing a grey sleeve-less T-shirt …. I would not be able to identify this man if I saw him again. This man had a large stone, held in both his hands, raised above his head. This man threw the stone at the man on the ground. The stone struck the man on the ground on the right hand side of his head causing him to jerk. The man who threw the stone immediately turned and ran away.”

Carney and Stack corroborated their colleague’s testimony, adding their own details to the events that transpired. Carney stated that he saw a T/C “policeman” and a Turkish soldier taking part in the beating of Isaac. On his way back, Carney was attacked by Greek Cypriot demonstrators, who were angry at the UN for not assisting Tassos Isaac. He was almost run over deliberately by a motorcyclist.

According to the autopsy report, Tassos Isaac died of multiple blunt impacts to the body, predominantly the head and the trunk. He also had an injury in the genital area, caused either by a kick or a blow from a metal object. No traces of alcohol or drugs were found in his body.

A statement by the Cyprus Republic police presented in court identifies the following persons as being among those who took part in the murder of Tassos Isaac:

1. Fikret Veli Koreli, Turkish Cypriot.

2. Hasim Yilmaz, Turkish settler.

3. Neyfel Mustafa Ergun, Turkish settler.

4. Polan Fikret Koreli, Turkish Cypriot.

5. Mehmet Mustafa Arslan, Turkish settler.

6. Erhan Arikli, Turkish settler.

An UNFICYP report about the incidents of 11 August 1996 also presented in court said that about 250 Greek Cypriots in the morning entered the UN buffer zone peacefully, requesting to deliver a petition to the Turkish checkpoint. The Turks turned the request down and in the afternoon about 300 G/C motorcyclists accompanied by 700 other demonstrators gathered at the Greek checkpoint in Dherynia.

In the meantime, the Turkish forces had allowed some 2,000 persons in buses to pass through their 3km deep military zone and assembled along the Turkish Forces ceasefire line, including persons carrying the flag of the Grey Wolves, who had come from Turkey.

After the Greek Cypriot demonstrators had entered the buffer zone, the Turkish Forces allowed the T/C counter-demonstrators to do the same, armed with bats and iron bars. The Turks also fired rifle shots against the Greek Cypriots, wounding some of them.

All documents submitted as evidence to the court are quoted in full in the admissibility decision. The court criticizes both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots for violating the buffer zone. Unlike the Turks, the Greek Cypriot demonstrators were unarmed.