GeriGündem Popular Turkish actor draws fierce reaction over Cyprus remarks
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Popular Turkish actor draws fierce reaction over Cyprus remarks

Popular Turkish actor draws fierce reaction over Cyprus remarks
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A Turkish actor drew fierce reactions in the country Saturday after remarks he made about killing 10 Greek Cypriots, including a prisoner of war, during Turkey's 1974 military operation in Cyprus. Greece and Greek Cyprus in response urged Turkey to investigate the issue.

Actor Attila Olgac told a Turkish television program Thursday that while serving in the Turkish army during the 1974 military operation he shot dead 10 Greek Cypriots, including a prisoner of war.   


The actor was widely criticized in the local media over his remarks. "Tactless wolf," headlined Hurriyet on Saturday, referencing a popular local television series, "Valley of the Wolves", in which Olgac starred.


Turkey launched a military operation on Cyprus in 1974 using its rights under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee in response to an Athens-backed coup aiming at union with Greece. Hundreds of Greek and Turkish Cypriots vanished during the clashes in the early 1960s and ‘70s.


Olgac, however, Friday retracted his statement, saying it was false. The remarks given during Thursday's program were untrue, and were said simply to attract attention to the brutality of war, he said in a statement.


"My words that I killed 10 people, including a prisoner, was a scenario," Olgac said in a statement sent to media organizations. "I want to inform the public that they had nothing to do with truth."



Greek Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou on Friday described the interview as "shocking" and said it was the first time anyone had made such an admission.


Olgac's remarks underscore Turkey's obligation to abide by European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings and cooperate in uncovering the circumstances surrounding the disappearances during 1974 clashes, AP quoted him as saying.


Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said Olgac's account was "a stunning testimony and confession". He also urged Turkey to take action, and called on its neighboring country to cooperate to ensure that all the disappearances that took place during the clashes are fully investigated.


Riza Turmen, Turkey's former judge at the ECHR, said that the act resembled a war crime, adding that a State has the power to place its citizens on trial for committing such crimes. 



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