Famagusta August 17, 1974: "They brought in an E/K soldier with an X carved on his back..."

Famagusta File – August 17, 1974 – “They brought in an E/K soldier with an X carved on his back…” – Description by Filippos Giapani

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Saturday, August 17, was the day of hundreds of arrests of Greek Cypriots in her groves Percienas. Since the morning they were returning to Varosi to take clothes and objects from their home, since everyone left in a panic thinking that they would return. Most were arrested while they were going to Varosi, after they passed through the roadblock that E/K soldiers had set up on the Deryneia - Famagusta road.

It seems that at first the troops they did not allow the world to move forward, which they did afterwards, after they had brought them eyewitnesses of the arrests And the murders.

The The people of Famagusta were carried away from a news broadcast by RIK radio calling for Policemen and Firefighters – some also remember a call to the staff of the Municipality of Famagusta – to go to the Technical School of Famagusta, in order to assigned duties. The exact text of the news could not be traced. Nor who gave the order that day to broadcast the news in question. This announcement does not exist in the archive of announcements of the GTP. Some Famagusta residents say that they heard the news from RIK on August 16, Friday.

The UN had not yet established its own line between the warring sides.

Philip Japanese

On the morning of August 17, Japanese family is in Wood-eating and they listen to her tidings from his radio RIC who calls the police and the services of the Municipality of Famagusta - as he remembers - to go to the Technical School in Agios Memnonas.

Around 10 – 10.30 in the morning Philippos, then 16,5 years old, with his father, his uncle and his cousin they decided to go to Varosito take clothes from their homes. Between Kato Deryneia and Famagusta there was a road block with ethnic guards but they were not stopped. At the turn to Agios Memnon there were T/k soldiers with EF uniforms and weapons, martinis and stents. They stopped This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes and for those who want to lose weight or follow a balanced diet. car them and one of them said to them "barker". From the pronunciation of the word they knew it was T/k, but not by a long shot. Back inside δέντρα of the pervolo was hidden Turkish soldiers.

"There were dead people on that road, on the pavement". Did you see them? "Yes. To the left of the road, next to the reedbed. He had a van I remember, the doors were wide open."

Philip with his father, uncle and cousin, they were taken to the enclosuresacross. "In the pervolia of Perciena. That's where the story begins." After the pervoli there was a clearing, a field. There he had people sitting by 10. too many people as he remembers and speculates that the arrests started very early. They separated women and children and men, some told them to leave and they did so on foot, towards Deryneia.

"They made us sit in a circle and they had their guns pointed at us. I had seen this scene long ago in my sleep. I was wearing a ring that I bought with the money I worked that summer at my aunt's pergola. I took it out and said 'you're not going to take it from me, I worked for it'. It was gold. I hid it inside….It was 11-12 pounds, for some it was a salary." He didn't hear any shots fired there, but they were taking those who had been detained for about 10 people in Famagusta. There were also Turkish soldiers in blue berets. "The beatings and violence there were mainly from T/k."

In that clearing they brought and one R/C soldier with an X engraved on the back.

"That X I still carry and will remember until I die." It was heard that he had been found on top of an anti-aircraft system inside the Karaolos camp. They had left the camp and left him alone. I'm still wondering if he turned around, is he missing or dead?" He recognized the soldier, his family lived in Agia Paraskevi.

That time he came a Turkish officer,he took off his belt which had a brass buckle and it started to it hits the Turkish soldiers with blue berets. From the blows with the belt, blood was flowing by the Turkish soldiers, but no one was movingthey were standing at attention. So they stopped taking people from that place. Those who previously left there, says Filippos Yapanis, are now missing, stressing that he himself did not hear any gunshots.

At noon buses were brought to the clearing to take those who remained there and to boarding "They beat us to the punch, because the Turkish officer had left. THE my nose is accόHowever, broken". They were hitting them with the barrels of the guns.

With their buses they went to the village of Gaidouras and from there to Styllou Famagusta, which was the village of his mother. They stayed there for a while and then they were taken to the Karaolos camp, where they were put in warehouses and in front of the door, on a tripod, a machine gun. For one or two days they all stayed there fasting and the next day, the Turks searched among the prisoners, residents of Peristeronopigi, by name. "As they shouted, they became wild because as they told us, the T/k had discovered a mass grave in Marathasa, Santalari, Aloa".

Filippos Yapanis does not remember how many days they stayed in Karaolos before they were moved to the Pavlidis Garage in Nicosia, where at night they were put on buses and again blindfolded they were taken to Five Mile in Kyrenia, where he had boarding passes. When their turn came, there were no more people on the ship, they were brought back to Nicosia, to the Pavlidis Garage, where the next day they were registered as prisoners by the Red Cross.

After a day or two they were put back on buses and back to Five Mile. This time they boarded the ship and went to the port of Mersin and from there, at night, in military trucks that were covered with musiamas, they were taken to Adana. Outside the prisons there was a mob throwing stones, bayonets and knives stabbing the backs of the trucks. They were being dragged off the trucks and people with farm implements, the mob, were trying to lynch them. Turkish soldiers were there, as were TV cameras from Turkish channels, but the atmosphere was intimidating.

On entering the prisons of Adana, "bars, corridor, bars, corridor, wood and there again". He doesn't remember exactly how many were there, "maybe 200 people, too many." Every day they ate chickpeas with juice and a piece of bread at noon. One day some guards there "clapped the two who were carrying the cauldron, they fell down the steps and hit themselves with the hot food". Filippos Giapanis says that he was used to hunger by now. "It's not hunger that kills you, but psychological warfare." At night they opened and closed the windows of the cells loudly, shouted and screamed to intimidate them.

Some days after he cannot count them, they were put on a bus with Ecevit posters and the invasion poster, and taken to Amasia, blindfolded and handcuffed across the whole of mainland Turkey, while a helicopter flew overhead and cleared the way for them. the police. There was a priest inside the bus and everyone who got on the bus would pull his beard and hair to see if he was really a priest. "Once a hodgeon got on the bus, he did too."

Filippos Yapanis remembers only one pleasant moment from the route: at a stop a Turk cut apples from the apple trees that were there and gave them to eat with their hands tied.

In Amasia a crowd awaited them again in the same way of "reception", as in Adana. They were rarely taken out into the inner courtyard to see a bit of sky.. "There I said I wish I was a bird and could fly." Each chamber had at least 60 people inside. "At some stage they said that the students would leave. Where they gathered us to leave I saw that it had a basement at the level of the inner courtyard with iron railings. There I saw Dimitris Toumazis, my friend Takis Papamichalopoulos, children who in '74 were conscripts from Varos, they were prisoners there in the basements. Among them was Takis Toumazis, known as Kakis, who told me 'Philippe, go back and tell my parents that I'm fine. And I said to him, 'Kaki, write me on a kolua bass and I'll forget the name'. He wrote it on a kolua. My meaning was not to lose the kolua."

With the big buses from Amasia to Mersini and again to the landings for Cyprus. "There they beat you to the wood again, especially in the toilets and shouted 'para para', they wanted money". He remembers that they stayed one night in Nicosia, somewhere on the occupied side, and the exchange of prisoners at Ledra Pallas. At this point, Filippos Yapanis tears up: "It is the tragedy that you say 'I survived, I came' and some people did not come. Where you see the women, the mothers of the missing, with a photo in hand asking you, have you seen him? He lives;'. The same picture was approximately in 'Filoxenia'. Where you ask yourself 'was I the lucky one or was I the unlucky one?'. And what about that woman? I saw him; I did not see him; How would you know..".

In Filoxenia he bathed like a human for the first time and ate. The clothes and shoes were several sizes bigger, but it didn't matter. He was still guarding the "kolua" under the name of Takis Toumazis - Kaki. "You weren't sure what you were living for yet." A relative of theirs who worked at Filoxenia managed to find him and told him that his sister was outside and waiting for him. "We took a taxi and came to Limassol, but my concern was the Kolua." He showed her to his uncle, who was related to the Toumazi family, and asked him if he was sure why she had been reported missing. He answered him by recounting the scene in the prisons of Amasia and that he, 'Kakis' himself, wrote his name and he is fine. He called his father Takis Toumazis and told him.

Filippos Giapanis remembers that the parents of Takis Toumazis had called Glaukos Clerides, who was the President of the Republic, who notified Rauf Denktas and 'Kakis' was finally added to the list of prisoners and he too returned from Turkey. She is crying again…. "He lives in Greece today. I talk to him. And he's said to me 'do you know how many times I wish I was a phoenix?' Why; Because the palm tree dies and is reborn from its ashes. Great talk 'I wish I had been born a phoenix'."

Philippos Yipanis wonders how his father felt when in the clearing, in Perchiena, they chased him away, but they kept his son. "I don't wish any parent to go through what my father went through." His uncle and father came back then. Throughout the captivity and return he was with his cousin.

After all, he believes that freedom is the most valuable commodity and discord the worst that can exist in a people. He worries about the future of "our children and our grandchildren" and considers himself to have lived 4 lives: his 16,5 years ago, his 38 days of captivity in Turkey, his life as a free market worker and his life after the age of 35 who deals with art. "Art gave me the strength to continue. I had a lot of internal pressure inside me and I don't know if I could cope psychologically. Art gave me a lot, it gave me freedom."

When asked what was the moment when 16,5-year-old Filippos Yapanis suddenly matured, he answered that it was the moment when he sat in the circle in the clearing, there in the Perciena pervolia.

The best moment of his life is when old classmates, former political "enemies" all met together in the "New Salamina" he has created in Fasoula and recognized their mistakes. "It's not their fault. It is the leaders of the people who brought the country into discord."

Among his works, the one that expresses him the most is the Monument to the Fallen and Missing in the Municipality of Agios Athanasios.

Michalis Michael

Η Michael family while he was at brakeman,heard RICK's radio calling the cops to return on Varosi. Mihalis Michael remembers that the news gave a sense of security to those who were returning. His father, Simos Michael very early in the morning, around 6, put the family in the car and they started from Frenaros to Deryneia to return home. Before Deryneia there were two bearded E/k men in military uniforms and weapons, where the car stopped. Simos Michael asked them if it was okay for him to go with his family to Varosi and they answered him to go and "there is no problem". Their house was 10 minutes from that point and they reached Edessis Street without really encountering any problems

On the same day, at noon, they heard gunshots, near the area of ​​Deryneia and this surprised them because it was the point where they had passed in the morning. His father decided to go on his motorcycle to see what was going on and took Michalis with him. "We went to the Deryneia road and saw in the background two tanks in the road and several cars parked with the doors open, apparently belonging to Famagusta who were also returning." There his father understood that the Turks surrounded Varosi and returned home.

In the evening of the same day towards the walls of Famagusta they heard shots and noises as if doors of houses were being broken. At night they slept in their house.


On August 17, Mr MG he was looking for what happened to the T/k that was the previous day in the white Morris and they were hunting One From, who finally escaped the fire. When he passed the church of All Saints of Deryneia, Turkish tanks from the pervolia of Agios Memnon charged towards Deryneia and some mortars fell. The white Morris belonged to Hatziprodromou. Later he learned that there were 5 E/K in the vehicle, including the Hatziprodromo couple, who were executed by T/m and were buried in a mass grave that was discovered later.

MG, being in Deryneia, stayed where, by order of Captain Katsios, a barricade, but after the return of Famagusta people to Varosi. The MG later learned from a neighbor of Varosiotis who had been arrested in Perchiena that the RIK had broadcast a news for Policemen and Firemen to show up at the Technical School of Famagusta and that is why they thought that the citizens could also return.

When they learned from returning Turkish prisoners that murders had taken place in the Perciena groves and in the "xistrato of Agios Memnons", the Captain gave orders not to let them pass. The people were reacting and shouting that they are not letting them go back to their homes "because they are yours and they are stealing". After more extensive information about the arrests and executions of the Turks, Katsios' orders to the soldiers at the roadblock became even stricter: "Anyone who insists on going, despite being killed by the Turks, play him, you ladies!".

MG stayed in the Deryneia company under the orders of Sergeant Katsios, who assigned him, since he knew the area, to patrol and inform him. He did so and reached the area of ​​Kapari, outside the reservoir of 'Glytzienou' and found that there were tracks from two Turkish tanks that had reached the current roundabout of Agia Triada. He informed the Captain and he asked him not to tell anyone about it because people would either get scared and leave, or they wouldn't come back. And MG did.

MG stayed in Deryneia until the end of his three-year term. He enlisted in July 1973 and was discharged in July 1976.

Leto and Michalis Asimakis 17/8

The couple Asimakis, with their son and Letos' father, had moved since August 16 to an area down by the sea of ​​Ayia Napa, next to a Minister's house, in a tent. On August 17, from the small radio left by the elderly woman with a British passport, who fled to the Bases, they heard the news from the RIK that the members of the Famagusta Police Directorate were called to report to the Technical School.

The day after the coup, Leto Asimaki, nee Mala, had received a letter of dismissal from the Police station for reasons of "public interest", like about 5 other colleagues of hers. But with the assumption of the duties of the Presidency of the Republic by Glaukos Clerides and his declaration that everyone should return to their work, Leto Asimaki thought that she should go to the Technical School in order not to lose her job.

But her husband had a different opinion. "The Turtzians entered the city and you will go?" But she was determined. She put her son, John, in the car and would go with him. But the car wouldn't start. "The battery was dead. My husband tells me 'I'm not giving you my car'. And my husband insisted 'no, don't go'. Did you understand; It was God's and we were saved."

Michalis Asimakis went to work on Monday, August 19, but at Cyta's offices in Larnaca. Leto Asimadis one or two days later we met at the makeshift police station set up by her colleagues under the officer George Kouis in the square of Agia Napa.

Source: KYPE