Tasos Isaak

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Anastasios (Tasos) Isaak (Greek: Αναστάσιος (Τάσος) Ισαάκ) (1972 - August 11, 1996), was a Greek Cypriot activist. He was murdered by a mob of Grey Wolves in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus. He is considered a national hero in Cyprus and Greece.

Events leading to the assassination

In August 1996, in order to commemorate the 22nd year of Cyprus being a divided country, over 200 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 [1]. 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 [2].

The funeral and reactions

Tasos Isaak's funeral was held on the August 14, 1996 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 [3].

Greek government as godparent

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").

Notes and references

External links

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