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Turkey: Foreign Minister Warns Greek Cypriots Against Protests

Ankara, 16 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller has warned Greek Cypriots against continuing their protests and threatened to break the hands of demonstrators who try to deface the Turkish flag.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara today, Ciller defended this week's shooting to death by Turkish guards of a Greek Cypriot trying to tear down the Turkish flag in the divided island's buffer zone.

She accused the United Nations, the organization responsible for keeping the peace in Cyprus, of not doing its duty.

The minister said Turkey wants peace with Greece and Greek Cypriots. The inclusion of Turkey and Cyprus into the European Union would provide a basis for a solution to the island's problems, she said.

On the island itself, Greek Cypriot police erected barbed wire barriers and tightened security in anticipation of violence accompanying the funeral of Solomon Solomou.

The killing of the Greek Cypriot came only hours after the funeral of his 24-year-old relative, Tasos Isaac, who was clubbed to death Sunday by Turkish Cypriots on the same spot.