24th October, 2023

Letter from Kenan Ayas to the people of Cyprus

After one and a half month from his meeting with his defence attorney in the Hamburg maximum security prison, we have received a letter written by Kenan on the day of his meeting with Mr. Efstathiou.

The letter follows:

Today I met with my defense lawyer Efstathiou. In this sense, I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Cyprus. The people of Cyprus have fulfilled their humanitarian and conscientious responsibilities by protecting their historical values. We share a common pain with the people of Cyprus. Speaking of suffering, today is also the anniversary of the September 6-7 massacre. It has been 68 years since the September 6-7 massacre. In fact, September 6-7 is not just a massacre. It is also the date when the occupation of Cyprus was started. There is not much connection with this in history, but on the occasion of today, I would like to state that I have reached this point as a result of my concentrations in recent days. Of course, I would also like to point out the historical reasons for this and how the occupation mentality was revealed.

A year or two before the second world war. The Turkish state, which turned the balances of the Second World War into an opportunity, was waving a great slogan at that time. The slogan it developed to realize the occupation of Antakya was: “Hatay is Turkish and will remain Turkish.” Shortly after this slogan, France, which was under the threat of Germany at that time, very comfortably left Hatay to the Turkish state.

Later, the Turkish state, which got results from this, developed a second slogan. This was the slogan “Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish”. This slogan started to be used in the mid-1950s.

This slogan was the slogan of the war prepared by the Turkish state in the ranks of NATO against the people of Cyprus who rebelled against British colonialism during the Cold War. This slogan resulted in the invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish state about 20 years later.

The start of the invasion of Cyprus was given with the September 6-7 massacre. Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu, the head of the Special Warfare Department at the time, said, “September 6-7 was a special warfare operation and a magnificent organization. It achieved its goal” sufficiently reveals this fact. It has been 68 years since the massacre of September 6-7, 1955, which he described in this way.

Although it has been a long time since the massacre in Istanbul, in which the property of non-Muslim peoples, especially Greeks, Armenians and Jews, was looted, many people were massacred and hundreds of women were raped, it is still fresh in the memory.

 

The Istanbul Express newspaper, which was known to be close to the state at the time, sparked the attacks with a provocative news article stating that “A bomb was thrown at Atatürk’s house in Thessaloniki by the Greeks”. The newspaper, which had a circulation of around 20,000, published a second edition with the headline “Our Atatürk’s house was bombed” two hours before the events started and 290,000 copies of the newspaper were sold that day. Members of the “Cyprus is Turkish Association”, which was organized against non-Muslims at the time, distributed the newspaper throughout Istanbul and prepared the ground for a massacre against non-Muslims.

Subsequently, on September 6-7, thousands of people, provoked and inflamed, took to the streets with picks, axes and sticks and looted non-Muslim homes and businesses, spreading from Beyoğlu, the starting point of the events, to Kurtuluş, Şişli, Nişantaşı, Eminönü, Fatih, Balat, Eyüp, Bakırköy, Yeşilköy, Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek, Kadıköy, Kuzguncuk and Çengelköy, where Greeks lived in large numbers. The incidents, which the security forces merely watched but did not intervene, gradually grew.

 

According to official sources, 4,214 houses, 1004 workplaces, 73 churches, 1 synagogue, 2 monasteries, 26 schools were destroyed. Tens of people lost their lives. Hundreds of people were injured. Hundreds of women were raped.

After the September 6-7 massacre, all the properties belonging to the Greeks were plundered, massacred and raped, and as a result of this plunder, a significant portion of non-Muslims, especially Greeks, were forced to migrate abroad.

In this way, the paving stones for the occupation of Cyprus were gradually laid.

The 6-7 September massacre is a fundamental activity of the mobilization investigation board, which is a continuation of the deep state, the Organization of the Union and Progress. Without a proper understanding of this massacre, no struggle to be waged today will have any chance of achieving any results. ( İttihat Terakki, Teşkilatı mahsusa)

Without understanding the September 6-7 massacre, the occupation of Cyprus today cannot be understood. It is also incomprehensible why the international arena does not speak out against the occupation of Cyprus today. If we want to understand today, if we want to make sense of what is happening today, we must understand September 6-7 well. Because there are many more September 6-7 and there will be many more.

In order to prevent more September 6-7s, it means understanding the owners of the September 6-7 mentality and raising awareness on how to fight against it. We must not forget, we must not let them forget.

On this occasion, I once again greet everyone with the warmest feelings and thank everyone for everything. Hope to meet in a free environment…. Kenan Ayas

Today, the defense filed a motion on behalf of Kenan Ayas to dismiss the panel of three judges because they showed bias against Kenan Ayas.

 

The defense had no choice but to make this extraordinary request because the court showed bias against Kenan Ayas by rejecting the defense’s request. The defense had requested that the newspaper article quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement about Kenan Ayas’ trial be considered as evidence and read in court.

 

The well-known German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) had summarized Erdoğan’s remarks in an article published on November 19 as follows: “The visit to the German capital had ‘opened a new chapter in our deep relations,’ Erdoğan said. He expressed his delight at a criminal trial at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court against an alleged official of the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The man was arrested in Cyprus and extradited to Germany on the initiative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.” (See the press release of the defense from November 30, 2023).

 

The court rejected the request for the second time, arguing that Erdoğan’s statement had no relation to the case of Kenan Ayas. It was the second time that the defense had asked the court to allow this article to be part of the evidence. The defense had argued that Erdoğan’s statements showed that the extradition and trial of Kenan Ayas was in the interest of Turkey and that Kenan Ayas could be in danger after his release from prison because of the known habit of the Turkish secret service to operate outside of Turkey. In regard to both motions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not oppose the request but supported it by stating that there was an obvious connection between the article and the trial.

 

Despite the statement of the prosecution, the judges showed their determination not to deal with the Turkish influence on the trial. The judges have continuously tried to keep anything out of the trial that could indicate the political nature of the extradition request for Kenan Ayas and the charges against him.

 

Now another chamber of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court hast to decide on the motion to dismiss the judges. Until this decision is made, the trial will continue as scheduled.

 

 

Hamburg/Frankfurt/Nicosia, February 6, 2024

 

 

Attorney Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin

Attorney Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main

Attorney Efstathios C. Efstathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

The FAZ article “Return to Turkey: Erdoğan calls Scholz the ‘other'” from November 19, 2023 can be found here:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/rueckkehr-in-die-tuerkei-so-sieht-erdogan-seinen-besuch-in-berlin-19324031.html