President Ersin Tatar issues statement on Baf Resistance and Martyrs Remembrance

President Ersin Tatar has said that the Guarantee of Turkey and the presence of the Turkish army in Cyprus cannot be abandoned. The President made the written statement marking the 57th anniversary of Baf Resistance, where he paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and became martyrs in defending the Turkish quarter of the city in the face of Greek Cypriot attacks between March 7 to 9.

President Tatar said in his written message:

“The Baf Resistance is one of the most important of the Turkish Cypriot people in their national struggle to coexist on the island, which took place 57 years ago. I would like to pay respects to the martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives to defend the Turkish quarter of Baf when Greek Cypriot forces attacked on March 7 to 9.

The UN Security Council had on March 4, 1964, passed a politically motivated and unjust resolution which recognised the Greek Cypriot Administration as the “sole legitimate government” of Cyprus. Consequently Greek Cypriots had found strength and courage following this resolution, to intensify their  attacks on Turkish quarters. Just 3 days later, on March 7, a major attack was staged by the Greek Cypriots against the Turkish quarter of Baf.  The main purpose was to eliminate the resistance of Turkish resistance in Cyprus, and to oppress the Turkish Cypriot people and make them a minority under a Greek Cypriot dominated island.

We suffered heavy losses as our freedom fighters put forward a major resistance to the attacks of Greek Cypriots with Greek reinforcements using heavy artillery.  Thirteen Turkish Cypriot freedom fighters were martyred in the attacks. Atrocities of the Greek Cypriots cannot be forgotten.  In the region of Mavrali, 9 of our fighters had to surrender having run out of ammunition and taken as prisoners.  They were taken to a slaughter house on the Greek Cypriot side and hanged on the butchers' hooks.  They were then sliced with butcher's knives and their brains taken out of their heads with choppers.  Turkish Cypriots were face-to-face with a massacre.

Whilst the world stood-by and watched this terrible atrocity, guarantor Turkey issued a warning to the Greek and Greek Cypriot duo.  The Greek attacks only stopped after Turkey threatened to intervene.   

Another major attack by the Greek and Greek Cypriot duo was on Erenköy in 1964. Again, this attack was seized following the intervention of Turkey.

These incidents are open examples as to why cannot abandon the guarantees of Turkey. This is why the active and effective guarantee of Turkey and the physical presence of the Turkish army in Cyprus is our red line.

The Greek and Greek Cypriot duo are claiming that the 1960 established guarantee system is ‘uncivilised’ and “needs to be changed”, and are trying to dilute the guarantee system. Our position on the matter is clear. We will never accept abandoning the active and effective guarantee of Turkey and the presence of the Turkish army in Cyprus.  We will embrace and intertwine with Turkey even more . We owe this to our people and our martyrs.”