On the night of November 26 to 27 a deplorable attack occurred against the premises where Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper “Avrupa” is printed in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus. A bomb thrown at the printing office of “Avrupa” caused a devastating fire, which destroyed the main printing installations of the newspaper and completely damaged valuable equipment, especially that used for printing purposes.
In their statement, the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) deplored the arson attack against the premises where “Avrupa” is printed and noted that the attack was part of the “exterminating campaign” of the Turkish occupation regime against freedom of expression.
The UCJ expressed “anger and abhorrence at this action, which is the work of forces that do not hesitate to resort even to open violence and terrorism in order to strangle ‘Avrupa’, stifle freedom of expression and silence those voices in the Turkish Cypriot community which demand that an end be put to the oppressive regime of Denktash and the Turkish occupation army, and that a peaceful solution be found which will reunite Cyprus and its people and safeguard the human rights of all Cypriots regardless of ethnic origin.”
The Union expressed its “undivided solidarity with ‘Avrupa’ and its journalists” and called upon various international press organizations and the United Nations “to strongly condemn the terrorist action against ‘Avrupa’ and to act decisively to ensure the survival of the newspaper and the safeguarding of the freedom of press, the freedom of expression and human rights in the Turkish Cypriot community, which are so cruelly being trampled upon by the Denktash regime and the occupation army.
Freedom of expression in the Turkish occupied areas is often oppressed. “Avrupa” has recently come under attack several times for publishing articles that oppose the policy of Mr. Denktash and his regime. As a result, several of “Avrupa’s” journalists have been fined outrageous amounts and have even been arrested.