The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Ambassador Sotos Zackheos on December 28 has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General asking him to use all his influence and intensify efforts to secure the immediate release of abducted Greek Cypriot Panicos Tziakourmas, who is illegally detained in the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia by the occupation regime. Ambassador Zackheos in his letter says that he expects the Secretary-General to put pressure on Turkey, which continues to maintain around 35,000 occupation troops in Cyprus, in order to achieve his release and describes the abduction “a provocative act tantamount to hostage taking and terrorist act.”
“There is no doubt that Turkey must be held responsible for the illegal actions and provocations perpetrated by the illegal regime,” Ambassador Zackheos said in his letter. He added that the Cyprus Government “expects that your Excellency will use your influence and the UN will intensify their efforts, put pressure on Turkey to effect the immediate release of Panicos Tziakourmas and send the strong message that blackmail and terrorist acts are not condoned.”
The letter outlines the circumstance of the abduction on 13 December from within one of the British Military Bases which Britain has retained since Cyprus became independent state in 1960. It cites a Bases report that Tziakourmas was dragged out of his car and forcibly led to the occupied areas where a self-styled court “ordered” his detention until a so-called trial at the end of February next year.
Condemning the abduction the Ambassador notes that it took place in retaliation to the arrest of a Turkish Cypriot drug dealer, arrest ed by under-cover police as he tried to sell them drugs.
“The abduction was a provocative act taken in retaliation for the arrest of the drug dealer and is tantamount to hostage taking and terrorist act,” the Ambassador said.