Monday, May 18, 2015
`Investigation into the murder of Kavazoghlu and Mishaoulis was stopped from UN Headquarters in New York…`
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For the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dervish Ali Kavazoghlu and Costas Mishaoulis, on my FACEBOOK page, I share an article I had written years ago, on the 7th of April 2001. The response I get from one of my FACEBOOK friends from Sweden surprises me…
Tommy was in the Swedish contingent of the UNFICYP in 1964-1965 in Famagusta and he remembers the assassination of Kavazoghlu and Mishaoulis… But what is surprising for me is what he writes… He says, `Sevgul, I remember this because it was our unit who handled the investigation… I was not close to the investigation, but I remember that the investigator talked about possible motives. As I remember, both of the victims were Left wings and because of that, I think both sides could find reasons to kill them. There was never a result of this investigation, perhaps because the UN New York said stop. It`s up to anyone to wonder over who committed these murders. Sevgul, thank you. I have just read your article. So it`s clear that it was Kavazoghlu´s friends who committed the crime and that Mishaoulis just was at the wrong place. Have I understood this correct? As I told you, I got the information from one of the investigator s that there was an order from
Headquarters in New York to immediately cut off. Did TMT have that power to link it in that way?`
I write back to Tommy to say `At the very top I believe that the `mastermind` was the same to split the country playing one against the other so no surprise that the United Nations New York Headquarters would give such an order...`
Then I write to Tommy to see if he remembers anything more and he writes back to me this e-mail:
I have read your article about the assassinations of Kavazoghlu and Kostas Mishaoulis and as I understand from the article, it was committed, or planned, by members of TMT in the Louroujina area. During our first month in Cyprus, May 1964, we made several escort missions to this village from Nicosia.
All this happened years ago, 50 to be more exact, and memories have that bad quality that they fade out by years. In UNFICYP Civilian Police, I was in that group in Famagusta which was responsible for village patrols, escorts and road checkpoints. I was too young to be involved in real investigations. But one of my best friends, Kurt Mellbris, became a part of this group who was ordered to investigate this murder on Larnaca Road near Koshi on April 11th 1965. I don`t remember who the others were or if there were policemen from other countries as well. Unfortunately, Kurt is no longer with us.
Anyhow, in the beginning of the investigation, there was an information, saying that the murderers travelled in a white car, an older (also in 1964) Singer, with a short flagpole on the radiator cap. From where this information came, I have no idea, but that was what I heard from Kurt about the murders. It was now very close to date when I should return to Sweden (April 29th). At that time I knew a Lebanese girl, working at Pendayia Hospital and one day (in the second half of April), she had come to Famagusta to visit me. Late in the evening, she should drive back to Pendayia. It wasn`t OK for me to let her drive by herself across the island in darkness, so I offered me to go with her to Pendayia, return to Famagusta in her car and then meet her in Nicosia next afternoon. So we did and some hours after midnight, I was on my way back to Famagusta. I used the straight main road.
Now, I can`t mention exact where, maybe at a junction on the highway, halfway between Nicosia and Famagusta, maybe close to the village of Kouklia, but suddenly I noticed a red light, wawing up and down some hundreds meters in front of me. I didn`t feel well because I hadn`t got any permission to leave Famagusta at this time and if it was the GC Police, I`m quite sure they would report it to my commander. Not good, even if I should leave Cyprus very soon after and that I had had a good reason to make this trip. When I came very close, I noticed that there were four or five civilians on the road and close to the road bank, I saw a white car, a Singer, with just such a flagpole on the filler cap. At that age, I normally wasn`t afraid of many things, but now, when I saw that car, I became afraid on the upper scale. I felt a compact coldness inside me, and my first thought was to speed up and try to pass them. But they stood in such a way that it had been
impossible to pass them without to hit any of them and if they were those who I suspected they were, and armed, I hadn`t had a chance. So I stopped. Four or five men, a bit older than me and well dressed. They seemed to be well fitted, athletic, and my first impression was, that they were soldiers, or maybe policemen. One of them seemed to be the leader and he came up to my front door. He asked kindly if I had a working jack because they had got a flat tyre. I had such a tool and when the rest of them changed the wheel, I and the leader talked about different things. He asked me what nationality I was, how Sweden was to live in and if I had liked my staying in the Cyprus and so on. We spoke just in English, so I don`t know if he was a GC or a TC. I didn`t see any arms or weapons. Suddenly, he asked me if Kurt is a Swedish name. A big bell rang in my head – a white Singer and a question if Kurt, one of the investigator of the murders, is a Swedish
name. I don`t lie when I say that I for a short moment saw myself lying in the ditch. I answered, that as far as I knew, Kurt is a German name, which it also is. "But there are Swedes with that name too, aren`t there?" At the same moment, one of the others came back with the jack. "OK, Thank you, have a nice trip back to Famagusta", the leader said and shook my hand.
On the rest of the trip back to Famagusta this night, thousands of thoughts drove through my head. How should I be able to explain that I had been at that highway in the middle of the night without permission from my superiors. But we can say that I was saved by the bell, because short after I was informed that the investigation had been ordered to be ended. Exactly when this order came, I don`t know, but I was informed just one or two days after my illegal night trip. And then there were no need for me to tell anyone about it. Not even that Lebanese girl.
I still don`t know if this white Singer with the flagpole which I saw on the Famagusta Road, was the same car as the information to the investigator talked about. Maybe there were lots of them in the Cyprus. I don`t know if the men I met were GC or TC, but I have through the years been of that apprehension that they were GC, maybe Yiorghadjis men, because of the place where I met them. I still don`t think that TMT had that power to, through UN Headquarters to stop such an investigation.
Sevgul, I don`t know if UNFICYP Civilian Police still serves in the Cyprus. If so, maybe they have filed even older investigations. I`m quite sure, the investigators from 1964 must have made lots of notes. If they were ordered to destroy them after that the investigation was stopped, I don`t know.
It`s 50 years since this happened, but that night on the Famagusta Road, I don`t forget. Of course, if the investigation hadn`t been stopped at that time it was, I had shared my observations with the investigators and taken the punishment for my non-permissioned trip that night.
The persons who had killed Kavazoghlu and Mishaoulis in fact were not from TMT but were opponents of TMT in Louroudjina – they were meeting Kavazoghlu and distributing brochures in Turkish of AKEL. According to my investigation they were caught with the brochures in the village and forced by TMT to set up an ambush to kill Kavazoghlu – either they would die or Kavazoghlu would be killed. So they chose to help assassinate Kavazoghlu and Mishaoulis who happened to be with him. According to the villagers a red or green car was used plus another car… A shepherd seeing the car and hearing gun shots had gone running to Louroudjina to report this to the Turkish Cypriot police. They told him to shut up and mind his own business.
After Tommy's letter, I investigated the white car, the Singer he is mentioning in his letter. According to some villagers, this car had belonged to some Greek Cypriots who had been kidnapped by some Turkish Cypriots and although the Greek Cypriots were set free later on, they did not give back the car and the commander of the village was using this car in and around Louroudjina… Others told me that this car, the white Singer used to be used by TMT and one of the famous snipers of TMT had been driving it in Nicosia – I am not sure which one is true… We are talking about 50 years ago, half a century to be exact…
What's important for me is if it is true, why the UN Headquarters in New York had decided to stop the investigation about Mishaoulis and Kavazoghlu… I have contacted the UNFICYP Commander in Cyprus, Major General Kristin Lund and wrote to her to see if they can contribute to this issue with the information they must have in their files from 50 years back… Perhaps some of my readers who know more details can share it with us, like Tommy did… I want to thank Tommy from Sweden for sharing this vital piece of information and invite my readers to do the same if they know any more details…
Photo: Children laying flowers on the grave of Kavazoghlou...
(*) Article published in the POLITIS newspaper on the 17th of May 2015, Sunday.