Nicosia.- Popular Turkish actor Attila Olgac, who served in Cyprus during the invasion OF 1974, draws fierce reaction in Cyprus, Greece and even Turkey, over his remarks that he killed 10 Greek Cypriots prisoners of war.
”I killed ten people,” Olgac said in a shocking revelation to Turkish channel Star TV.
Olgac added that the first person he killed ”was a 19-year old prisoner of war.”
”I shot him at the forehead and he died,” he said in a shocking revelation.
Olgac, who stars a well-known TV series ”The valley of the wolves,” said that after he killed the Greek Cypriot soldier he killed ”nine more.”
Olgac, however, Friday retracted his statement, saying it was false. The remarks given during Thursday’s program were untrue, and were said simply to attract attention to the brutality of war, he said in a statement.
“My words that I killed 10 people, including a prisoner, was a scenario,” Olgac said in a statement sent to media organizations. “I want to inform the public that they had nothing to do with truth.”
The Cypriot government has expressed shock about the self-confession by Attila Olgac. The government, its Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said here today, will take all necessary steps with regard to this issue.
“We express our shock about the confession of the Turkish actor Olgac, which reveals the brutality and the barbarity of Turkey in 1974, as well as the fact that Turkey has violated international law and specifically the Geneva Convention”, Stephanou said.
Speaking here today, the Government Spokesman also pointed out that the confession stresses Turkeyʼs obligation to fully implement a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, in the 4th Interstate Application of Cyprus v Turkey, and in the cases of Greek Cypriot missing persons versus Turkey.
The Court demands that Ankara cooperates and gives all the information it has in connection with missing Greek Cypriots, to help establish the circumstances under which these people disappeared during the 1974 invasion.
Replying to a question, Stephanou this self-confession is the first confession by a man who has participated in the murder of Greek Cypriots.
The Spokesman also said that the government will examine seriously and in a responsible manner what was said, and then act accordingly.
Article 13, of the Geneva Convention, stipulates that ”prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention.”
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said Olgac’s account was “a stunning testimony and confession”. He also urged Turkey to take action, and called on its neighboring country to cooperate to ensure that all the disappearances that took place during the clashes are fully investigated.
Riza Turmen, Turkey’s former judge at the ECHR, said that the act resembled a war crime, adding that a State has the power to place its citizens on trial for committing such crimes.
The actor was widely criticized in Turkish media over his remarks. “Tactless wolf,” headlined Hurriyet on Saturday, referencing a popular local television series, “Valley of the Wolves”, in which Olgac starred.
President of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War Nicos Theodosiou believes that Attila Olgac must be called to testify before the Committee on Missing Persons.
Theodosiou said that the Turkish actor must give his personal testimony, thus paving the way for other testimonies as well.
Speaking to CNA, Theodosiou said that Orgacʼs confession is indeed shocking for the relatives of missing persons. He said that “we have heard other similar confessions but what is different in this case is that the murderer himself confesses his crime.”
“This is a real chance for the good will of Turkey to be tried, in the framework of the CMP and to see if the Committee can call this witness to give more details about this particular incident and other incidents at which he might have been present,” he added.
Theodosiou said that the information which has come out of this confession refutes what former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas was saying, that the murders of Greek Cypriots, taken prisoners during the invasion, were committed by paramilitary groups.
“Denktashʼs effort to exonerate the Turkish army of any blame for these murders falls through. We know from the findings of the CMP that many persons were murdered,” he added.
Theodosiou also said that he is convinced that the Turkish army keeps in its archives information which is useful in the effort to investigate the fate of missing persons.
“We hope that this confession will be used both politically and diplomatically to create the right pressure on Turkey to cooperate and give all the information it has to the families of missing persons, as the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe Permanent Representatives Committee have asked her to do,” Theodosiou noted.
Gulden Plumer Kucuk, the Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), has said that she has additional responsibilities to locate and contact the Turkish actor.
Commenting on the confession of Attila Olgac, Kucuk said that the terms of the CMP’s mission did not include investigations regarding those who committed murders and under which circumstances.
Kucuk added that an investigation would be carried out to determine if Olgac knows where the persons he referred to were buried.
”As the Turkish Cypriot member of the CMP, I have more responsibilities regarding this issue,” she said, adding that she would be acting responsibly, according to her obligations towards the CMP.
The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus will try to find out more information about a testimony by a Turkish actor who confessed to killing ten Greek Cypriots during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
In response to the statement/confession, by the Attila Olgac, the CMP said that it ”will aim to find out whether any further details are available regarding the identity of the Greek Cypriot individuals involved and/or the location of their burial site,” Christophe Girod, the third member of the CMP, told CNA.
”The CMP”, Girod said, ”then will consider the possibility of interviewing/ debriefing Mr. Olgac directly.”
”As a matter of policy, the CMP strives to follow any lead that can help to elucidate the fate of a missing person in Cyprus,” stressed Girod.
The CMP, a tri-partite committee with representatives from both communities and a UN appointed member, has been involved in the exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons for years.
Atilla Olgac said that “because of the scenario needs playing as Kilic we killed a man. However it is so pity that for this country I killed in real life 10 persons”. Atilla Olgac said that “I needed one day to complete my military service. Exactly that time the “Peace Operation of Cyprus” happened. They sent me from Mersin to Cyprus, They gave me duties of cleansing in the days of the most intense fighting. ”
I told to my Commander “I canʼt do it. I cannot kill man. I am an artist”. He said “here art is finished. Here we have real war. I order you must kill”. The first I killed was a child of 19 years old who was captured as prisoner as soldier. His hands was tied behind his back. When I pointed the gun towards his face he spat on me. I shot him on his forehead and he died. Then I killed 9 persons. After killing I went to the barracks and I cried and next day I killed again. It didnʼt go out of my dreams. I had for a long time psycho therapy. Still I canʼt eat meat. I canʼt see blood. In my mind always the child I killed is coming and smelling corpses. This condemned picture is not leaving me.”
Atilla Olgac said he confessed these painful events the first time after 25 years, Then he added that “I am the only artist in Turkey that I fought in a terrible war, killed persons and obtained the title of gazi.” Then he continued his talk saying that “The war affected my profession long time. I was locked and I was not able to do anything, Today I remember what my Commander told me that day: ʽAre you going to pretend killing always, Take your gun and kill in reality to see how this is happening really.ʼ I cannot forget the scene how this 19 year- young person how he is spitting on my phase. Many years passed but I cannot push away that condemned picture from eyes.”.