Turkish-Cypriot Held for Unlawfully Crossing Closed Border

FILE - AP Photo/Petros Karadjias.

NICOSIA – A Turkish-Cypriot man who was said to have broken through a checkpoint separating Cyprus and the northern occupied territory was being held after complaints he had been roughed up by police who chased him.

The government in the occupied territory demanded the return of the 60-year-old man, who was not identified, as the legitimate Cypriot government was planning to send him back, the Cyprus Mail reported.

The self-declared Foreign Ministry in the area seized unlawfully by Turkey in a 1974 invasion said photographs appeared to reveal the man had been beaten. There was no response from the Cypriot government.

The man appeared in a Cypriot court on Sept. 9 to face charges of illegal entry. The newspaper reported that he said he had been roughed up and an investigation was ordered.

Hakki Onen, one of the two team leaders of the bi-communal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal matters, told daily Kibris the incident happened Aug. 31 at the Ledra Palace crossing point in Nicosia.

The Turkish national was together with his Turkish-Cypriot son-in-law as they sought to cross over into the south on their bicycles. The son-in-law was allowed through, but not the Turkish man, who crossed anyway before being captured.