The World According To...

A shameful echo of a forgotten holocaust: past terror and fresh injustice

March 1997: Robert Fisk meets the people affected by the 1974 Turkish invasion and explores an often forgotten chapter in history

Saturday 30 October 2021 21:30
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<p>16 August 1974: civilians take up arms during a period of fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots</p>

16 August 1974: civilians take up arms during a period of fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots

For Gaspar Aghajanian, it is a matter of principle. For his wife Astrid, it all goes back to the day 82 years ago when the Turks piled the starving orphans of Armenia on top of each other in the sand and burned them alive.

“My mother saved me from the fire by pushing me under a pile of corpses,” she says. “She used to tell me afterwards that when she heard the screams of the children and saw the flames, it was as if their souls were going up to heaven.”

Astrid is now 83, her husband 85, but their battle – against another generation of Turks – is contained in a thick file of correspondence in their bungalow home in Shoreham-on-Sea, West Sussex.

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