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Cengis Topel Memorial

Gemikonagi, Near lefke, North Cyprus

The Cengis Topel memorial at Gemikonagi, near Lefke, North Cyprus
Cengis Topel Memorial

Towards the end of 1963, the Greek Cypriots started on systematic ethnic cleansing of Turkish Cypriots.  Over the following months 103 villages were evacuated and the villagers moved into enclaves. In August of 1964, the Cypriot National Guard started action against the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Erenkoy (Kokkina) on the northwest coast. This was among the last port areas under Turkish Cypriot control, and the operation was considered necessary by both Cyprus and Greece, as they believed that the Turkish Cypriot militia were landing supplies and weapons from Turkey.

The action started on the 6th August 1964 by both land and sea, and was carried out by thousands of professionally trained soldiers under the command of retired Greek General Grivas. The defenders, which mainly consisted of 500 university students, managed to hold their positions till the 8th August, when the Turkish Air Force intervened. During this operation an F-100 Super Sabre piloted by Captain Cengiz Topel was shot down near Denizli. Capt Topel ejected safely and was captured by Greek Cypriot villagers and taken to the British Hospital.

He was removed from there by representatives of the Greek Cypriot National Guard and taken to their headquarters at Kyko Monastery where he was tortured and murdered.

His body was returned on the 12th August, and he was buried on the 15th August.

The monument  was erected on the coast road near the village of Cemokonagi.


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