Turkish Cypriot arrested after Ayia Napa attack

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A 25-year-old Turkish Cypriot man was charged with carrying an illegal weapon after Greek Cypriots attacked his female compatriot in Ayia Napa.

Police said on Wednesday they had located the man, who was among the young woman’s group of friends.

The man was seen taking an object resembling a club out of his car boot in CCTV and other footage scrutinised by the police.

Police said the suspect admitted to possessing the club, which was confiscated as evidence.

Meanwhile, police are still looking into the circumstances of the attack on the Turkish Cypriot woman.

The 25-year-old victim is to report to the Paralimni police station on Wednesday to file an official complaint against two Greek Cypriot men, 22 and 30, who had allegedly attacked and beaten her during an incident on Saturday morning.

Asya Karaali, was pushed, causing her to fall from a two-meter-high wall sustaining injuries, including two broken teeth, a broken finger, and bruises.

In an initial testimony, the woman said that three Greek Cypriot men started flirting with her while walking with her friends in Ayia Napa.

According to her claims, when they found out she was a Turkish Cypriot, they verbally assaulted her, hit her in the face, and pushed her.

On Tuesday afternoon woman gave a supplementary statement and was asked to identify the alleged perpetrators.

However, the two Greek Cypriots arrested are not talking to police officers, stating they will tell the courts what they have to say.

The two men were remanded in custody for four days on Sunday.

The remand expires on Thursday, with police to decide whether to present the case before a court.

Officers have reviewed two videos of the assault posted on social media while asking eyewitnesses to come forward.

Police are also looking into whether there were racist motives behind the attack.

Videos

The first video was posted online by Karaali along with photos of the injuries to her face and hand.

In the video she is seen being hit in the face by a man in a black t-shirt.

A second video captured the 25-year-old woman’s fall and what preceded it.

The people involved were caught arguing in an alley by a church.

At one point, a member of the 25-year-old’s group is being chased and then jumps over the wall, heads to his car, and grabs a club, which he does not appear to use.

The argument continued with the woman being pushed off a wall.

Meanwhile, President Nikos Christodoulides told Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar that there were no racist motives behind the incident.

The President had called up Tatar to condemn Saturday’s incident as “unacceptable”.

He assured that police would investigate and justice would run its course while stressing that the attack was not racially motivated, according to CNA.

On his part, Tatar said: “Such incidents that harm the peaceful climate on the island are unacceptable”.

He vowed that he would not let it go, as he said, attacks on Turkish Cypriots have increased in recent months.

Karaali said she was shocked over the incident but hoped it would not fuel further tension between the two communities but thanked the police for acting swiftly on her complaint.