Attackers of Turkish Cypriot woman sent to trial

2349 views
1 min read

Two Greek Cypriots arrested for attacking 25-year-old Turkish Cypriot Asya Karaali in Ayia Napa will stand trial on 6 July, announced the Famagusta District Court.

The two suspects, aged 22 and 30, were arrested on Sunday, remanded in custody, but released until their trial date.

The two men will not be charged with racism, as police said no evidence emerged that the attack was racially motivated.

They will face charges of assault, causing grievous bodily harm, and offences under the Law of Prevention and Combating of Violence Against Women, providing up to five years in prison.

Police investigations are ongoing to identify the third person, who appears to have been with the two suspects in Ayia Napa during the attack.

Police are going through CCTV surveillance tapes to identify the third suspect.

On Wednesday, Karaali gave testimony about the incident to the police, which occurred near the church in the centre of Ayia Napa.

Karaali had been Ayia Napa with her friends for a night out when the two Greek Cypriots approached her, and an argument broke out between the two groups.

In an initial testimony, the woman said 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.

In an interview with Turkish Cypriot media, Karaali said she could not be sure the attack had racist motives, but her attackers acted after she had pushed back their alleged advances.

“I was attacked after I was asked if I was Turkish. Chances are that they would have attacked me even if I had said that I was Spanish,” said Karaali.

A friend of Karaali’s had pulled out a club from the boot of a car during the confrontation.

Appearing in court on Thursday, the judge said that the man would not be charged criminally but would have strict recommendations made to him by the police.

The man was arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon.

Videos

The incident occurred on Saturday morning, recorded by Karaali on her mobile phone and a CCTV camera.

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 when the woman was pushed off a three-metre wall.

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”.

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