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Turkish Violence Evinces Attitude on Life, Law

I would like to draw attention to two very recent incidents between Greece and Turkey. These incidents provide valuable insight in the way each country handles strained Greek-Turkish relationships. Most importantly, they clearly show each country's attitude on human life, military honor, and international law.

The description that follows is based on Reuters' reports:

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, a Turkish F-16 fighter plane crashed in the Aegean Sea after repeated violations of the Greek airspace. More than 50 Turkish provocations had been recorded since the beginning of a joint Greek-Cypriot military exercise on Monday, Oct. 7.

The Turkish F-16 crashed after being intercepted by two Greek Mirage 2000s. The crash has been attributed to mechanical failures very common among Turkish-assembled F-16s. Greek naval forces rescued the pilot and took him to a hospital on the Greek island of Chios. After receiving treatment for body burns, he was returned to Turkey.

On Sunday, Turkish Cypriot soldiers killed a Greek Cypriot civilian near the eastern end of the buffer zone in the divided island of Cyprus. This territory is under the control of British United Nations forces. The civilian, Petros Kakoullis, had apparently lost his orientation while collecting snails and posed absolutely no threat to the soldiers.

According to an eyewitness, at the time of the shooting Kakoullis had his arms raised as a result of a warning by the Turkish soldiers. He was shot twice. When he fell to the ground, the Turkish soldiers approached him and fired a third shot to finish him. The soldiers left Kakoullis on the ground for four hours before carrying his body to their territory.

At the time of this writing, the body had not yet been returned to Kakoullis' family. The Greek Cypriot government spokesman said that the incident qualifies as a cold-blooded murder.

Thucydides Xanthopoulos G