NEWS

'Arrest warrant' issued for Greek-Cypriot teen over removal of Turkish flag

TAGS: Cyprus, Turkey

Authorities in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus have issued an arrest warrant for a 16-year-old Greek-Cypriot boy for allegedly taking down a Turkish flag from a schoolyard in the occupied town of Lysi.

The incident took place on September 8, during a “pilgrimage” by some 2,000 Greek Cypriots to the occupied town, known as Akdogan in Turkish, where they also held a church service for the first time after 45 years, Kathimerini's Cyprus edition reported.

Citing Turkish-Cypriot media, the report suggested that CCTV footage shows the 16-year-old boy taking down the Turkish flag after jumping over a fence into the schoolyard. Authorities there also accuse him of making off with a portrait of the late Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash from a classroom.

The teen took both items with him to the government-controlled areas, which he reached using the Pergamos crossing.

The Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus is recognized only by Ankara.

According to Turkey's Hurriyet, efforts were made by the office of Kudret Ozersay, who is responsible for foreign affairs in the breakaway north, for the flag and photograph to be returned via the United Nations before the arrest warrant was issued on Thursday.

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