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Turkey burned mosque during Cyprus conflict, general says

ISTANBUL – Bloomberg | 9/24/2010 12:00:00 AM |

A retired Turkish general has said Turkish authorities burned a mosque on Cyprus to increase civil resistance against Greeks on the disputed island.

Retired Turkish Gen. Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu said Turkish authorities burned a mosque on Cyprus to increase civil resistance against Greeks on the disputed island, private channel Habertürk reported.

Speaking about military strategy during a Habertürk interview, the general said Turks burned a mosque to increase animosity toward Greeks on Cyprus, Habertürk said. He did not say when the mosque-burning occurred. Turkey intervened on the island in 1974 in response to an Athens-backed coup aimed at union with Greece.

Yirmibeşoğlu, who was in charge of civil resistance during the Cyprus war, said it was a rule of war to engage in acts of sabotage made to look as if they were carried out by the enemy.

Yirmibeşoğlu was later named secretary-general of Turkey’s National Security Council.

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