Turkish-Armenian Cyprus war veteran laid to rest in Istanbul
AA photoMurat Mihran İşler, a Turkish-Armenian veteran of the Turkish army’s move on Cyprus in 1974, was laid to rest in Istanbul on Aug. 22.
A funeral ceremony was held at the Virgin Mary Armenian Church in the Kumkapı neighborhood for the 64-year-old veteran, with the attendance of his wife Maryam, sons Aliksan, Arda and Sevan, the Istanbul Garrison Commander Brig. Sadettin Alp Ergin, members of the Turkish War Veterans Association, religious figures and his relatives.
İşler’s coffin in a Turkish flag was carried on the shoulders of soldiers as they later held a vigil until the funeral ceremony at the church.
Speaking at the ceremony, Archbishop Mağakya Beskisizyan said İşler, who had been living in Istanbul since 1979, had achieved great success in the jewelry sector and was a renowned figure in the Grand Bazaar.
He said veterans were the pride of the nation, adding that despite their sadness over their loss, veterans carried the honor.
Following the ceremony, İşler’s body was transferred to the Balıklı Armenian Cemetery to be laid to rest.
Turkey launched the Cyprus Peace Operation on July 20, 1974 as a guarantor power to the eastern Mediterranean island as troops intervened in the northern part in response to a coup aimed at unification with Greece.
Some 498 Turkish soldiers were killed during the operation along with dozens of casualties from the Turkish Cypriot fighters.