The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, is in Cyprus to co-ordinate aid for the estimated 200,000 Cypriots who have been driven from their homes in the recent fighting.
GV Sadruddin Aga Khan and press party held up on road
SV INT Greek Cypriots being held prisoner in church (2 shots)
CU Sadruddin talking to refugee
CU Boy with bandaged head speaks
CU Sadruddin speaks to official
SV Boy talking to Sadruddin
SV Boy starts to get into car, Turkish officer pulls him out of car and marches him back to church.
REPORTER: "A church some miles away turned out to be the effective prison of nearly two hundred Greek Cypriot. Mostly elderly, they appeared generally to be in good spirits. But as he talked the Prince heard of a fourteen year old boy, evidently wounded in the head in the recent fighting."
BOY: "My father is in Libya.
U.N. OFFICIAL: "He is the only boy here who has a bullet wound. Let's just take him in our car, get the thing done. He is obviously quite well, he can walk, it's not necessary ... (INDISTINCT BABBLE OF SEVERAL VOICE) ... arguing with turkish soldier."
PRINCE SADRUDDIN: "We take him out and then we send him back, under our protection ... all right, very good, you come with us."
REPORTER: "On promise of returning the boy, medical treatment for Geordi Ayarsis seemed assured. But another Turkish officer had different ideas, Prince Aga Khan or no..." BABBLE OF VOICES IN GREEK AND TURKISH.
REPORTER: "So, despite objections from a U.N. officer and the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Refugees Geordi Ayarsis was marched back to captivity. The Turkish army had asserted its authority."
Initials BB/0209 MF/AW/BB/0227
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, is in Cyprus to co-ordinate aid for the estimated 200,000 Cypriots who have been driven from their homes in the recent fighting.
On Saturday (24 August) he visited a church near Nicosia where about 200 Greek Cypriots have taken refuge. He was told by one of them that food was in short supply and then he was introduced to a fourteen year-old boy who had been wounded in the head after the rest of his family had been killed, except for the father who was absent in Libya.
Prince Sadruddin and his aides attempted to take the boy away for medical treatment, promising to bring him back later. At first one of the Turkish army officers controlling the area agreed, but as the boy was entering the U.N. car another Turkish officer dragged him away and forced him to return to the church.
At the start of his visit to Cyprus Prince Sadruddin said that the U.N. was trying to aid the people who have been affected by the tragic events in Cyprus and help them to lead as normal a life as possible. He also indicated that the U.N. might launch an international appeal for refugee aid in Cyprus.
BBC reporter Mike McKay was with Prince Sadruddin and his delegation during the visit to the church. A transcript of his description of the incident, together with conversation between the U.N. delegation, Greek Cypriot refugees and Turkish officers follows.
SYNOPSIS: The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, is in Cyprus to study the problems faced by the island's estimated two hundred thousand refugees who have been made homeless during the recent fighting. On Saturday he visited a church near Nicosia where two hundred Greek Cypriots are effectively imprisoned by the turkish army. B.B.C. reporter Mike McKay was there to record what happened.....