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Media Watch 2006

25 October 2006
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 25 October 2006.
Greece checking reports that missing used as human guinea pigs
"ATHENS is also evaluating reports that Greek and Greek Cypriot missing from 1974 ended up as guinea pigs in Turkish biochemical experiments, Greece’s Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday."

"ATHENS is also evaluating reports that Greek and Greek Cypriot missing from 1974 ended up as guinea pigs in Turkish biochemical experiments, Greece’s Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday.

"The government is not in a position to confirm the validity of the contents of the specific report. However, Athens is evaluating all relevant information in co-operation with the government of the Republic of Cyprus," Roussopoulos said.

Earlier this week, newspapers quoted the American 'Defence and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy report saying that some of the 1974 missing ended up as guinea pigs in secret Turkish biochemical experiments between 1984 and 1988.

The experiments had been witnessed by Kurds who had themselves managed to escape.

Yesterday Phileleftheros, which was first to publish the contents of the article, spoke Gregory Copley, president of the Washington-based International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), which produces the defence bulletin exclusively for governments.

Copley said the association had a lot of information relating to Greek Cypriots captured in 1974 and used as guinea pigs. He said he was still gathering more information.

“It’s a very hot question for the Turkish military authorities,” he said, adding that day by day more information was emerging about Turkish biological and chemical weapons’ programmes, something they were watching closely.

Copley said he and his associates had been hearing about the programmes for a long time, but had only managed to secure concrete information over the past few months, “which we have published already”.

“Now we are looking for more detailed information,” Copley said.

He said his sources were various people in Turkey, including in the intelligence services.

Copley said he believed that from the moment Turkey captured Greek and Greek Cypriot prisoners in 1974, there was no intention of letting them go, or admit they still had them.

“So they were free to use them as they wished,” he said. Copley said he did not know how many prisoners were involved in the experiments.

He also said the US was keeping a close eye on Turkey’s manufacture of chemical and biological weapons. The Pentagon was one of the subscribers to the ISSA defence bulletin, he said.

Asked if how Washington had reacted to the report, Copley said they simply took the information offered. He also said Turkey was using similar methods against the Kurds.

“This is my opinion,” he said. “At this moment, the Turkish armed forces are ready to undertake a big military enterprise against Kurds from the PKK as well as against other Kurdish groups that have a connection with the PKK in northern Iraq.”"