Nineteen Turkish Cypriots arrested for fighting in the streets of north Cyprus

A total of 19 people were arrested and detained by Turkish Cypriot police as of Monday following a mass brawl that occurred in Zahra Street in Lefkosia on Thursday last week.

Four of those arrested, all male aged 16, appeared in a Lefkosia court on Monday.

Police told the court that those involved had “caused fear, panic, and concern among the public” when the fight broke out.

The police said they had launched a “comprehensive investigation” into the matter, and that there was a “high possibility” of charges of possessing an offensive weapon and causing serious bodily harm being brought against some of those arrested.

The four in court together were all remanded in custody for two days. The fifth person to appear in court, whose age was not disclosed, was remanded for one day.

A further fourteen males, aged between 17 and 34, all appeared in court on Saturday, with police saying the fight had broken out due to “pre-existing hostility” between the men and boys.

He said at the time that a further 25 people were wanted. As of Monday, 20 people are still wanted by police in connection with the fight.

The 14 arrested on Saturday were remanded in custody for three days.

On Friday, the Mayor of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci described the fight as a “mafia exercise”, while eyewitnesses said the street had “turned into a warzone”.

“What happened last night on Zahra Street was not just a simple fight, but power exercises carried out by mafia groups, as happens in every area of the country,” Harmaci said.

Addressing the mafia groups himself, he said “the point to which you have brought this country is chaos in every domain. We are not part of your order; we created what we created with our fingernails.”

“We will not waste the success of the old town on you,” he said.

Zahra Street is located in the Lefkosia’s city center west of the city walls.

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