“I was fooled by the devil”
A 30-year old man is being questioned by police over last week’s big blaze. He was arrested for allegedly trying to “restart” part of the big forest fire between Tepebaşı and Kalkanlı ... but police sources say he is also a suspect for originating the blaze.
Yusuf Özgül Sadrazam, a father of four who lives in Akdeniz, appeared at Girne District Court. Police said that on Monday at about 11am, nearly 24 hours after the blaze broke out, he was seen by an eye-witness apparently throwing a flaming barbecue light into the trees.
The person in the car behind him saw what he had done and reported it to the police together with the car number plate, the court was told.
Sadrazam later returned to the scene and recorded himself apparently helping to load a giant water balloon on to a fire-fighting helicopter and was arrested. Reports said that he had a barbecue and flammable materials in his car.
Sources told Cyprus Today that under questioning, he is said to have told police: “I was fooled by the devil.”
Sadrazam is a meter reader for the Electricity Authority, Kıb-Tek. He denies the arson charge and has been remanded in custody.
Cyprus Today’s sister newspaper, Kıbrıs, spoke to a relative, Adem Sadrazam . On behalf of the family Adem Sadrazam said: “If Yusuf has done this, the necessary punishment should be given. But it is unacceptable for the action to be allocated to the entire 2,500 member Sadrazam family, with insults and curses being made to the whole family.
“This is really upsetting to us, it is hurting us,” he said. “I am a nature lover. For years, I have brought tourists to see the monumental olive trees and promote the region. If this child has done this, he should be punished . . .those who know us have called us to say ‘geçmiş olsun’ (sorry to hear what has happened) and to wish us well at this difficult period. Those who don’t know us, are swearing in the most extreme of ways which is unacceptable.
“The region has suffered major fires in 1986, 1995, 2010 and 2018. For years we have asked for the authorities warning them to take action to widen the fire strip in the region, to change the 60-year old electricity poles, and to clean the area.”