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All 19 Zahra Street fight suspects on bail

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Zahra Street (Photo: Tom Cleaver)

All 19 people accused of taking part in a mass brawl on northern Nicosia’s popular Zahra Street last week were released on bail on Wednesday.

In court, police officer Emin Gunal explained that one of the suspects who has not yet been arrested had placed golf clubs in a vehicle, before driving to the scene of the fight with one of those who had already been arrested.

He also said that one of the four suspects who are below the age of 18 had been “seriously beaten” during the fight, and that investigations had revealed he had been beaten by a person who had not yet been arrested.

All 19 were released on differing bails depending on the severity of the crimes they committed and their ages.

At a prior court hearing on Monday, prosecutor Senem Palabiyik had said the fight “caused outrage in society”, while Turkish Cypriot Nicosia Mayor Mehmet Harmanci had described the fight as a “mafia exercise”.

“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,” Harmanci said.

Zahra Street is located in Nicosia’s old town, atop the western side of the city walls. In recent years, it has become a hub of social spaces, cafes, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues.

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