Geoff Hazel - Hunting in the buffer zone

Running time
2 min 17 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


There was a big change with the second tour, a lot of change. But probably the first tour, just to concentrate on that a little bit, in that, that was a perfect opportunity for me to learn how the UN works, because you could pick up the diary for any year, proceeding the one you're in, flip through the page, and you'd find what's going to happen tomorrow, because the same things happen.

The severity of them varied, but the two main events that caused this problem were the hunting season, small game and big game. Now big game is rabbit in Cyprus and the two demonstration seasons. Now each of those is about six weeks, so you've got somewhere between 18 and 24 weeks of the year, where there is a lot of problems, and you've just got to meet them.

Some years, it's not too bad, some years the demonstrations get worse. After I left, there were people shot at demonstrations. One of our problems was the hunting season because all the Greeks wanted to go and hunt in the buffer zone. Traditionally, that's where we go every year to hunt. Well, they never used to. But anyhow, because they couldn't go in, they went in. And we ran into one group in the middle of the buffer zone. And I was there with one of our patrol. And I knew the bloke that was leading the hunters. He was one of the senior Cyprus police officers. And one of them fired the shotgun overhead a couple of times.

And that's when the British section that were behind us, came up and stood in front of us, and they decided to go home. But he had with him, the first secretary of the Russian embassy, or it was the Russian embassy then. He was taking him hunting, and he was embarrassed he was being ordered out of the buffer zone. So, that was sort of thing they ran. The demonstrations, sometimes they were violent, yes. But the secret was, if it looks like turning really bad, get behind the barbed wire and shut the gate. It's that simple.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.