Defense Minister says that Cyprus’ recent history dictates awareness for reunification
CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia 23/10/2021
Cyprus’ recent history and the tragic events of the 1974 invasion dictate a constant awareness to carry on the struggle to reunite our country, Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides has said.
In an address at the funeral of soldier Stavros Stavrinou, who was killed during the Turkish invasion and his remains were exhumed in 2015 in an area in the occupied town of Keryneia, the Minister said that after 47 years of a painful waiting, today we pay our respects to a fallen soldier who sacrificed his life for his country.
Petrides said that today’s aching ceremony is a reminder that we need to carry on the fight to reunite our island.
Stavrinou joined the army in 1972 and on July 20, 1974 when Turkey invaded the island, he was in Keryneia. When Turkish soldiers entered the city Stavros with five other soldiers of his team found refuge in a house where they stayed for two days. Some of them managed to contact their families. UN men found them in the house but told them that they could not transfer them in areas which were not under Turkish occupation.
Later that day, Turkish army located them and killed four of them. The fifth soldier managed to escape and was freed in October 1974. His testimony of the events was documented and used later.
Photiou says struggle continues for the fate of each of our missing persons
Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou delivered a speech at the funeral of Nikos Nikolaou who was killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion and his remains were located in July 2017.
In his speech he said that despite Turkey`s stance, we continue the struggle to determine the fate of each of our missing persons. He said that currently the fate of more than 780 missing persons remains unresolved.
The pain of the relatives is huge, says FM
The remains of Socrates Christodoulou, a soldier who was killed during the Turkish invasion, was buried on Saturday in his village, Choulou, in Paphos, and Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides delivered a speech. He said that the pain and ordeal of the relatives cannot be comprehended. The Turkish invasion brought pain, drama and atrocities, he added.
Christodoulou was killed in Keryneia and his remains were found in recent excavations in Morphou.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third. Numerous rounds of talks under the UN aegis to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.
Since the Turkish invasion the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning to their relatives the remains of missing persons.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY