No progress expected on missing persons without cooperation of Turkish army, Commissioner says, CNA 11/05/2022
The 37th Marathon of love for missing persons takes place this year under the moto “Verification of the fate of the missing persons – Help the work of the CMP”. Commissioner Photis Photiou and the Cyprus Organisation of Undeclared Captives and Missing Persons both declared today, during a memorial service at the Tymvos Makedonitissas, that the international community should pressure the Turkish side, to reveal data regarding the burial of missing persons.
Representatives of the state, the church, parties and organisations, as well as friends and relatives of missing persons were present at the event. Out of 1,702 missing persons from the Turkish invasion in 1974, among whom 83 persons from Greece, and the 42 missing persons from the period 1963-1964, 52 persons were found and identified in 1999, while 772 more were identified during 2006-2022.
Commissioner Photiou said that 48 years after the Turkish invasion, the fate of most of the missing persons is yet to be verified. He noted that the work of the CMP is of great importance and has the full support of the state, but he also referred to the hurdles that resulted to a drop in findings in the Turkish occupied areas of the island in recent years.
He explained that the refusal of the Turkish army to allow access to the archives that hold information about group graves and the transfer of remains from group graves to unknown to the Greek Cypriots locations, is causing severe problems in the efforts to verify the fate of all missing persons.
“Unfortunately, without the sincere cooperation of the forces of occupation on the island, we cannot expect any progress,” he said calling for the assistance of the international community, urging the UN and the EU to finally take on a humanitarian initiative and pressure Turkey to release information regarding the missing persons. He also reassured of the state's ongoing support to the families of missing persons and mentioned that finding a few or small parts of bones cannot be considered verification of their fate, as long as what really happened to them remains unknown.
Nikos Sergidis, President of the Cyprus Organisation of Undeclared Captives and Missing Persons said that the pain experienced by the people of Cyprus in 1974 is now experienced by the victims of a new war. Nevertheless, he said, the international community treats the issue of the missing persons of Cyprus with “wishes and bad checks”, unlike the case of the victims of the latest war in Europe.
“We call on the international community to act towards those who hold the key to the resolution of this matter, towards the Turkish side, to disclose information to the CMP, so that the Committee can complete its humanitarian mission,” he said.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY