Turkey bears huge responsibility for the fate of the missing persons, Presidential Commissioner says, CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia 10/06/2021
Turkey bears huge responsibility for the fact that forty-seven years following the Turkish invasion, the fate of the majority of the missing persons remains unresolved, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said on Thursday.
Addressing a board of the Organisation of the relatives of missing persons and undeclared prisoners, Photiou said that “Turkey’s responsibilities are huge,” noting that Ankara limits excavations in so-called military zones, denies access to researchers in the archives of the Turkish military and has imposed a total blackout on the issue of deliberate relocations of bones and mass graves, as if hiding the truth may distort or delete the undisputed historic reality for the crimes it committed in Cyprus.”
Photiou said the work of the Committee of Missing Persons in ascertaining the fate of the missing persons, is not underestimated but he stressed that “Turkish intransigence continues to the detriment of the final solution of a humanitarian issue that hurts us all.”
“It is our debt to fight collectively with a view to curbing Turkish intransigence and put an end with the anguish and pain of the relatives,” he said.
Furthermore, the Commissioner conveyed the President’s and the government’s determination aspiring that the other side will at last assume its responsibilities and will comply with the decision of the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights and other international bodies.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Since then, 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 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974. So far, the remains of 712 Greek Cypriots and 282 Turkish Cypriots were returned to their families. In 2020, the remains of 25 individuals were identified and remains belonging to 10 people were exhumed in various excavations.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY