Γραφείο Επιτρόπου Προεδρίας

EXHUMATION OF REMAINS OF THE VICTIMS OF ATHALASSA'S MENTAL HOSPITAL AFTER THE BOMBING OF THE TURKISH AIR FORCE



ATHALASSA'S MENTAL HOSPITAL BOMBED

In July 1974 the Turkish air force bombed with napalm bombs the Athalassa Mental Hospital. As a result of the bombing the hospital was completely destroyed. According to the information collected at the time, more than 31 patients and a member of the medical staff of the hospital as well as a reservist of the National Guard lost their lives during the bombing of the Turkish air force.

According to a list which was prepared at the time by the Ministry of Health, among the dead were also three Turkish Cypriot patients.  Due to the conditions that prevailed at the time as well as of the injuries caused to the dead by the napalm bombs, the dead bodies of the patients were collected and buried in the craters, which were created by the explosions of the napalm bombs.

The Council of Ministers for humanitarian reasons, decided the exhumation and identification of the remains, which were buried in the wider area of Athalassa hospital.

Following the decision of the Council of Ministers in August 2017, an investigative excavation was carried out in order to locate a possible burial site.  The investigative excavation was deemed necessary because of the changes that occurred in the area as a result of the construction of the new buildings and roads.  During the investigative excavation human remains were located..  

The main excavation work started in November 2017 and focused on a large crater in which, according to information secured, in July 1974 11 persons were buried.  As a result of intensive and further investigations, information was secured about the existence of other burial sites in the wider area.  As a result of the excavations in the area of the Athalassa Mental hospital, three burial sites were located.

The excavations were carried out by a team of Greek Cypriot archaeologists and the anthropological examinations by Dr Constantine  Eliopoulos. The genetic analyses were carried out by a team of geneticists of the Institute of Neurology and Genetics of Cyprus headed by professor Dr Marios Cariolou.  It should be noted that it was a very difficult excavation because the area was contaminated with asbestos.

Until now the remains of six Greek Cypriots and one Turkish Cypriot patients were identified and released to their families for a decent burial. ... PLEASE SEE BELOW THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION


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