Aristotelous pledges that struggle for missing persons will go on, CNA 28/09/2023
Head of the humanitarian affairs for missing persons and the enclaved, Anna Aristotelous, met on Thursday with Harita Mandoles - a Greek Cypriot refugee from Kyrenia - and assured her that the government will continue the struggle for the identification of all missing and the return of their remains to their beloved.
An announcement by the Presidency, circulated by PIO, describes Mandoles as a symbol of Cyprus and the relatives of the missing persons as she lost her husband and many relatives during the 1974 illegal invasion of Cyprus by Turkey.
Mandoles told Aristotelous that the visit is like the state has visited her home. Aristotelous said that Harita Mandoles went through a lot and that the tragic events she experienced have made her a symbol for the fighting spirit, endurance and perseverance.
She added that her visit is a small tribute to the woman, wife, mother, daughter, who witnessed unimaginable tragic events and the suffering as a result of the Turkish invasion.
Aristotelous said that the President of the Republic will continue to support and be by the side of women who fight selflessly, like Mandoles, who is a modern example of a continuous and active struggle for the identification of the fate of all our missing.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
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.
According to statistical data published on the CMP website by August 31, 2023 out of 2002 missing persons 1,204 were exhumed and 1,034 were identified. Out of 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 742 were identified and 768 were still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 292 were identified and 200 were still missing.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY