CMP: Information on the relocation of remains from Ornithi mass grave is reliable

The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) regards as reliable a piece of information concerning the intentional relocation of remains belonging to Greek Cypriot residents of Assia, Nestoras Nestoros, the CMP’s Greek Cypriot member has said.

Briefing on Tuesday the House Committee on Refugees, Enclaved, Missing and Adversely Affected Persons, Nestoros said the information was passed by the CMP’s Turkish Cypriot member, Gulden Plumer Kucuk, and concerns the relocation of remains of people listed as missing from a mass grave in a location known as Ornithi, to the landfill in Dikomo, a village between Nicosia and Kyrenia.

Speaking after the House Committee session, Nestoros said a CMP crew already visited the area to conduct further research. Depending on the outcome, a decision will be taken whether to proceed with an excavation to search for the remains.

Yiannos Demetriou, a spokesperson for the relatives of missing persons from Assia, said Ornithi was the Auschwitz of Cyprus, while adding that Turkey committed war crimes there.

Presidential Commissioner Fotis Fotiou said the CMP decision to inform the relatives was surprising, as no proper investigation has taken place.

He added that the report submitted by Kucuk on this matter is an effort to absolve the Turkish military from its responsibilities, attributing the relocation to a group of five to six individuals.

President of the House Committee, Skevi Koukouma, also shared this view while noting as significant the fact that the Turkish side finally concedes that relocation of remains took place.

Both Fotiou and Koukouma noted that this was the first time the Turkish side acknowledged the relocation.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Assia, a Turkish-occupied village east of Nicosia, has taken a heavy human toll during the Turkish invasion.

Source: Cyprus News Agency