CMP’s work is failing due to Turkey?s lack of cooperation, Commissioner Photiou says

Presidential Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Photis Photiou highlighted Turkey’s political, legal and humanitarian responsibility for the tragedy of the missing persons in Cyprus, during a speech he gave at a conference dedicated to the persons who went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, which was held on Wednesday in Athens.

Commissioner Photiou referred to the process of recovery, identification and return to the families of the remains of missing persons, expressing his concern about the future of CMP’s (Committee on Missing Persons) work. He said that in 2015 156 remains or partial remains were discovered, in 2016 114, while in 2017 only 49 remains of missisng persons were recovered.

“Until this moment, in the first six months of 2018, tragically, only 8 remains of missing persons have been located,” he noted.

The situation is the same as regards the identification of remains, the Presidential Commissioner said, pointing out that according to official figures in the first four monhts of 2018 13 persons were identified, while in 2017 118 persons were identified and in 2016 115.

As he said detection and identification of remains is drastically failing during the last years, due to Turkey?s lack of cooperation. It is thus possible that in the future CMP will not have Greek Cyrpiots’ remains in its laboratories in order to conduct identifications, he noted, adding that “since 1974 Turkey is not cooperating neither assumes responsibility for the solution of this tragedy..

He described the problem of missing persons as the most dramatic aspect of Cyprus’ modern history, reassuring the families concerned that the Republic of Cyprus makes every effort to assure the recovery and the identification of their relatives’ remains, regardless of the progress on discussions about the Cyprus problem.

?he solution of the missing persons tragedy should not be correlated with developments in the Cyprus problem. Unfortunately, Turkey does not share this principled stance, noted Commissioner Photiou.

Regarding the future of discussions on the Cyprus Problem, Photiou expressed the will of the Greek Cypriot side to resume the negotiations on the basis of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Framework.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, most of them combatants but also women, children and elderly people. During the same period and in the early 1960 when intercommunal fighting broke out Turkish Cypriots went missing too.

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 the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a Third Member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.

Source: Cyprus News Agency