Cypriot official accuses Turkey of denying to cooperate on the issue of missing persons

Cyprus Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Photis Photiou accused Turkey of denying to cooperate with a view to ascertaining the fate of the missing persons in Cyprus.

What Turkey is doing, is inhuman and criminal, as it still refuses to cooperate on a humanitarian issue, because the missing persons is not a political issue but an issue touching human lives, Photiou said speaking at the funeral of the remains of Michalis Apostolides, a person killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, whose remains were identified with the method of DNA.

Unfortunately, he added, Turkey does not cooperate despite the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

He criticised Turkey of committing a double crime, as apart from killing women and children, their bodies were thrown into wells and then moved to other burial sites to conceal the horror brought upon our country.

Since then we seek these burial sites where the remains were move but usually to no avail, he went on to say.

Photiou said the missing persons mark the most tragic and most unfair and most painful aspect of the tragedy of the Cypriot people.

The fact that 43 years after (the Turkish invasion) we continue to search for approximately 900 missing persons constitutes a shame for the international community, Photiou added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. 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 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