International community should intervene to terminate plight of missing persons’ relatives, Presidential Commissioner’s Office says

The powerful of the world should take initiatives for the termination of the ongoing tragedy of Cyprus’ missing persons, for the benefit of their relatives, says the Office of the Commissioner of the Presidency, in a message on the occasion of the Day of Missing Persons.


Cyprus commemorates October 29 as the Day of Missing Persons, to mark the day in 1974 when the exchange of prisoners following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was completed, according to a press release by the Presidency of the Republic.


Since then, ”a new tragic period’ for the Greek Cypriots began, a period ”of anguish and search for the hundreds of our compatriots who never returned to their families and since then their fate is unknown”, it is added.


Furthermore, it is noted that Turkey, which is “responsible for creating the problem, but also for perpetuating it to this day with obstacles and tactics, still refuses to cooperate honestly to solve the problem.” It is underlined that “Turkey continues to defiantly and arrogantly disregard the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights as well as other international organisations.”


“We expect civilised humanity, the United Nations, the European Union, but also the powerful of the earth to undertake humanitarian initiatives and contribute substantially and effectively to terminate the ongoing tragedy for the benefit of the missing persons’ families,” the announcement says.


“On our part, we will intensify our efforts and continue with consistency and determination the struggle to ascertain the fate of the last missing person, whether they are a Greek Cypriot, a Greek or a Turkish Cypriot,” the press release concludes.


Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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 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.


Source: Cyprus News Agency