Presidential Commissioner urges Turkey to cooperate on missing persons in Cyprus

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has conveyed the message that after 44 years the relatives of missing persons from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 should no longer have to live in pain, stressing that Turkey should cooperate, grant access to records, military zones and to information for the intentional transfer of remains from their original burial sites.

Photiou, who was briefing students at the regional high school of Pera Chorio Nisou village on humanitarian issues and the efforts to resolve them during a visit they paid the Presidential Palace, also referred to matters related with the enclaved in the Turkish occupied areas of the island and stressed that Turkey’s provocations within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) cannot be accepted, a presidency press release issued here today says.

The Presidential Commissioner said that both the findings in mass graves and witness accounts and evidence which is found for every missing person’s case are truly shocking to all.

The work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) cannot be overlooked, he noted, adding however that 851 of our compatriots are still missing, which account for the majority of those included in the missing persons list.

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