Remains of Greek nationals fallen in 1974 to be returned to relatives

An official ceremony will be held on Friday, May 26, in Nicosia, to hand over the remains or part of the remains of 17 Greek nationals who fell during the 1974 Turkish invasion. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will attend the ceremony, while the Greek government will be represented by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos.

According to an announcement by the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues, the remains have been identified through DNA tests. Of these, seven cases were identified through the exhumation and identification program of the Republic of Cyprus, in in the free areas of the Republic, and the other 10 cases were identified by the program run by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

The ceremony will be held at 9 am local time (6am GMT) in the Church of the Holy Wisdom, in Strovolos. Relatives of the fallen from Greece have been invited and will attend the event. Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II will officiate the memorial service.

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.