Turkey bears great responsibilities for the missing persons issue in Cyprus, says Commissioner

Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou, underlined Turkey’s great responsibilities for the missing persons issue of Cyprus.

Speaking during the funeral service of the remains of Panagiotis Avraam who was killed during the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Commissioner said the missing persons issue is the most tragic aspect of the drama that Cyprus went through in the summer of 74’.

We will never, he said, cease working to ascertain the fate of every single case of missing persons. “Turkey’s responsibilities are great on the issue of missing persons”, said Photiou, noting that it refuses to give access to the Turkish military’s archives as well as information as to where remains were moved from their original burial sites.

And this he added, is to hide the great responsibilities Turkey bears for the mass executions of a large number of Cypriots arrested during the invasion “The truth, however, cannot remain hidden. It is a war crime and just as it applies to all war crimes, there is no excuse or mitigating circumstances. No explanations other than the prevalence of irrationality that leads to thousands of unanswered whys”, he added.

Photiou said “we demand nothing more than what other peoples and nations are entitled to. The unacceptable situation with barbed wire and occupation troops that prevails on our island must immediately cease”. Human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all must be restored, he continued and the survival of Cypriot Hellenism in Cyprus should be secured without anachronistic guarantees and third country intervention rights”.

Referring to the 17 year old soldier, Photiou said his remains were located between 2016-2017 and were identified through the DNA process.

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.

Source: Cyprus News Agency