missing persons

The remains of 518 Greek Cypriots and Greek nationals as well as 181 Turkish Cypriots have been identified according to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP)

Nestoras Nestoros, who is the Greek Cypriot representative of CMP, recently informed the House Refugees Committee of the figure.

According to Nestoros, the remains of 15 Greek Cypriots and 100 Turkish Cypriots have as yet not been analysed while a further 145 remains are in the process of being analysed.

Nestoros also noted that there were remains of over 50 Greek Cypriots, which due to the lack of available genetic material or the absence of genetic coding in the CMP databanks, could not be identified.

The CMP exhumation and identification programme started in 2006 with the aim of identifying and exhuming possible burial sites following witness testimony.

To date, 306 of the 1,096 sites excavated have revealed human remains. The Turkish Military gave permission in 2015 for the CMP to excavate in 30 sites within declared military zones. Of the nine such excavations in 2016, human remains were found in Agios Dometios and Voni.

One of the most difficult aspects of the programme is the systematic removal of remains.

Scientifically backed cases show that in the case of the mass graves of the missing from Assia and the missing from Strongylos who were buried in Sinta, and the villages of Kornokipos and Ayios Ilarionas remains have definitely been removed.

Remains belonging to 126 people have been found in these areas.

The CMP has categorised the missing into three groups:

Greek Cypriots and Greeks nationals: 1,508 resulting from the Turkish Invasion including 44 cases from 1963-64 and 555 fatalities in 1974. A total of 126 persons were placed in a separate category from the initial 1,619 declared missing from 1974.

Turkish Cypriots: Includes 493 cases from 1963-64 and 1974. 26 new cases were added to the list following testimony from relatives. There are eight KIAs recorded.

Greek Soldiers: Four people declared missing between 1963-67. A total of 13 soldiers declared missing while serving in the Cyprus Army in 1974, and a total of 59 soldiers serving in the Greek contingent (ELDYK) in 1974. To date the remains of 14 soldiers serving in 1974 have been identified and two from the period 1963-64

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