Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said Sunday that Turkey should finally accept its enormous responsibilities and obligations regarding the identification of missing persons, adding that without further delay Turkey should allow, access to so-called military zones for exhumations and investigations and researchers` access to the Turkish army archives.
In his speech at the funeral of Theocharis Theocharous who was killed during the Turkish invasion of 1974 and was identified after DNA analysis of his remains, Photiou said that Turkey should also provide evidence for the deliberate movements of the remains of executed Cypriots to other places. He also said that it is necessary for Turkey to submit information about mass graves.
“I am afraid – and I keep saying and repeating this – that if the same approach from Turkey continues, it is very likely that soon the problem will close with the fate of most of our people staying unverified,” said the Commissioner.
He pledged the government and the relatives of the missing persons, will continue working to ascertain the fate of the missing persons.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
According to the figures by the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) , the remains of 678 Greek Cypriots and 246 Turkish Cypriots have been identified since the beginning of the implementation of the committee’s project. The remains of 832 Greek Cypriots and 246 Turkish Cypriots have not been identified. According to data provided on the CMP website, the total number of missing persons is 2,002, specifically 1,510 Greek Cypriots and 492 Turkish Cypriots.
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.