The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe calls on Turkey to ensure that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus has unhindered access to military zones in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.
Following its quarterly meeting in Strasbourg to oversee the execution of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers adopted a decision concerning the “Cyprus v. Turkey” case, recalling the important humanitarian issues which arise in this case as regards the issue of missing persons.
Deputies also “deeply deplored the decision of Turkey not to participate in the discussions and urged the Turkish authorities to resume cooperation with the Committee.”
They reiterated moreover that, due to the passage of time, it remains urgent for the Turkish authorities to provide the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) with all necessary assistance for it to continue to achieve tangible results as quickly as possible.
In this respect they “called upon the Turkish authorities to ensure that the CMP has unhindered access to all areas of interest, including military zones, located in the northern part of Cyprus and to provide the CMP proprio motu with any information from the relevant archives, including military archives, in their possession on burial sites and places of possible relocation of remains.”
The Committee of Ministers also insisted on the unconditional obligation of Turkey to pay the just satisfaction awarded by the European Court in the judgment of 12 May 2014 without further delay and decided to resume consideration of the issue of the missing persons at their December meeting.
In two separate decisions concerning the “Varnava and Others v. Turkey” case on missing persons and the “Xenides-Arestis group v. Turkey” regarding Turkish-occupied properties, the Deputies urge Turkish authorities to resume cooperation with the Committee and insist on Turkey’s unconditional obligation to pay the damages awarded without delay. They decided to resume consideration of both issues next June.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
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.