The Committee on Missing Persons is continuing the efforts to locate the remains of missing persons and identify their fate and is currently conducting six excavations in the occupied and free territories of Cyprus, Greek Cypriot side interim representative to the CMP, Nicos Theodosiou, said on Monday, while the Archbishop, the House Refugee Committee chairman and relatives’ organisation ask for more pressure on Turkey from all sides on the issue.

Speaking at a press conference held on Monday at the Archdiocese for the launch of the 38th Missing Persons’ Love Marathon, the Greek Cypriot side’s interim representative to the Committee on Missing Persons Nicos Theodosiou said that so far 776 Greek Cypriot missing persons have been identified and 17 from the period 1963-’64, while another 772 remain missing.

Regarding the Committee’s work, he said that it had been decided in 2019 that permits would be given for 10 military sites per year in the occupied territories, but as there was not enough time to investigate all 10 sites, the work continued the following year.

He added that five excavations are currently being carried out in the occupied areas and one in the free areas, namely in Gypsοu, Dikomo, Famagusta, Gerolakkos, Palaikythro and Strovolos, while the minimum number of people involved in the excavations is five.

Archbishop Georgios said that it is time, after almost half a century, for all those in and outside the country who have the ability to do so, to exert pressure on Turkey and convince it to give answers, as beyond the political nature of the problem, finding the missing persons will help restore a friendly, tolerable relationship between all the people of the island”.

“I consider this an appropriate opportunity to appeal to everyone to press for the determination of the fate of our missing persons,” the Archbishop noted.

On his part, the Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Refugees-Enclaved-Missing-Adversely Affected Persons, Nicos Kettiros, stressed that this year’s marathon is taking place in a difficult period for the Cyprus problem, since the stagnation in recent years leads to new negative developments, which, especially in the recent period in Famagusta, bring the Cyprus problem in an even more difficult situation.

Regarding the determination of the fate of the missing persons, Kettiros said that the efforts and pressures exerted seem not to have yielded the desired results so that Turkey would provide specific information on sites in occupied Cyprus where there are mass graves of missing persons, adding that the international community and the European Union must exert pressure where necessary in order for the efforts to resume and bear fruit.

The president of the Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons Nicos Sergides said that the Committee on Missing Persons is facing difficulties and unjustified delays, as since 2004, when Turkey agreed to participate, only about half of the cases have been covered.

Sergides also referred to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is in charge of monitoring Turkey’s compliance with the European Court of Justice’s decision on missing persons, noting that there are worrying moves which promote the idea that Turkey has done enough on this issue and that this monitoring should be stopped and described that as a serious setback on the issue of missing persons, noting that this would also be a mockery for Europe, which, he said, wants to be known for its respect for human rights.

Asked about contacts at the diplomatic and inter-parliamentary level to put pressure on the Turkish side, Kettiros said that the Council of Europe plays a key role, including in monitoring the issue of compensation to be paid by Turkey to the relatives of missing and enclaved persons, adding that counterefforts have been confirmed by Turkey itself, but also by the Cyprus Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for the diplomatic handling of the issue.

One Response to CMP carrying out excavations in six areas across the Cyprus for missing persons

  1. …indeed, let’s not forget who died mostly, murdered and/or made to disappear at the hands of “Greeks” and “Turks”: those not “Them”, Greeks and Turks more reasoned, civil, and unarmed.

    Here are our Heroes, in unmarked graves. Citizens of the World, members of a single race called Human who did not fail ‘us’; would we fail them? Cypriots must persevere. In this world that cannot (read: will not) find the Problem’s solution it is even more important to demonstrate that ‘we’ exist, the other half, those of us who value Universal Principles more than mythic dogma.

    …enosis, i pray that Cypriots take back the word by giving it a Cypriot meaning. I hope to see them making souvla on their beaches under their Flag, the one that “They” treat as a rag, the Flag of Cyprus; who would be against it?

    …let us not forget that having torn this island in two, nothing has changed. All across this island there are Cypriots who while silent vote; Cyprus is Cypriot thanks to them: this is worth noting.

    …as for the missing, a single monument honouring them found and unfound, as i understand is what the survivors want. Where is it, a day in our year to remember these fallen? And where we can come together to remember them for who they were: not “Greeks” or “Turks” but Cypriots.

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