In a written statement President Christodoulides expressed his “great sorrow” after being informed of Kallis’ passing, “the man who, like no other, dedicated his life to the struggle to ascertain the fate of our missing persons and to locate and exhume the remains of the dead of the Cyprus tragedy, so that they can be given to their relatives for a normal burial, according to our traditions”.
He notes that he personally knew and worked with the deceased, who, he said, “was a tireless fighter in the struggle of the state and society for our missing and fallen, with unparalleled integrity, highest morals and unique humanity”.
President Christodoulides expresses his deepest condolences to Kallis’ relatives and said that the Government would cover the cost of the funeral.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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 to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974.
According to statistical data published on the CMP website by August 31, 2023 out of 2002 missing persons 1,204 were exhumed and 1,034 were identified. Out of 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 742 were identified and 768 were still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 292 were identified and 200 were still missing.