One more enclaved, Antonis Sammoutis from Turkish occupied Kormakitis, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 70. 

His funeral took place in the government-controlled areas where he was recently receiving palliative care in a nursing home.

President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides was represented at the funeral by head of Humanitarian Affairs for Missing and Enclaved Persons Anna Aristotelous who said in her speech that Antonis Sammoutis, despite the difficulties he faced, both himself and all our enclaved, never abandoned his village.

“He chose after the Turkish invasion to remain in the place where he was born,” she said, noting that he preferred to suffer the adversities of the Turkish occupation in his daily life, rather than leave his home, his roots, the narrow streets of Kormakitis where he grew up.

Aristotelous noted that unfortunately, the number of the enclaved people is decreasing and emphasised that we all have the obligation to support those who chose the most difficult path, to keep our occupied villages alive.

She also said that we will continue the struggle and every effort that will contribute both to improving and upgrading the living conditions of our enclaved as well as to supporting those who resettle.

The Head of Humanitarian Affairs laid a wreath on behalf of the President of the Republic.

As a result of the Turkish military invasion and occupation in 1974, 20,000 Greek-Cypriots and Maronites chose not to leave their homes despite the Turkish occupation. Most of those who remained, mainly on the Karpasia Peninsula, were gradually forced to abandon the area. The number of Greek-Cypriots and Maronites currently living in the area has plummeted to 300 persons.

This dramatic decrease in the number of enclaved people is striking considering that based on the agreement reached in Vienna on 2 August 1975, the Turkish side would have to provide the enclaved population with “every help to lead a normal life, including facilities for education and the practice of their religion, as well as medical care by their doctors of preference and freedom of movement in the North”.

In breach of this agreement, on a practical level, the Turkish side subjected the enclaved to constant harassment, restrictions on movement, denial of access to adequate medical care, denial of adequate facilities for education, especially beyond elementary education restrictions on the right to use their property and the free exercise of their religious rights. It was, thus, a deliberate policy of national cleansing, forcing the enclaved to flee their homes.

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