THE Greek Cypriot Member of the Committee on Missing Persons(CMP) Theophilos Theophilou has called on all those who know or have information about the burial sites of missing persons, Turkish Cypriot or Greek Cypriot, to give them to the Committee. In statements on the occasion of Missing Persons Day, declared by the House of Representatives for October 29, he said “the issue of missing persons is the most tragic aspect of the drama which the people of Cyprus have had to live with, for decades.
“The issue of missing persons and the drama of their relatives is at the same time an open wound for all Cypriot society, which includes both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” he added.
He said that “providing this information will facilitate our efforts to establish the fate of Turkish Cypriot missing persons and at the same time, it will help our efforts to establish the fate of many Greek Cypriot missing persons”.
As he said, “the time limits for the investigation of the fate of all missing persons have been narrowed and are being exhausted. We have to open the burial sites now in order to close the wounds”.
According to figures released by the CMP by September 2013 the number of individual remains received from the CMP anthropological laboratory stood at 994, while investigations and excavations were conducted in 785 burial sites (no human remains were found in 516 sites).
The number of missing persons identified has reached 436 (352 Greek Cypriots and 84 Turkish Cypriots). The number of missing persons waiting for an identification stands at 129. A total of 2,001 people were recorded as missing after the 1974 invasion (1,508 Greek Cypriots and 493 Turkish Cypriots).
President of the House Refugees Committee Skevi Koukouma said that the drama of the missing persons will not be solved, if the occupying power, Turkey, does not decide to cooperate by providing all information it has on the fate of the missing persons.
“AKEL will fight to learn about the fate of every Cypriot who has gone missing in the turbulent years of our modern history. Every Cypriot has a responsibility towards finding out the truth, collecting information and carrying out research into this matter,” Koukouma said.
EDEK chief and House president Yiannakis Omirou sent a message of solidarity “until the day when their loved ones are found.”
Omirou urged the international community to exert pressure on Turkey to allow investigations to be carried out into military districts and for the opening of the Turkish army files to commence.
The European party agreed that Turkey is to blame for the continuation of the turmoil that relatives of missing people are still going through.
“Turkey has an obligation to comply with the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights, by making public all held information about the whereabouts of missing persons,” a party statement said.
CMP appeals for information on missing persons