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Relatives of Cypriots Missing Since 1974 Ask Turkey for Info

cyprus_2012Relatives of the Cyprus missing have requested Turkey provide all the necessary information about the fate of the Cypriots who went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the summer of 1974.
The President of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), Nicos Sergides, highlighted the issue at a Tuesday press conference for the 29th Marathon of Love for Missing Persons. He said that Turkey has information about the missing people but even after 40 years, they still wish not to cooperate with either the International Red Cross nor with the CMP, which has undertaken the difficult task of tracking, identifying and returning the remains of the missing people to their relatives.
Sergides asked all parties to cooperate with the CMP and provide it with all information available about the missing Cypriots. He also requested immediate access to those areas where further investigation is required.
According to Sergides, the remains of 1,073 people have so far been exhumed, 491 of whom have been identified by DNA testing to be 366 Greek Cypriots and 125 Turkish Cypriots.
Moreover, Nicos Theodosiou, the executive secretary of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons, expressed his complete support for the CMP and stressed Turkey’s refusal to cooperate. He also said that several petitions on the issue will be delivered to EU and international bodies and that the Committee will make representations to the Council of Europe, the European Union and the UN.
Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus, Chysostomos II, who also attended the press conference, said that the issue of the missing persons is a humanitarian issue and not a political or a military one, and urged Turkey to demonstrate good will for the suffering families.
The 37% of Cyprus – an EU member-state since 2004 – has been occupied by Turkish troops since the 1974 invasion, which resulted in 1,619 Greek Cypriots going missing. Furthermore, 41 more cases of missing Greek Cypriots have been recently added from the period between 1963 and 1964, when an inter-communal fighting happened but none of them has been identified yet. Turkish Cypriots missing number 503 since 1974 and 1963/64.

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