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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsCyprusIdentification Process Starts on Remains Found in Tymvos

Identification Process Starts on Remains Found in Tymvos

NoratlasA large number of human remains were found in the Tymvos area where the Noratlas aircraft was shot down during the Turkish invasion in 1974.
The aircraft was part of a secret mission from Greece to send reinforcements to the Greek Cypriot National Guard fighting the advancing Turkish troops, which invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. The plane was shot down on July 22nd by friendly fire as Greek Cypriot soldiers mistook it for a hostile aircraft. All but one of its airmen were killed. Thirty-two men were on board the Noratlas aircraft.
The Council of Ministers decided in February 2014 to proceed with the excavations for Noratlas, following a case against the Republic of Cyprus brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2007. The families of two Greek military officers who perished in Noratlas helped to bring the case before the ECHR. The Court unanimously declared the application by the families of the dead airmen inadmissible.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Photis Photiou, visited the site, on Friday, and told the press that the excavation process is close to completion, thereafter the identification process will begin.
He added that once the difficult scientific process of identification is done, he will be in a position to brief the relatives of the Greek airmen and thus put an end to their uncertainty and suffering. Photiou noted he feels that “we have fulfilled our national and moral obligation to the families of the fallen soldiers”.
“Of course we continue to locate human remains and after we complete the excavation, answers will be provided via all the necessary scientific tests, both anthropological and genetic, aiming to identify and return all the remains to the families”, he said. He noted that it is too early to say exactly how many bones were found and to how many people they belong to.
“I think it is inappropriate to create any expectations before scientific tests are completed , I urge you all to have patience, the scientific process is equally as difficult as the process of locating the remains and the aircraft”, he pointed out.
According to Xenophon Kallis, head of the excavation operation: “The aircraft was found upside down, the cockpit facing north towards the Pentadaktylos mountain and the back of the aircraft to the south,” he said.
He explained that at this stage we cannot say scientifically why the aircraft was found in this position.
(Source: CNA)

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