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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsCyprusThe Remains of 15 Greek Soldiers have been Identified in Cyprus

The Remains of 15 Greek Soldiers have been Identified in Cyprus

cyprus greek soldiers remainsPhotis Photiou, the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots had announced that the remains of 15 Greeks of the NORATLAS aircraft have been identified.
The bodies of the soldiers had been buried in the UN-controlled buffer zone near the non-functioning Nicosia Airport. The NORATLAS was shot down in 1974 by friendly fire during the Turkish invasion. There are still three soldiers killed in the incident whose remains have yet to be discovered and identified.
Photiou commented about the three missing soldiers as he reviewed the progress made thus far in the recovery and identification process saying, “With the DNA method remains have been identified, some nearly complete, belonging to 15 Greek commandos aboard the NORATLAS aircraft, shot down in July 1974 by friendly fire. This number was the goal of the excavation. From the 31 commandos and crew members, 28 have been identified so far.”
After the presentation of the results confirming the DNA of the soldiers Photiou also added his apologies “to the families of the heroes, for the long delay to proceed to this excavation.”
There are still many Greek Cypriots who are listed as missing in Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of the northern portion of the island in 1974. Many were soldiers or reservists who were captured during battle and were never heard of again. This has prompted the formation of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), which focuses on exhuming, identifying and returning the remains to family members.
The process of recovery and identification of the soldiers’ remains is important in providing families closure in regards to the loss of their loved ones. The Ambassador of Greece in Cyprus, Elias Photopoulos, was grateful to the government of Cyprus as well as the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics who helped in the DNA identification process.
“Our duty is to talk to the relatives of those people and provide them with the right information in order to complete as soon as possible the return of the remains to Greece,” Photopoulos said.

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