PRESIDENTIAL Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots Fotis Fotiou said yesterday he had received several applications from young Greek Cypriots under a resettlement programme for the Greek Cypriot enclave of Karpasia and the Maronite village of Kormakitis in the north of the island.
Fotiou was speaking after he briefed AKEL chief Andros Kyprianou on the scheme but gave little information.
“When we are ready with the particular scheme, we well give information on this matter as well, quite possibly by the end of September,” he said
“We have several applicants both for Karpasia and to Kormakitis, but to achieve this objective we must have some incentives and significant help from the state to enable these people to start a new life in their villages. This is not an easy task, but we have discussed with the competent ministries a series of incentives that could be given,” he added.
He also said that he briefed the Secretary General of AKEL on the latest developments regarding the search for the Noratlas plane that was shot down by friendly fire during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus at the Tomb of Makedonitissa – a military cemetery and war memorial – in Nicosia killing all but one of its airmen on board.
Excavations to locate the remains of 19 Greek airmen began last Monday, at the site where the Noratlas crashed.
The aircraft was part of a secret mission from Greece to reinforce the Greek Cypriot National Guard fighting the advancing Turkish troops, equipped with the state of the art military hardware, which invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. The plane was shot down on July 22 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 Greek Noratlas.
Fotiou also said the work of the Committee on Missing Persons must be expedited and warned against long delays. “I am sorry to say that if we continue at the current pace, the issue of missing persons will remain an unresolved humanitarian issue,” he warned.