Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday the information that came to light recently about the possible remains of 100 missing Greek Cypriots allegedly buried in Assia would be carefully evaluated.
In a written statement Akinci said: “I have already spoken with the Turkish Cypriot member of the CMP regarding this matter.”
He said that as the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, “and as a human being” he was committed to the joint call he and President Nicos Anastasiades made for those with information on the missing persons to come forward.
“I once again would like to emphasise that I would like all necessary action to be taken as rapidly as possible so that all missing persons, regardless of whether they are Greek or Turkish Cypriot, are found and the pain of their relatives is relieved at least to some extent,” said Akinci.
According to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), 104 missing persons are being sought in the vicinity of Assia, of whom the remains of 80 have already been identified.
A tip to Politis newspaper referred to more than 100 other bodies at a site near Assia, where the remains of tens of Greek Cypriot missing persons were moved and buried in the early 1990s.
If confirmed, the CMP has said, this would corroborate the suspicion that the bones moved did not only come from persons missing in the Assia area.
Ankara has recently granted access to 30 ‘military areas’ in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus for excavations by the CMP over the next three years. Akinci said this move and the fact the Assia claims would be looked into were a testament to “our positive attitude about all issues concerning the missing people”.
“It is certain that the information that came to the agenda lately regarding the 100 missing Greek Cypriots, who were allegedly buried in Paşaköy (Assia) and were later replaced, will be carefully evaluated,” Akinci said.
“The issue of missing persons is our common pain. As we stated in our common call as the two leaders, over the years the number of both the relatives of the missing persons and the people who might have been witnesses, decreases. Therefore, the information pursuant to our call should be evaluated rapidly and seriously. There is no doubt that the Committee on CMP maintains its works with utmost sensitivity within the framework of their established rules,” he added.