Cyprus Mail

Committee to search for remains of missing in former landfill

File photo

The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) is to visit a former landfill in Dikomo in the north, where the remains of around 70 people from Assia, who were murdered by Turkish soldiers during the 1974 invasion, are believed to be buried.

According to the Greek Cypriot member of the CMP, Nestoras Nestoros, the Turkish Cypriot side submitted information based on testimonies of six Turkish Cypriots, who were involved in transferring the remains of more than 70 people from a mass grave in Ornithi, to a landfill in Dikomo. The transfer reportedly occurred sometime in 1995 or 1996.

“The move of the remains by the occupation army was an attempt at eliminating evidence of the mass murder,” Nestoros told Sigmalive.

In total 105 individuals – 75 from Assia and 30 from other villages – aged between 11 and 84 captured in Assia, a village in the Mesaoria plain, disappeared during the invasion and are considered among the missing.

The landfill was reportedly open until 2002. After it was closed, the regime in the north covered the garbage with soil and planted trees on top, utilising EU funds.

The CMP had discovered during excavations at the mass grave in Ornithi between 2009 and 2010 that part of the remains had been moved, but had no information where they were taken.

So far, the remains of around 30 people from Assia were found and identified.

Nestoros said that the CMP was to visit the area in the coming days.

“The goal is to dig up the area, no matter the level of difficulty,” Nestoros said. The CMP, he said, had already informed the committee of relatives of missing persons from Assia.

According to the latest data provided by the CMP, of the 1510 Greek Cypriots listed as missing persons, 637 have been identified so far, while of the 492 missing Turkish Cypriots, 197 have been identified. The CMP is currently working on the identification of the remains of 408 more persons.


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