The work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus is gradually becoming more difficult, as only eight successful excavations have been carried out since the beginning of 2018, in contrast with previous years.
Nestoras Nestoros, the Greek Cypriot member of the CMP, told the Cyprus News Agency that “the work of the CMP has run into difficulties in the last few months”, as the CMP statistics show for the first four months of 2018.
According to the data, there were 49 exhumations in 2017, down from 114 in 2016 and 156 in 2015.
CMP teams are currently excavating eight locations in the Turkish occupied part of the island and one location in the Republic.
Turkey has submitted a memorandum on this issue, ahead of a Committee of Ministers meeting in Strasbourg, next week, saying that the Turkish side continues to respond to specific requests from the CMP.
Ankara says that an “archive committee” recently provided aerial photos from 1974 and also gave information about the exact location of military areas in the northern part of Cyprus “to help the CMP to prepare its excavation planning for the following years”.
“I state categorically that no such information was conveyed to the CMP” Nestoros said, when asked to comment on the issue. He added that the reduction of successful excavations is not unrelated to this matter.
According CMP figures, identifications have also fallen, from 118 in 2017 to 13 in the first four months of this year.
Of the 13 identified this year, 12 were Greek Cypriots and one Turkish Cypriot.
The number of Greek Cypriots identified so far is 659, with 851 still missing. There have also been 211 identifications of Turkish Cypriots, with 281 still missing.