Turkey must demonstrate the necessary will to end the pain and suffering of all relatives of the missing, Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Photis Photiou said on Sunday at the funeral of Nicos Pyros, who has been missing since 1974.
“The responsibilities of the Turkish side on the issue of the missing are huge,” Photiou said at the ceremony at a church in Latsia.
He said the Turkish army must allow without any restrictions exhumations in so-called military areas, as well as the access of researchers to its archives, where there is certain evidence of more missing persons and burials.
“We are here to accompany to his final resting place a citizen, unarmed, who was murdered,” Photiou said.
Pyros was married with three children, Charalambos, Andreas and Sotiris, all of whom as well as there mother lived through the invasion.
Before the 1974 invasion the Pyros family lived in Neo Chorio, Kythrea, where they continued to stay during the first phase of the invasion.
On August 14, the day the second phase started, the Turkish forces struck hard against National Guard positions in Mia Milia and Koutsoventi. As a result of the attacks most people from the surrounding villages left the area in search of somewhere safer.
Most of the people of Neo Chorio left but Pyros was among the around 100, mostly elderly, who remained behind.
The Turkish army entered Neo Chorio on August 15 where they killed some of those who had stayed behind, including Pyros. His body was buried with others in a mass grave in the yard of a village house. They were unearthed in 2014.
Photiou said the village of Neo Chorio had paid a particularly heavy price as 74 villagers dies in the invasion.