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Cyprus

Push to relocate remains of those killed in invasion for reburial in the Republic

Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Photis Photiou

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou submitted to cabinet on Wednesday, a proposal to investigate, exhume and identify the remains of some 500 Greek Cypriots and Greeks buried in the north who died in the invasion.

The people in question are not among those listed as missing persons.

“Beyond the issue of missing persons, the issue of the fallen is yet another tragic aspect of the Turkish invasion,” he said, speaking after a cabinet meeting held at the president’s summer residence in Troodos.

“At the moment there are around 500 fallen buried in known or unknown graves in the north and lately, relatives are demanding from the Republic of Cyprus to have the remains back to the government-controlled areas so funerals can take place in accordance with our Christian traditions.”

Photiou stipulated that even in cases where the burial site is known, the procedure is inevitably difficult. His proposal – which will likely be discussed next week – outlines the creation of a mechanism to investigate and map out every case, obtain genetic material from relatives, anthropological information and attempt through Unficyp to see if it is possible to begin exhumations and bring back the remains of the fallen.

He added that there are a number of people where it is not known where they are buried. They will be located through the Committee on Missing Persons because some, while not on the missing persons’ list, have been found in mass graves of missing persons.

“The remains of a significant number are buried are known,” he said. “And we must do everything in our hands to bring them back to the government-controlled areas. This is our duty to their relatives.”

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