Cyprus Mail

Over half of missing persons cases remain unresolved

File photo of CMP members digging for remains

Over half of cases before CMP remain unresolved

Over 50 per cent of cases before the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) are still missing, and despite coordinated efforts in Cyprus and abroad, Turkish intransigence has not changed, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has said.

Photiou was addressing an event at the Tymvos Makedonitissas military cemetery which commemorated missing persons in Cyprus on the occasion of the anniversaries of the 1974 coup instigated by the Greek military junta and the subsequent Turkish invasion.

Photiou said more than half of the cases before the CMP are still missing persons. This was indicative of the negative stance of Turkey.

“Turkish cruelty is unprecedented,” he said.

Photiou said the CMP was facing “many and serious” issues.

In recent years, he said, there had been a dramatic drop in locating remains in the north and as a result there has also been a drop in the number of DNA identifications.

Turkey refuses to cooperate as to the whereabouts of mass graves, he added.

The requests for access to the Turkish army’s archives as well as permission to be allowed to excavate in military zones are met with the same refusal, he added.

At the same time, Turkey continues to ignore, and refuses, to implement European Court of Human Rights decisions and UN and EU resolutions, Photiou said.

There are officially 1,510 Greek Cypriots and 492 Turkish Cypriots on the missing persons list.

The CMP has so far managed to identify and return the remains of 700 Greek Cypriots and 274 Turkish Cypriots. Teams have excavated 1,336 sites and recovered remains from 1,214.

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