Cyprus Mail

Fourteen Turkish Cypriot children identified by CMP buried on Saturday

file photo

Fourteen Turkish Cypriot children murdered by the Eoka B Greek Cypriot paramilitary organisation in 1974 were buried in the north on Saturday, according to reports.

The children’s remains had been found in a mass grave along with those of others murdered by Eoka B members in August 1974 and were matched through DNA through the work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

The remains of 89 people found in the grave belonged to residents of the villages of Aloa, Sandalaris and Maratha, all in the district of Famagusta.

The youngest children, two girls, were four and six months old. The oldest was a boy, 15. Four of the 14 buried on Saturday were siblings aged 3, 6, 9 and 11. Three other children were also siblings.

Present at the funeral was Emine Reihan, who buried the remains of her 10-year-old son, Aziz, after more than 46 years. Aziz had been on summer holidays at his grandmother’s at the time.

The mass grave had been excavated in three phases between October 14, 2015 and February 5, 2016.

Experts found the remains of 89 people. The first funeral was held in August 2017. Saturday’s was the sixth burial.

In total, 126 children and women were murdered by the paramilitaries on August 14, 1974.

The villages of Sandalaris, Maratha and Aloda, inhabited entirely by Turkish Cypriots, were located next to each other in the Famagusta district.

It is believed that the shooters came from the neighbouring village of Peristeronopigi.

The men of the three villages had been rounded up and sent to Limassol on July 20, the day Turkey invaded the island.

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