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Blind eye cannot continue to be turned on Turkey says commissioner

Fotis Fotiou at a site looking for missing persons

The United Nations and the European Union cannot continue to “turn a blind eye” to the “inhuman and unacceptable” practices of the north, Presidential Commissioner Fotis Fotiou said on Saturday.

The commissioner was speaking at the funeral of soldier of the 251st Infantry battalion Zenonan Anastasiou, who was executed during the Turkish invasion in 1974, whose bones have recently been handed over.

The funeral took place in the presence of Anastasiou’s 93-year-old mother at the Kosmas Aitolos church in Ayios Athanasios, Limassol.

Anastasiou’s remains were found together with others in Kerynia in excavations that took place between October 2017 and May 2018 as part of the programme by the committee on missing persons.

Data indicate the existence of other mass graves of Greek Cypriots in the area, Fotiou said.

“The truth about the great crimes of Attila’s troops, as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots extremists cannot be hidden,” Fotiou said, adding that the mass graves of Greek Cypriots who were executed in cold blood “scream the truth”.

He said that some bones were deliberately moved from the original burial sites to other areas that remain unknown.

“Unfortunately, the attitude and policy of the occupying power so far on the issue of the missing [persons] is based on tactics and impressions, and above all on gaining benefits at the expense of the families of our missing [persons],” Fotiou said.

He added that “civilised humanity” as well as the UN and the EU, “cannot and should not continue to tolerate and turn a blind eye to the inhuman and unacceptable practices and policies of the occupying power”.

The commissioner said that efforts will continue until the last missing person is found, explaining that the republic of Cyprus owes its existence as well as “our dignity as free people” to those who fought and died for the country.

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