The effort to find out what became of the missing persons in Cyprus continues, Presidency Commissioner Photis Photiou has said, assuring that it will continue until the fate of every single one of the missing persons from the Turkish invasion in Cyprus is determined.
In statements after the Epiphany celebrations in Larnaka, on Monday, and asked about his expectations in 2020 on the matter of missing persons, Photiou said that “the effort continues.”
Unfortunately, he added, “in recent years the results do not inspire hope and optimism that we can find a lot of remains belonging to our missing persons.”
Right now, Photiou said, there are still 820 missing persons in Cyprus or 50% from the initial list of missing persons and unfortunately, most parents depart this life without having been able to hold a funeral for their loved ones.”
He assured families of missing persons that “we will continue the effort until what became of every single one of our missing persons can be determined.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.
Committee on Missing Persons recently recovered remains belonging to three people
In the first few days of December, it was reported that excavations by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) were ongoing near the Tekke Bahcesi, in the Turkish-occupied part of the old city of Nicosia, with excavation teams having so far recovered the remains of three people, believed to belong to Greek Cypriots who went missing in 1964. CMP is searching for a total of five missing persons in this area.
According to information by the CMP, excavations, which started last October, continue, but face various difficulties due to the area’s urban development. Most of the work is done by hand and the remains recovered so far seem to belong to three people.