The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) is carrying out excavations at five sites in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, looking for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons.
In statements to CNA, an officer of the Greek Cypriot Representative at the CMP said there are currently five ongoing excavations. One is at occupied Ashia, where they are looking for two Turkish Cypriots of the 1963-1964 intercommunal strife, while a second unit is at Agios Epiktitos Kerynia, where the CMP is looking for a Greek Cypriot. A third unit is carrying out excavations in Aloa where there is a mass grave and another unit is at Palaiosofo on the mountains of Lapithos where they are trying to find Greek Cypriot soldiers. A fifth unit is at Kythrea village at a site which is considered military and efforts are concentrated on locating a Greek Cypriot.
Asked if there had been results so far, the official said: “We are going with the hope that we will find (remains).” The official clarified that bones exist in Aloa, “we know it is a mass grave” and a bone fragment was found in Lapithos.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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 to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974.
According to statistical data published on the CMP website by December 31, 2023 out of 2002 missing persons 1,228 were exhumed and 1,044 were identified. Out of 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 751 were identified and 759 are still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 293 were identified and 199 are still missing.