An excavation will begin on Monday at a site in Strovolos, Nicosia for the remains of two Turkish Cypriots missing since 1964, CNA has learned.
A reliable source told the agency that Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) crews will also resume, after the summer holidays, their work on Monday, at five sites in the Turkish occupied areas of the island: a military zone in Dikomo, Katokopia, Arsos in Famagusta, Agios Loukas in Famagusta and Vouno village. There have been no findings so far at these sites. Moreover, an excavation is expected to being at another site, which has not yet been determined.
The same source said that excavations at the sites in the occupied areas concern the cases of Greek Cypriots who went missing in 1974, except the one in Agios Loukas which concerns the case of a Turkish Cypriot who has also been missing since 1974. The latter is the most long-standing excavation among the ones which are under way. It began in April this year.
The same source also noted that “we are trying to make a more thorough analysis of the information that we have,” adding that they use maps and compare satellite images of 1963, 1970, and the ones which are available for the more recent years, since 2003.
The source also said that they use metal detectors and a Ground Penetration Radar, adding that on September 3 they are planning to conduct a survey at five sites in Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia.
Information as regards the sites in Famagusta and Kyrenia concern cases of Greek Cypriots missing since 1974, while as regards sites in Nicosia they concern cases of Turkish Cypriots missing since 1964.
Currently there are 35 experts employed by CMP to work at the sites: 17 Greek Cypriots and 18 Turkish Cypriots – mainly archaeologists. Each crew comprises two Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
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.
The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a Third Member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.
Following the establishment of an agreed list of missing persons, the CMP’s objective is to recover, identify, and return to their families, the remains of 2000 persons (492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,508 Greek Cypriots) who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963 to 1964 and the Turkish invasion of 1974.