Families of missing persons from the 1974 Turkish invasion have slammed the state for all but forgetting them but parliamentarians on Tuesday pledged to reverse the injustice.
Mothers and children of missing persons told the House Refugees Committee that they have been knocking on doors seeking special assistance for 48 years now. But, they added, apathy from the system continues to prevail.
“Year after year my mother would take me to events for the missing persons and she would cry endlessly…and I would cry with her,” one told committee members.
“But when I knocked on the door of a service dealing with the issue, a private secretary there told me: ‘Stop sucking up the issue of the missing persons’…it is a disgrace, really, the whole state should be ashamed,” she added.
As for the committee members, they said they have proposed to the government to devise a statutory welfare benefit for first-degree relatives of missing persons.
Families of missing persons do not receive a dedicated welfare benefit right now and MPs have made clear this will change.
Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Fotis Fotiou pledged to study the idea and to come back with a concrete proposal at a future committee session.
The island’s missing persons totaled 1,619 after the bloody invasion.