News Local Remains of six Greek soldiers who fell in 1974 invasion to be...

Remains of six Greek soldiers who fell in 1974 invasion to be flown home

The remains of six soldiers from Greece who were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 will  return home on Thursday after an official handover ceremony that will take place at the Church of Divine Wisdom in Strovolos in the presence of their family and officials from the  governments of Greece and Cyprus.

The bodies are of four soldiers listed as fallen in action and two formerly missing in action, whose bones were discovered, identified and are now being handed over so that they will be buried with due honours. Two were on the Noratlas plane that was shot down by friendly fire in July 1974.

The remains of lieutenant Georgios Papalambrides, posthumously promoted to lieutenant general, were found in the Alonagra area of Pentadaktylos as part of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, as were the remains of sergeant Pavlos Poulides, which were found in Kioneli. Poulides was later promoted to warrant officer.

Warrant officer Constantinos Kourlios, posthumously promoted to colonel, had been buried in a military cemetery in Lakatamia along with private Vasilios Panayiotou. The latter was later promoted to warrant officer.

The other two, warrant officers Constantinos Kateros and Constantinos Elia, had been part of a commando unit airlifted to Cyprus in July 1974 to reinforce the National Guard. They were killed after their plane was shot down by friendly fire over the Nicosia airport.

“It is certainly a moving moment. We express our admiration for the relatives for the patience and strength they showed all these years and hope to ease their pain with this act,” Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou told the Cyprus News Agency.

The Greek government will be represented at the ceremony by Deputy National Defence Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, with the Hellenic Army General Staff chief Lieutenant General Georgios Kambas also attending. Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II is expected to officiate the ceremony.  The Cypriot government will be represented by Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou.

Family members of the six soldiers arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday to be briefed by the authorities and attend the ceremony on Thursday. The remains of their beloved ones will be delivered to the church by the Cyprus National Guard on Thursday morning. They will then be taken to Larnaca airport, where a blessing service will take place, and carried to Greece on a Hellenic Air Force C-130 transport plane.

A second ceremony will follow in Greece, attended by Greek National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and representatives of the Cyprus embassy in Athens.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

(Cyprus News Agency)

Top Stories

North Korea says no need to sit down with U.S. for talks

  North Korea does not feel the need to have talks with the United States, which would be nothing more than “a political tool” for...

Covid cases over 11 million, with new record in US and resurgence in some areas

  Global coronavirus cases exceeded 11 million, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more...

US-China escalating tension, as Americans send carriers to disputed area

  Two U.S. aircraft carriers were conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea  on Saturday, the U.S. navy said, as China also carried out...

Forest fire red alert, public appeal

  The forestry department has issued a fire red alert as hot, dry conditions continue and thousands will be flocking mountain resorts over the weekend. The...

Fire at Yeroskipou home, extensive damage

  A blaze caused extensive damage to a Yeroskipou home at seven yesterday afternoon. The occupants were away at the time and neighbours notified police and...

Taste

Cyprus sprouts with cream and prosciutto

In a big, deep frying pan, fry the prosciutto in the olive oil, on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic...

Pork burger with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies

Mix all the ingredients together with the mince in a bowl, and combine well. Divide into 4 balls and form the burgers. Warm a griddle/pan...

Sheftalies

Wash the lamb cauls with plenty of cold water and let them settle in water and vinegar for a little while. Soak the bread crumbs...

Loukaniko Pitsilias – Pitsilia Sausage

Pitsilia sausage is produced in the Pitsilia region from pork minced meat that is “cooked” ( matured) in the dry red wine of the...