Emotional scenes as Cypriot political party members pay visit to sites of ‘missing’
THERE were emotional scenes as a group of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political party members paid a joint visit to sites, on both sides of the border, where the remains of “missing persons” were found –—including those of 11 Turkish Cypriots killed in the notorious “missing bus” ambush.
The trip brought news that the politicians want to erect a common monument to the “missing” from both communities, and to nominate a date for their commemoration.
Wednesday’s visit, staged by the bicommunal Missing Persons’ and War Victims’ Relatives Organisation and the Slovak Embassy which hosts meetings in the buffer zone between the political parties, saw the group visit a well near Oroklini, south of the buffer zone near Larnaca, near Pile where 11 Turkish Cypriots were found 10 years ago — 44 years after the bus carrying them to work on the British base of Dhekelia was held up. They were among some 40 Turkish Cypriots murdered in reprisals after two Greeks and the son of the then police commander were killed in Gazimağusa.
The party then went to Mehmetçik, where the bicommunal group’s spokesman, journalist and “missing persons” researcher Sevgül Uludağ, said the bodies of 17 murdered Greek Cypriot villagers were discovered in two mass graves.
Slovak ambassador Jan Skoda read out a joint statement supporting the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), with the aim of easing the pain of affected families, and called for anyone with information about the fate of the “missing” to come forward.
Left, the group during the visit to Mehmetçik. Inset, Slovak envoy Jan Skoda reading out a joint statement supporting the work of the CMP.