Missing Persons Committee members visit excavation site
THE Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) – Hakkı Müftüzade and Leonidas Pantelides – visited the excavation site in Troulloi/Trulli on Monday.
The remains of four people believed to be Turkish Cypriots who went missing in the 1960s were found in a well at the location, as previously reported by this paper.
The excavation in Troulloi/Trulli, a village located within the UN buffer zone in the Larnaca district, started in August this year, following information provided by witnesses, a statement from the CMP said.
During the visit CMP team leader Ourania Michael briefed Mr Müftüzade and Mr Pantelides on the work of the CMP archaeology team.
The team started excavating the well using a “drilling technique”, the CMP said, and at a depth of 11 metres they “found human remains”.
The archaeologists then stopped the drilling machinery and “prepared the site for manual excavation over a period of two months by building an access ramp”.
The team were initially looking for three people who went missing during the 1963-1964 period, but found a fourth person at the excavation site, after continuing the excavation manually.
Mr Müftüzade and Mr Pantelides stressed the importance of people with information coming forward.
“Any piece of information is valuable for us,” they said in a joint statement. “We urge the public one more time to get in touch with our teams to share any piece of knowledge they have.”
Information can be shared with the CMP teams anonymously via the phone numbers 151 for the Greek Cypriot office and 181 for the Turkish Cypriot office of the CMP, or via the CMP website cmpcyprus.org.
According to CMP statistics, 775 Greek Cypriots and 200 Turkish Cypriots who disappeared during 1963-1964 period and the events of 1974 are still officially classed as “missing” out of original figures of 1,510 and 492 respectively.
The remains of 1,027 people – 735 Greek Cypriots and 292 Turkish Cypriots – have been identified since 2006.
This figure does not include 207 individuals who were identified by the CMP but were not on the official list of missing persons.