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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    A large number of remains of missing persons in Cyprus will be identified through scientific methods and will be returned to their next of kin, Greek Cypriot representative to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) Elias Georghiades has announced.

    He also said that recent exhumations have unearthed remains in various locations throughout the island, which are believed to belong to more than 270 missing persons, most of whom Greek Cypriots and about 50 Turkish Cypriots.

    Addressing a meeting of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared PoW, he said first results on the identification of remains, initially for a small number, should be notified to the families concerned in mid June, once the scientists at the Institute of Neurology and Genetics establish beyond any reasonable doubt, through the DNA method, the identity of the persons concerned.

    He said that exhumations are taking place both in the southern government controlled part of the country as well as in the northern Turkish occupied areas, but no such work has taken place yet near Morphou and Myrtou, on the west.

    We have reached a critical juncture in our efforts. Arrangements are being made to support, psychologically and emotionally, the relatives who will be notified to help them deal with the situation. We hope we can make it and we know there is still a lot to be done, he assured the meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

    Georghiades explained that exhumations need a lot of effort and organisational skills on the part of many people and stressed that a lot of care and respect is shown when handling the remains on site or at the laboratories.

    This is a painstaking process, very carefully planned, which involves scientific precision and verification, hence the delay in our work, he pointed out.

    He acknowledged that there is a big gap in efforts to investigate possible cases of missing persons, who are believed to be alive, because Turkey refuses to cooperate on this score.

    The president of the Committee of Relatives Nikos Theodosiou said that about 160 remains have been exhumed since 2005, in addition to 110 remains unearthed by the Turkish side over the years which were recently transported to the forensic laboratory for examination.

    We are talking here about exhumations but we must not forget our battle to locate missing persons who are still alive, he said, pointing out that the return of remains to the families does not absolve Turkey of its responsibility on this issue, in particular the persons who are unaccounted for.

    Theodosiou urged the government to set up teams of experts, comprising psychologists, doctors and other professionals, to be ready to offer support to the families who will receive notification that their next of kin is dead.

    The CMP, comprising a UN appointed person and one representative from the islands two communities, was set up in the early 1980s but no tangible results have been produced for a long time. The latest effort to resolve this humanitarian issue has seen foreign and local scientists working together and once the green light was given from Ankara, exhumations began in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

    Prior to this, the government of the Republic, at its own initiative, began in 1999 exhuming remains in two cemeteries in Nicosia, with the help of foreign experts and many families have been notified about the fate of their loved ones.


    The continuous destruction of Cyprus culture heritage in the northern Turkish occupied areas is the focus of two articles in prestigious reviews, one presenting news from the Roman Catholic Church and the other issued by the Onassis Foundation.

    In the monthly 30Days in the church and in the world journal, of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti published in six languages, Italian journalist Giovanni Ricciardi presents a chronicle of the 1974 Turkish military invasion of Cyprus and its repercussions up to the recent past. The largest part of the report describes the condition of Christian churches in occupied Cyprus and the destruction of other important cultural heritage sites. The article refers to a registration programme underway at the Museum of the Holy Monastery of Kykkos under Charalambos Chotzakoglou, Professor of History of Byzantine Art at the University of Athens, to illegal trafficking of antiquities and efforts to repatriate Cypriot treasures.

    The Scholarship Association of the Onassis Foundation magazine , distributed to thousands of academics worldwide, refers to a lecture by Chotzakoglou, at the Foundation. The Greek professor presented the results of the registration programme of Christian churches in the occupied areas and using photographic material, it chronicles the registration of the Christian monuments, the improper use of the churches and their conversion into barns, mosques and hotels. It stresses the religious dimension of the issue, saying that the victims of this cultural destruction are not only Greek orthodox churches in Cyprus but also churches at the Jerusalem Partiarchate, Mount Sinai and the Roman Catholic church, as well as churches belonging to Maronites and Armenians.


    A total of 72 historic cars in pristine condition are ready to hit the road for the 19th International Historic Car Rally and the 2nd Historic Cyprus Rally, organised by the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA) and the Friends of Historic and Old Cars of Cyprus (FIPA) from 25-27 May.

    The three-day regularity rally, which is included in the calendar of the International Federation of Ancient Vehicles (FIVA), will cover 500 kilometres with 18 regularity test sections divided into three legs, designed to enable the foreign participants from Italy, Lebanon, America and Britain to enjoy the beauty of the island`s landscape.

    The rally will start in Nicosia on Friday 14:00 local time and will head for the coastal town of Larnaca before returning to Nicosia for the first leg. The second leg, starts on Saturday 09:00, and will take the historic cars from Nicosia through mountainous roads to Paphos where they will spend the night. The third and final leg will start on Sunday 09:00 from Paphos and will finish in Nicosia via Limassol.

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