If Turkey cooperated, the issue of the missing could be resolved in a few days, said the Commissioner of the Presidency, Fotis Fotiou, who met on Tuesday morning with Archbishop George III at the Archdiocese. “It is a hot humanitarian issue which will definitely be of particular concern to us,” Archbishop George said for his part about the issue of missing persons.
Initially, Mr. Fotiou expressed the certainty that the Archbishop will perform his great function in the best way. He added that he informed him about the issue of the missing, indicating that “the Church and the Archbishop always have a role in this great humanitarian issue.” He also pointed out that the current Archbishop is also the President of the Radio Marathon of Love for the Missing and that the Church over the years has greatly contributed to solving many humanitarian problems faced by the relatives.
The Commissioner of the Presidency underlined that “the issue of missing persons is the most tragic aspect-result of the Turkish invasion, when 48 years later we are still talking about 770 missing persons”. “Unfortunately, parents pass away without getting answers, without having the opportunity to hold a funeral for their loved ones, and the occupying power is responsible for that,” he pointed out. “If the occupying power cooperated, the issue of missing persons could be resolved in a few days. All the information is there, in the archives of the Turkish army,” he added.
Mr. Fotiou mentioned that he also informed the Archbishop about the issues of those trapped both in Karpasia and in the Maronite villages, but also about the restoration of churches in the occupied territories and especially in Karpasia. He also said that he discussed with him the issues of diaspora Hellenism, adding that the Church is always one of the most important factors to keep diaspora Hellenism united. “The Archbishop of Cyprus and the Church have a leading role in the issues of emigrants”, he pointed out.
The Presidium Commissioner thanked the Archbishop for the “tremendous interest” he showed in being informed, adding that they have also discussed some ways to support the actions of the Presidium Commissioner especially regarding the issues of missing persons.
From for his part, Archbishop George III stated that he appreciates his work and the entire attitude of Mr. Fotios towards the issues that he currently handles.
He said that he was informed about the emigrants and the stranded, but also about the issue of the missing. Referring to the missing, the Archbishop emphasized that “it is not enough that we find the bones and go to a funeral, but it is also how these people got to this situation”. “Their execution, that some were arrested and then the information about them was lost, is something that the families of these people would like to know about,” he said.
“Because we are also in funerals of the bones that are found, we are often shocked by the cry of their children and their spouses”, said the Archbishop. “Now the parents are gone, who said they thought it was their man behind every knock on their door at any time of the night or day. With their funeral, this hope is also lost”, he underlined. “It is a hot humanitarian issue which will certainly be of particular concern to us”, he noted.
Finally, Archbishop George III thanked the Commissioner of the Presidency for the in-depth information. “We will be at his disposal to help where we can in all matters that concern his responsibility as well as ours,” he concluded.