There is information and testimony that may lead to good results in 2023, in terms of locating missing persons in occupied, declared the Commissioner of the Presidency Fotis Photios.
Most of the mass graves of missing persons, he added, are located around Kyrenia and he wished that this year would be the year when the first large mass graves would be identified.
In statements in Larnaca on the Day of Lights, and in response to a related question, Mr. Fotiou said that “unfortunately, 2022 was not a good year for locating the bones of our missing persons.” On the contrary, he noted, “I would say it was a disappointing year like all the last years and this is certainly due to the occupying power that continues inhumanely not to cooperate, not to give information and to create problems to solve a completely humanitarian issue”.
He added that “the issue of our missing persons is not a political one, it is a humanitarian issue and for 48 years we are still looking for more than 750 of our missing persons”.
There is, he continued, “some information that may lead us to good results in 2023, I hope that the testimonies and the information we have collected are correct, I hope that the occupying regime does not create problems in these excavations and I hope that the year when they will locate the first large mass graves”.
When asked whether the help of major powers such as France, Britain and the USA would be requested for the issue of the missing persons, the Commissioner of the Presidency replied that “the issue of the missing persons was and it is always a priority of the President of the Republic and the state in general. The issue of the missing has no partisan color”.
Certainly, he continued, the topic “is always high on the agenda in all the meetings we have and the President of the Republic himself, we ask this from the European Union which is also the main sponsor of the DEA program. We ask for it from the United Nations but also from the powerful of the Earth”.
There can't be, said Mr. Fotiou, “two standards and two standards. On the one hand – and they are doing very well, that there should be this sensitivity with the atrocities and barbarities that take place in Ukraine – and that there should not be a similar sensitivity with what has happened in Cyprus”. Forty-eight years is a long time, he said and added that “it's time, because time is our biggest enemy and we ask the international community to convince and pressure Turkey to cooperate on a completely humanitarian issue”.
< p>Called to state whether there are any areas for which they have specific information that there may be graves, the Commissioner of the Presidency said that “around Kyrenia there are most of the mass graves”, adding that “however, another major war crime was committed from the Turks which are movements of the bones”.
That is why, after all, Mr. Fotiou continued, “we now only find a few bones, a few 2-3 bones to give to the mother, the father, to relatives to hold funerals. There is information, we know some things, I hope that the procedures of the DEA will go smoothly, because it is through the Investigative Committee of Missing Persons that all these exhumations will and are being carried out, and I hope that we will have positive results”.