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Media Watch 2005

08 February 2005
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 8 February 2005.
Turkish Cypriots supply new map of mass graves
"TURKISH Cypriot authorities have supplied the CMP (Committee for Missing Persons) with a new map showing the location of seven sites with multiple graves, in the wake of the Trachonas village fiasco. The sites are at the villages of Lapithos, Karavas, Sisklipos, Koutsoventis, Kythrea, Strongylos and Tripimeni. They span the Kyrenia district and part of the Mesaoria plain."

TURKISH Cypriot authorities have supplied the CMP (Committee for Missing Persons) with a new map showing the location of seven sites with multiple graves, in the wake of the Trachonas village fiasco.

The sites are at the villages of Lapithos, Karavas, Sisklipos, Koutsoventis, Kythrea, Strongylos and Tripimeni. They span the Kyrenia district and part of the Mesaoria plain.

Speaking to the media, CMP member Rustem Tatar said the move was proof of the Turkish Cypriot side’s sincerity in solving the sensitive issue of persons missing since 1974. Tatar went on to urge both sides to work together.

The Turkish delegate added he would be traveling to Strasbourg to brief a European Council ministers’ committee of developments on the issue.

Last month, the breakaway regime stood accused of deliberately misleading experts searching for the remains of missing persons, as no multiple graves were found at the designated villages of Trachonas, Sihari and Kondemenou.

The Forensic Centre of Excellence for the Investigation of Genocide (INFORCE), a UK-based team commissioned by the UN-backed Committee for Missing persons (CMP) has so far failed to unearth any remains in the specified area.

According to the information given at the time by the Turkish Cypriot side on the Trachonas location, between 150 and 200 people were buried there after the first phase of the 1974 invasion.

As part of the 1997 agreement between then President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Trachonas was identified as one of three areas in the north where multiple graves were located.

Many people on both sides of the Green Line say that graves are more or less known to authorities, but that mutual distrust is blocking progress on the issue."