Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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26 February 2009
Lobby for Cyprus is calling for an independent inquiry into the fate of the 1,500 missing
Lobby for Cyprus is calling for the set up of an independent inquiry for the investigation of the fate of the approximately 1,500 still-missing Greek Cypriots following the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in line with the demands of the European Court of Human Rights.

London, 26 February 2009 – Lobby for Cyprus is calling for the set up of an independent inquiry for the investigation of the fate of the approximately 1,500 still-missing Greek Cypriots following the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in line with the demands of the European Court of Human Rights.

In more than 600 letters to key organisations and human-rights groups, world-wide, Lobby for Cyprus has cited recent claims made by Turkish actor, Attila Olgac, on prime-time Turkish television, who spoke of killing 10 captured Greek Cypriot soldiers. Further claims were made by Turkish military personnel in the book "Kill the War Prisoner" which is an account of further brutal killings of Greek Cypriot prisoners of war, at the direct order of the Turkish military.

“These statements have caused immense pain and distress to the families of those that have been listed as missing since 1974 and highlighted once again the failure of the International community to take action to bring to an end the suffering of the relatives of the missing,” said the letters sent by Lobby for Cyprus.

Since the invasion of Cyprus, Turkey has occupied 37 per cent of the island, and has made more than 200,000 Greek Cypriots refugees. In addition--and in contravention of all international laws--Turkey has imported more than 160,000 Anatolian colonists into the occupied north in order to change the demographics of the area.

In its letters, Lobby also referred to the opinion by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of “Varnava and others v Turkey,” in which it found Turkey to be guilty of violating the European Convention of Human Rights, by failing to conduct an effective investigation into the fate of the nine applicants, who have been missing since 1974.

The Court held that there had been a continuing violation of their right to life. Through the same failings, Turkey was guilty of subjecting the relatives of the nine applicants to inhumane and degrading treatment. The Court further noted that the missing persons had been seen alive under the detention of the Turkish army, in both Cyprus and Turkey, after the hostilities of 1974 had ceased and on this basis held that Turkey had violated their right to liberty.

“Turkey is responsible for the disappearance of more than 1,500 people many of whom were civilian men, women and children,” said Lobby spokesman, Theo Theodorou, “and their families have endured years of pain and uncertainty, unable to even carry out proper religious ceremonies for their loved ones. This is purely a humanitarian issue and it is time that Turkey and the international community act to ensure that a swift resolution is finally reached.”

Citing the ECHR judgment, the letter urges the organisations “to ensure that Turkey complies…and provides information on the fate of the missing persons, and also on what is being done to ensure full and prompt implementation of this judgment. Pressure should be exerted on the Turkish authorities to ensure that a proper and thorough independent investigation is carried out on the fate and whereabouts of all the missing persons in line with the demands of the ECHR and the admissions made by their own military.”

Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political organisation, based in the UK, dedicated to the unification of the island through the removal of the 43,000-man Turkish army, the repatriation of the 160,000 Anatolian colonists imported into the north contrary to all international laws, and the return of all refugees to their homes.


Any enquiries, contact Lobby for Cyprus on tel: 020 8888 2556, or e-mail: admin@lobbyforcyprus.org