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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-06-08

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] CoE Committee calls on Turkey to give CMP access to military areas

  • [01] CoE Committee calls on Turkey to give CMP access to military areas

    The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has decided to call on Turkey to give access to CMP and investigative officers in military zones as well as access to information contained in military archives and reports regarding the fate of missing persons in Cyprus.

    In its 4 -6 June meeting on the supervision of execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, regarding the cases of Cyprus against Turkey and Varnava and Others that were decided in the Grand Chamber, the deputies recalled the decisions they had adopted since the exchange of views with the members of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in March 2009.

    The deputies called on the Turkish authorities to adopt a proactive approach as regards effective investigations into the fate of persons who are still missing and reiterated their request to obtain further concrete information on the steps taken by the authorities aimed at giving the CMP and investigative officers access to all relevant information and places, in particular concerning military zones.

    They noted that a certain number of questions are raised in this context, among which the investigators' access to forensic data and evidence found and/or conserved by the CMP, and invited the Turkish authorities to provide replies to all the questions raised by the Committee, while also drawing on all relevant information contained in military archives and reports.

    Concerning the Varnava case, members of the Committee called upon the authorities to provide further information on the conduct of investigations in the cases in issue in this judgment, as well as on the payment of just satisfaction granted by the Court. The deputies decided to resume consideration of this question at their 1150th meeting in September this year.

    In accordance with Article 46 of the Convention as amended by Protocol No. 11, the Committee of Ministers supervises the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. This work is carried out mainly at four regular meetings (DH meetings) every year.

    The Committee of Ministers` essential function is to ensure that member states comply with the judgments and certain decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee completes each case by adopting a final resolution.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. As a result of the invasion, 1,619 Greek-Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield.

    Among them, however, were many civilians, women and children, arrested by the Turkish invasion troops and Turkish-Cypriot paramilitary groups, within the area controlled by the Turkish army after the end of hostilities and far away from the battlefield. Many of those missing were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military. A further 41 more cases of Greek Cypriot missing persons have been recently added. These cases concern the period between 1963-1964, when inter-communal fighting broke out but none of them has been identified yet.

    The number of Turkish Cypriot missing since 1974 and 1963/64 stands at 503.

    As of November 2011, the bi-communal teams of archaeologists of the Committee on Missing Persons have exhumed the remains of over 830 individuals on both sides of the island. The remains of nearly 500 persons have undergone examination at the Committee's anthropological laboratory. Following genetic analysis of 1,450 samples by a bi-communal team of scientists at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, the remains of over 310 individuals have been returned to their respective families. The Committee's access to military areas in the north has remained circumscribed.

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