Members of the Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons met with London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis to discuss how to put EU pressure on Ankara to grant access to so-called “military sites” in occupied Cyprus where a number of mass graves are believed to be located.

Nicos Theodosiou and Nicos Sergides, respectively President and General-Secretary of the Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons in Nicosia met with Marina to discuss the fate of those who went missing during following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. They were accompanied by Neoclis Neokleous, President of the Organisation of Relatives of Missing Cypriots (UK) and other members of the ORMC (UK).

Marina has recently written to Stefan Fuele, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy calling on him to put pressure on Ankara to uncover mass graves in restricted areas. Commissioner Fuele is in charge of Turkey’s application for membership of the European Union. Marina has also written to the European Union’s office in Ankara as well as the special advisor on Turkey to Baroness Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Marina, who authored a European Parliament declaration supporting the work of the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP), pledged to put pressure on Turkey to open up more grave sites in the occupied zone. She also plans to invite the Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons and the Organisation of Relatives of Missing Cypriots (UK) to Brussels to meet directly with Commissioner Fuele and other officials dealing with Turkey.
Marina said: “All that relatives want is the chance to kiss and embrace the bones of their nearest and dearest before they die. And these now elderly relatives are dying every week. Turkey must cease the charade of hiding mass graves in trumped-up military zones. It is time to end the suffering and agony of the relatives who still do not know the fate of their loved ones after decades of uncertainty.”

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