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Cyprus Probes Report Turks Buried Cypriots Alive

Cyprus’ Committee for Missing Persons (CMP) will look into a report Turkey buried prisoners alive during its invasion of the island in 1974.

The claim came in the Turkish newspaper Afrika which said an unidentified number of Greek Cypriots arrested during the invasion were taken to Adana, Turkey, where they were buried alive near a river.

“We will investigate this new information and classify it under the case file on mass graves,”Nestoras Nestoros, a Greek Cypriot representative for the committee, told local media. The CMP has been carrying out exhumations at various sites since 2006.

Some 2,000 people are missing, most of them Greek Cypriots who disappeared in the invasion which came a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Several hundred Turkish Cypriots disappeared in inter-communal conflict in the years before the invasion.

Turkey, which wants to join the European Union, of which Cyprus is a member, has not disclosed the whereabouts of the disappeared prisoners but wants international backing to force a reunification of the island while keeping a standing army of 30,000 soldiers in the northern third it unlawfully occupies.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is in talks with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to develop a plan for the two sides to come together, including the possibility of a rotating Turkish Presidency.

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