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Society

Remains of 14 Turkish-Cypriot Children Killed in 1974 War Buried

December 29, 2020

Fourteen Turkish-Cypriot children slain by the Eoka B Greek-Cypriot paramilitary organisation in 1974 were buried on the occupied side, media reports said.

The children’s remains had been found in a mass grave along with those of others murdered by the group and were matched through DNA through the work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) The Cyprus Mail said.

The remains of 89 people found in the grave belonged to residents of the villages of Aloa, Sandalaris and Maratha, all in the district of Famagusta.

The youngest children, two girls, were four and six months old. The oldest was a boy, 15. Four of the 14 buried were siblings aged 3, 6, 9 and 11. Three other children were also siblings.

Emine Reihan buried the remains of her 10-year-old son, Aziz, after more than 46 years. He had been on summer holidays at his grandmother’s at the time.

The mass grave had been excavated in three phases between October 14, 2015 and February 5, 2016, the paper said, the first funeral held in August, 2017.

This burial was the sixth, the victims from the villages of Sandalaris, Maratha and Aloda, inhabited entirely by Turkis-Cypriots, located next to each other in the Famagusta district.

It is believed that the shooters came from the neighbouring village of Peristeronopigi who went to the area. The men of the three villages had been rounded up and sent to Limassol on July 20, the day Turkey invaded the island.

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News said the services were emotional where relatives of the victims joined Turkis- Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and other dignitaries at the Martyrs’ Cemetery in Maratha village of the divided island.

Speaking at the ceremony, Gürsel Benan, who heads an association for families of victims, said they remembered with deep sorrow the brutal attacks EOKA-B carried out against civilians from 16-months to 95-years old..

The militants rounded up 126 Turkish Cypriots in a village square and executed those resisting the roundup, while the rest who did not resist were taken outside the village and were buried together after they were killed, the report also added.

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