Investigations to be launched into deaths of G/C enclaved
Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Photis Photiou has said that enclaved individuals killed by Turkish troops and illegal settlers in Cyprus’ occupied areas will be included on the list of those killed during the invasion in 1974.
Speaking on Tuesday during a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees, Photiou said that to this end the murders of thirteen enclaved persons, which took place between 1976 and 1999 will be investigated to find proof that they were killed either by illegal settlers or by Turkish soldiers.
Photiou also said that there are 100 pending applications from people who want to move back and live in the Maronite villages and 20 pending applications from people who want to return and live in Ayia Triada village.
He also noted that 27 applications have been approved for re-settlement in Rizokarpaso and Ayia Triada and 150 applications for resettlement in Kormakitis and Karpasia.
The Commissioner assured that the problems and concerns of the enclaved who continue to experience the detrimental consequences of the Turkish invasion and occupation are of primary importance for the government, which continues to support them, and aims at improving their standard of living.
Photiou said that the government is aiming at giving motives to families to return back and live in their occupied villages as enclaved persons, noting that a scheme is drafted in cooperation with the Agriculture Ministry in order to increase subsidies for the enclaved farmers.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. According to data released by the Cypriot authorities, in July 1974 the Greek Cypriot population of the area presently occupied by the Turkish army was 162,000. At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion in August 1974, 142,000 Cypriots were expelled or forced to flee. The majority of the 20,000 Cypriots who remained, mostly in the Karpas peninsula in accordance with a UN report, were gradually forced to abandon the area.
The number of Greek Cypriots living in this area today has diminished to only 338 Greek Cypriots and 105 Maronites. As a consequence, the total number of Cypriots expelled from their homes rises to over 160,000, which is one third of the total population of Cyprus in 1974.