Letters and information flyers were sent to all 650 Members of Parliament to mark this year’s Cyprus Missing Persons’ day on October 29. The campaign was coordinated by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, with the support of the Presidential Commissioner Photiou. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of this tragic humanitarian issue and to urge MPs to ensure that the UK Government was playing its full part in determining the fate of the Missing.

On 29 October, Cypriots globally mark Missing Persons Day, as it was this month in 1974 that the last prisoners of war were released by Turkey army after its illegal invasion and ongoing occupation of Cyprus began. Missing Persons Day is a reminder of the tragic fate of the 975 Greek Cypriots & Turkish Cypriots whose fate still remains unknown, and the heartache and anguish suffered by their families, across both communities of Cyprus.

In the letter to Members of Parliament (MPs), the Federation President Mr Christos Karaolis emphasises that “These Missing Persons are not just Cypriots, they are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends to families who, to this day, have been denied justice and closure.” Whilst recognising the support the UK provides to the Committee for Missing Persons, he urges MPs “to ensure that Her Majesty’s Government is unequivocally calling on Turkey to guarantee unhindered access to military sites in the illegally occupied area for purposes of exhumation; release the information in its possession regarding the location of new burial sites of the Missing Persons moved from primary burial places and; permit investigators access to military archives.”

Speaking about the campaign, the Federation’s President said “We will continue to ensure that this issue remains on the parliamentary agenda and look forward to working with our friends in Parliament to ensure that the families of the Missing get the answers they so desperately deserve”

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Cyprus, Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP, also joined the campaign, by tabling a written question to the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs asking if: “He will have discussions with his Turkish counterpart on the importance of resolving the issue of Missing Persons in Cyprus and the role that Turkey can play by providing access to military sites for exhumation purposes as well as releasing all information, including from military archives?”

A crucial part of determining the fate of the missing persons of Cyprus is obtaining information to help piece together stories that might lead to someone’s loved one being identified. If you have any information at all that may help, you may submit it completely anonymously via a dedicated page on our website (https://cypriotfederation.org.uk/missing-persons/) and we will pass this on to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus.