NEW evidence suggests the Turkish army is concealing information on the
whereabouts of missing Greek Cypriots despite Ankara's long-held denials,
President Tassos Papadopoulos said.
Papadopoulos said documents shedding new light on the fate of a
five-year-old Greek Cypriot boy who vanished in 1974 dispels Turkish claims
that no one disappeared on its soil.
"The document that was made public offers, I believe, an indication or
testimony that Turkey has in its possession - especially the Turkish army -
information on the fate of missing persons," Papadopoulos told reporters
before leaving for Brussels yesterday.
A 32-year-old Turkish army document revealed by daily Politis shows that
five-year-old Christakis Georgiou who disappeared in 1974 was sent to Turkey
for treatment of a gunshot wound to his leg.
Corroborating the document was a former Turkish soldier who spoke to the
paper of being explicitly told by doctors that the boy had, in fact, been
flown by helicopter to the Turkish mainland for further treatment.
The revelations prompted fresh denials from Ankara that it has no knowledge
of missing persons ever being transported to Turkey proper.
Papadopoulos recalled how the Christakis Georgiou case had surfaced
repeatedly in the aftermath invasion with then Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf
Denktash flip-flopping on the boy's whereabouts.
"Mr. Denktash said the boy was found in a hospital in Turkey where he was
taken for treatment. The following week, Mr. Denktash said the information
was incorrect and that it was owed to confusion."
Papadopoulos said Ankara has never wavered from its denials, but the
revelations could pressure Turkish authorities to finally release
information lying hidden in its classified archives.
"We are continuing our efforts so that Turkey cooperates in the
investigation into the fate of Christakis Georgiou and of other missing
Papadopoulos said the European Court of Human Rights has urged Turkey to
cooperate on the missing persons issue by giving any and all relevant
information in its possession.
Compounding the apparent cover-up over Christakis Georgiou's disappearance
is new information of a second missing Greek Cypriot boy last seen alive in
the care of a Turkish paratrooper.
The information is contained in the personal account of now dead Turkish
General Bendretin Demirel who was overall commander of invading Turkish
Demirel wrote of a paratrooper caring for a number of Greek Cypriot children
near the village of Massari where six-year-old Christakis Eleftheriou
disappeared on August 17, 1974.
In his account, Demirel described how the paratrooper was put in charge of
captured Greek Cypriots.
In one passage, Demirel speaks of the paratrooper hoisting a boy on his
shoulders and marching off with other troops as other Greek Cypriot
prisoners - women and children among them - are handed over to Turkish
Cypriot fighters who executed them.
Although the boy is neither named nor is he referred to again, relatives
suspect him to be Christakis Eleftheriou.
This suggests that the Turkish army has more to answer for regarding the
disappearance of Greek Cypriot children during the invasion.
Cyprus Weekly, 9 March 2007
Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster subsidised by the British tax payer. The above clip can therefore be considered to be public domain and fair use is permissible given the nature of the content in context to the issue of the Missing Persons.