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Turkish Cypriots mourn for 11 children massacred by EOKA terror group in 1974

Turkish Cypriots mourn for 11 children massacred by EOKA terror group in 1974
State funeral ceremony held for children whose remains were identified by Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus

By Ahmet Gencturk

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Cypriots on Monday mourned for 11 children massacred by Greek Cypriot terror group EOKA on Aug.11, 1974, public broadcaster BRTK reported.

The children, the youngest of whom was three years old and the oldest 17, whose remains were identified by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, were buried in individual graves with a state ceremony.

On Aug. 14, 1974, Greek Cypriots massacred Turkish Cypriot women and children in the villages of Murataga and Sandallar, currently in the southeastern part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

After 47 years, the process to identify the remains of the children, buried in a mass grave, has finally been completed.

Addressing the ceremony, TRNC President Ersin Tatar said they are all sorrowful. “They made no discrimination among women, children and babies, massacring innocent civilians. They believed they could exterminate us, but as we stand here before our martyrs, we say to the world that we will not return to pre-1974 conditions," he said.

"Turkey’s active and effective guarantees must continue so that we may live freely, independently and in security. The presence of Turkish Armed Forces is the sole security and assurance of the Turkish Cypriot people."

Tatar reiterated that Turkish Cypriots would never accept an imposed settlement, or to become a minority within a Greek Cypriot state.

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. The TRNC was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Kofi Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.

source: News Feed
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