Four Martyrs, who died as a result of the Greek and Greek Cypriot massacre at Muratağa, Atlılar, and Sandallar villages, and whose remains were recently identified in a mass grave, were laid to rest with a military ceremony held at Muratağa-Sandallar Martyrdom yesterday (28th December).

Martyrs Derviş Sadık Özkuyucu (1910-1974), Havva Safık Özkuyucu (1919-1974), Fatma Mehmet Tavukcu (1958-1974) and Halil Hüseyin Karabardak (1909-1974) were identified as a result of the DNA works that were carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons. The Martyrs were buried at Muratağa-Sandallar Martyrdom with a military ceremony, following the funeral prayer at the Muratağa Mosque.

The ceremony was attended by President Mustafa Akıncı.

In his speech at the ceremony, the Head of Muratağa, Sandallar and Atlılar Martyrs Memorial Association, Ahmet Aşır, recalled that these villages were not defended by soldiers during the years of the struggle, but instead by the men of the villages, who took up shotguns to defend their homes and families.

Greek Cypriot military forces rounded up these men on the morning of 20 July 1974 and imprisoned them in prison camps, leaving the women and children in those villages defenceless until 14 August. Aşır then described how the Greek and Greek Cypriots forces brutally murdered these remaining children and women on the morning of 14 August and buried them in a mass grave. Aşır described this despicable act of cold-blooded murder as, without a doubt, a war crime.