October 1, 2023

President Ersin Tatar and the Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Christodoulides paid a joint visit to the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

President Tatar and Mr. Christodoulides, who arrived at the facility that is located inside the UN Buffer Zone in Lefkoşa, met with the Third Member (United Nations) Paul-Henri Arni,  Turkish Cypriot Member Hakkı Müftüzade and Greek Cypriot Member Leonidas Pantelides,  where they were briefed on the workings of the CMP (see video).

Following the briefing, President Tatar and Mr. Christodoulides visited the laboratory where they exchanged views with scientists and anthropologists about the work undertaken there.

A joint press statement was read out on behalf of President Tatar and Mr. Christodoulides by Sergiy Illarionov, Coordinator of the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Cyprus.

The joint statement reads as follows:

“Today, (28/07/2023), the Turkish Cypriot leader, H.E. Ersin Tatar, and the  Greek Cypriot leader, H.E. Nikos Christodoulides, paid a visit to the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), where they were briefed about the ongoing work of the Committee.

The Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader expressed their full support to the effective work of the Committee on Missing Persons, their acknowledgement and appreciation for the work carried out by the members of the Committee, the personnel of the anthropological laboratory, and all the staff involved in the Committee’s esteemed work.

They reaffirmed their conviction that the CMP conducts a purely humanitarian work, emphasized the importance of insulating the CMP from political considerations, and called upon all concerned not to politicize this crucial work. 

Both leaders called upon persons who have information about possible burial sites to share this information with the CMP, reminded witnesses that they can request confidentiality for any information shared, as credible information can accelerate the whole process of location, exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons.

They highlighted the need to unceasingly continue with efforts for the location and the identification of all missing persons.

The two leaders reaffirmed their mutual understanding that CMP’s responsibility lies first and foremost with the families of missing persons as it brings closure to the affected families through the return of the remains of their loved ones for proper burial in accordance with their religious traditions and practices.”

President Tatar and Mr. Christodoulides both spoke to the press outside the anthropological laboratory where they acknowledged the “excellent work” of the CMP over the years.

President Tatar reiterated his support to the CMP and the issue of missing persons which he stated is an “important humanitarian issue.” He added that “I very much hope that over time, more missing persons will be found so as to bring relief to their families and ease their pain.”

President Tatar stated: “A 91-year old wife of a missing person. . . one of the first missing persons on the island [who went missing] in the early 1960’s. . begs me every time I see her to find her husband. . .Cengiz Ratip. . . you are talking about a period spanning more than 60 years. . . after 60 years, for us to be here today for missing persons and our endeavours and efforts to achieve substantial progress on this very humanitarian issue is I think something that should be applauded.”   

President Tatar added: “I was very impressed with the people here, with the progress of science. They are doing an excellent job.

They are able to find more remains by benefitting from the advances made in science. We have to encourage people who have information about the sites to come forth and to share information, because without credible information, the CMP is not able to explore more sites.”

Answering a question as to whether the CMP can be transformed, President Tatar stated: “The CMP has been doing an excellent job ever since it was founded. We have just been briefed about the successful work of the CMP, and that there are 42 such commissions that exists in the world. The CMP in Cyprus ranks one of the best, and I express my gratitude to all the staff and personnel who have worked and continue to work for the CMP and making it such a success.”

Acknowledging the legacy of his own Father Rüstem Tatar who served as the Turkish Cypriot member of the CMP for 21 years, President Tatar reaffirmed his “acknowledgement and appreciation to the CMP” and to the “important achievements reached over the years”.

President Tatar, in reference to a comment about the prospect of meeting the Greek Cypriot Leader with regards to the Cyprus issue, stated: “My policy is well known. New formal negotiations can only be started once the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side is reaffirmed”.


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1 thought on “Cyprus leaders visit the CMP anthropological laboratory together

  1. It just goes to show that, we can be Friends, as long as we don’t have to Walk in their Shadows.
    They have Always avoided the UN recommend Primary word included,
    But Sadly And Globally it Has to Be The UN s proof of Their Worth To Enforce that Particular Law at the Next Meeting, By Showing the Due Respect by Addressing Ersin Tatar as the President that He Is.
    We Are At The End of Dilly Dalliance, just Straight Talking Please.
    If UN is what it is Supposed to be.

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