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In Praise of the Dead

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:14 pm

Bridging the ‘rivers of blood’
By Rebecca Bailey

“TRUE HEROISM is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

The words of Arthur Ashe, an American social activist and tennis player, seem to be especially fitting to describe the ten “unsung heroes” from Cyprus who were honoured recently acts of courage and humanity in times of war.

These were men who, during the intercommunal conflicts of the 50s and 60s, and in the later Turkish invasion of 1974, risked their lives to save and protect members of the ‘other side’, their supposed enemies, at immense personal risk.

The ceremony was conceived of by Sevgul Uludag, a Turkish Cypriot journalist who has dedicated the last eight years of her life to investigating the cases of those still ‘missing’ from the conflicts, from both sides. On the Turkish Cypriot side, the issue was still very much a taboo subject.

“When I started talking about it, it was like an earthquake in our community,” she said. “There was just this enormous flow of words, the relief of being able to speak about it.”

Stories of barbarity poured down the hotline she had set up; stories of rape, murder, massacre, and betrayal. Every now and again, though, she was told a story that was not about pain; a story that was rather about the triumph of humanity over animalism, a story of bravery and pathos.

“Unless we have a common understanding of the past, how can we have a common vision?” asked Uludag.

Events like these hinge around the idea that “common pain can be used as a catalyst for peace.” In this case, there was more than pain uniting the two sides though; there was hope, courage and humanity.

Although ten men were honoured, Uludag assured there were many more. Some do not want to be named, for fear of retaliation from their neighbours, even after all these years. Some will not be named by the ones they saved, because the latter do not want to admit they owe their life to an official enemy. Some people's stories will be lost forever because everyone involved in them perished.

As Phaedon Vassiliades, of Stop the War Coalition-Cyprus expressed it, on Wednesday night, people gathered to say “a very big «Efharisto» or «Teshekkurler» to those who, with courage and humanity, saved not only human lives but human values and the hope for future peace.”


CENGIZ RATIP

In 1963, Cengiz Ratip journeyed from Polis to Kokkino to save a bus full of Greek Cypriot children being held hostage there.

Ratip was an MP and a man highly respected by both sides of the conflict. The children from Polis had been kidnapped in the hope of making the exchange for two Turkish Cypriots who had been captured.

What the kidnappers did not know was that the two men had been killed. Ratip had the unenviable job of explaining this to them, and negotiating the release of the children.

“If you kill these children now,” he is reported to have told them, “You stand alone. The Turkish Cypriot community will not stand by you.”

He succeeded, but his efforts cost him his life. Plots to assassinate him sprung up. Many assassins refused to kill a man they respected so highly, but eventually some were found.

The trap they sprung exploited the very thing that made so many respect him; his desire to help people, and determination to stop bi-communal tension. The assassins created a disturbance in a village nearby, supposedly by mounting a Greek flag on a mosque.

Ratip and a local schoolteacher went to calm the situation. The assassins were waiting for them. They gunned them both down and buried the bodies. To this day, no one knows where they lie.

A letter from his widow was read out as his plaque was displayed. Her opening sentence was crushing in its simplicity, summing up a bewildered pain most of the audience easily identified with. “I wish that my dear husband Cengiz Ratip had not been killed, because he was a very kind person, who had never harmed anyone.”

CHRISTOFIAS POSEIDIAS

Poseidias protected Turkish Cypriot women and children from rape and death by EOKA B'. He hid them in his own house. One of the women he saved was Mahan Halil, who was there on the night of the celebration to present him with his plaque.

“This good man saved us, took us to his house, hid us, protected us all, women and children,” she said, clearly very moved. Poseidias then took the mike. “All I can say is we want peace,” he said in a quavering voice.

Christos Kyprianou and Ahmet Yorganci

One of the most touching stories was that of Christos Kyprianou and Ahmet Yorganci, a master and worker who ended up saving each other’s lives. Before 1974, Ahmet had worked for Christos as a labourer. When the coup happened, Christos realised that Ahmet, then only seventeen, was in danger.

Risking his own life, he took Ahmet secretly to Nicosia and hid him in a friend’s house, warning him to remain there until it was safe. “I did my duty as a human being; and in the same situation I would do it again,” said a tearful Christos at the ceremony.

Later, Christos himself was caught by a Turkish Cypriot patrol, along with a young soldier. By chance they happened to be near to Catoz, Ahmet’s village. Christos pleaded with the Turkish Cypriots: “I am not a soldier, I am a worker! I worked with people from this village!” They refused to believe him; but whether by fate or luck, Ahmet happened to be passing by at the time. With a huge cry of “Mastro!” he embraced Kyprianou.

The young soldier was shot dead in front of the two men. Ahmet managed to persuade the Turkish Cypriots to let Christos go free.

They were reunited by Sevgul Uludag in the course of her research. “They are now very close,” she said. “When Ahmet had to have an operation on his back in Larnaca recently, Christos was there almost every day visiting him.”

The other men honoured:

Christofias Poseidias protected Turkish Cypriot women and children from rape and death by EOKA B'. He hid them in his own house.

Stavros Poirazis, a muhtar from Strongylos who turned an angry mob away from his village with the words: “Go back to your villages! You will not touch the Turkish Cypriots of Strongylos!”.

Alpay Topuz, who treated the 600 war prisoners at Voni camp with respect and kindness, which some testified to.

Ertan Akincioglu, Papa Kleanthis, Panayiotis Kosti Patsalou and Yorgis Mouzouros, who all saved members of the other side and hid them in their houses from the militia.


Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009


...these representatives of a race called Human did not forget.
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:15 am

Red Cross records on Cyprus’ missing now accessible

International Red Cross records containing information on prisoners of war and missing persons in Cyprus during the divided island’s turbulent years of 1965-1975 are now accessible, said Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Photis Photiou.

http://in-cyprus.com/red-cross-records- ... ccessible/
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:08 am

Hunt for Cyprus missing, excavations in Morphou reveal nine skeletons

“These are makeshift graves which suggests that these are people we have been searching for” he said.
FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE•Thursday, 08 September, 2016
Nine skeletons believed to belong to missing persons were found in Morphou at a site where the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) began conducting excavations in July, Nestoras Nestoros the Greek Cypriot Member of the CMP told the Cyprus News Agency.

Nestoros said that the small burial sites have been located in an area where the CMP is planning excavations at three different points, adding that the excavations are now at the first point.

"The excavation in Morphou began on July 21 and three points will be excavated at the specific area. We are already at the first point where small burial sites have been found,” he said, explaining that these are not mass graves.

He added that nine skeletons have been found until now.

"These are makeshift graves which suggests that these are people we have been searching for” he said. The first findings, he added, show that eight of the skeletons belong to middle-aged persons and one to a young person.

According to Nestoros the witnesses that gave the CMP information about the burial site did not know the identity of the persons that were buried there.

He also said that the CMP continues the effort to find more witnesses.

He said that the excavations will go on for some time as there are two more points to be excavated.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. As a result of the invasion, hundreds of Greek Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield. Turkish Cypriots are also listed as missing.

The CMP was established in the early 1980s, upon agreement between the leaders of the island`s two communities, with a view to exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.
— (KYPE)
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:45 pm

The remains of people believed to belong to four missing Greek-Cypriots in the occupied northern part of Cyprus were discovered north of lake Galateia. As the member of the special Investigative Commission on Missing Persons, Nestoras Nestoras said the number of people could rise. He underlined that the identification of the bones was made possible with the collaboration of a Turkish-Cypriot office in northern Cyprus. Mr. Nestoras explained that after excavations in the past in the area some human remains had been detected but with the use of new technology and the use of intelligence a positive outcome was possible, adding that the efforts to pin point more remains would continue. After the invasion of northern Cyprus by Turkish forces in 1974 it is estimated that around 1,600 people, including non-combatants, women and small children went missing.

http://en.protothema.gr/remains-of-4-gr ... rn-cyprus/


(i fear it is my brother)

RIP
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Fri May 12, 2017 1:57 am

CMP finds human remains in north military zone

http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/05/11/cmp-f ... tary-zone/
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Sun May 21, 2017 4:40 am

...12 found, in effect.

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/05 ... -43-years/

...and, for the one still unknown but, not forgotten, RIP.
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:50 pm

http://travelwirenews.com/cyprus-uses-high-tech-tools-to-search-for-missing-people-173016/

The country has invested in new technologies like the Geographic Information System, or GIS, that links all information gathered from archives, investigators and eyewitnesses to give a more exact estimate of possible burial sites.


Cyprus uses high-tech tools to search for missing people (title)


Officials estimate the archival search will boost the inflow of information by up to 20 percent.



...somewhere there are people living, who may before they die rise up and speak.
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby kurupetos » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:23 pm

repulsewarrior wrote:
http://travelwirenews.com/cyprus-uses-high-tech-tools-to-search-for-missing-people-173016/

The country has invested in new technologies like the Geographic Information System, or GIS, that links all information gathered from archives, investigators and eyewitnesses to give a more exact estimate of possible burial sites.


Cyprus uses high-tech tools to search for missing people (title)


Officials estimate the archival search will boost the inflow of information by up to 20 percent.



...somewhere there are people living, who may before they die rise up and speak.

No, they have their mouths full...
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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:27 am

Digging for the remains of Greek Cypriot missing persons in two mass graves at Ornithi, an area just outside the Turkish-held village of Ashia will commence by the end of next month, the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) Nestoras Nestoros said on Friday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Nestoros said additional information from witnesses would be helpful in locating the possible location of the reported mass grave.

In the coming days, he added, the area will be visually inspected so that the digging project can be better organised.

http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/08/19/excav ... ext-month/

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Re: In Praise of the Dead

Postby repulsewarrior » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:06 am

Excavations searching for the remains of 31 missing Cypriots to start soon in Athalassa Hospital

http://famagusta-gazette.com/excavation ... 085-69.htm

Speaking after the meeting, Fotiou said that an exploratory exhumation has already taken place, revealing human remains that were buried underground. The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics carried out DNA tests, which Fotiou said they were encouraging as to the quality of the genetic material they carry.

"We are now at a stage where the team that has conducted this excavation is coordinating with other state services” said Fotiou. He added that various measures need to be taken, since the designated area is adjacent to other buildings with a lot of people.
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