HL Deb 15 March 1976 vol 369 cc138-9WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What information they have concerning the number of persons still missing in Cyprus since the events of 1974; and what steps are being taken to trace and if necessary free such persons through the International Red Cross or through other bilateral or multilateral channels.


According to information from Cyprus, compiled in the first instance by the relatives of the people who have been missing since the hostilities of 1974, there are still over 2,000 Greek Cypriots unaccounted for. The Turkish Cypriots also state that there are nearly 200 missing Turkish Cypriots. Before its departure last year a tracing team from the International Committee of the Red Cross investigated all the available information, and there is still an ICRC office in Cyprus through which any new information that comes to light can be processed. Both the Turkish Government and the Turkish Cypriot authorities have, however, consistently maintained that there are no missing persons or undeclared prisoners of war either in mainland Turkey or in northern Cyprus. In the absence of any firm evidence that those missing are still alive Her Majesty's Government have reluctantly accepted these statements. The current talks on humanitarian matters which are being conducted under UN auspices in Nicosia between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash should cover this subject and I hope they will find it possible to give some clarification to the unhappy relatives.