Cyprus soldiers’ remains traced

Thirty-five years after iconic photographs were taken of a group of five Greek-Cypriot soldiers surrendering to Turkish troops on Cyprus, authorities have confirmed that their remains have been identified, prompting accusations they were executed. The United Nations-led Committee on Missing Persons confirmed that the families of the five soldiers in the photographs, which have become synonymous with the struggle of Greek Cypriots to discover the fate of hundreds of missing people, had been informed of the results of forensic tests. The remains of the five soldiers, named as Antonakis Korelli, Panayiotis Nikolaou, Yiannis Papayianni, Christoforos Skordi and Filippos Chatzikiriakou, were found in a well along with the relics of 14 others, also thought to be Greek-Cypriot soldiers. «For the soldiers to be discovered the way they were, in a well, proves they were murdered,» said Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, who urged Turkey to investigate what happened. «The discoveries confirm the crimes and flagrant breach of international law and human rights during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus,» said Greek Foreign Ministry spokes-man Grigoris Delavekouras. «It is a cold-blooded execution,» said Andreas Chatzikiriakou, the brother of one of those killed on August 14, 1974. «I can never accept this.» The Turkish government had not commented on the findings by last night. Since starting exhumations three years ago, the UN-sponsored program has unearthed the remains of 537 people and has returned those of 119 Greek Cypriots and 44 Turkish Cypriots to their families.