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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Mass graves of the missing persons of Ashia at Ornithi village in the occupied part of Cyprus

10.2.2015 - (2015/2551(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Marietje Schaake, Fernando Maura Barandiarán, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Cecilia Wikström, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Gérard Deprez, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ivan Jakovčić, Louis Michel, Hilde Vautmans, Marielle de Sarnez, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0150/2015

Postupak : 2015/2551(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Mass graves of the missing persons of Ashia at Ornithi village in the occupied part of Cyprus


The European Parliament,

-          having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey;


-          having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2007 on missing persons in Cyprus[1];


-          having regard to the relevant reports of the United Nations Secretary-General[2], resolutions of the United Nations Security Council[3] and international initiatives taken to investigate the fate of missing persons in Cyprus[4];


-          having regard to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of 10 May 2001[5] and 10 January 2008[6] concerning missing persons in Cyprus and the 12 May 2014 Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Cyprus v. Turkey;


-          having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 18 June 2008 on Missing persons in Cyprus (2007/2280 (INI)),


-          having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0139/2008),


-          having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.       whereas on the ordeal of missing persons in Cyprus began in the 19060 with a limited number of missing persons and reached its peak with nearly 2000 missing persons following the military invasion by Turkey in 1974, which still keeps the island divided;


B.        whereas a total of 2001 Cypriots remain missing for several decades now, out of which 1508 are Greek Cypriots and 493 Turkish Cypriots;


C.        whereas in the Spring of 2009, the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) conducted a search in the Ornithi area, and discovered four burial sites, two of which were water wells and two additional mass graves, whereas the remains identified by DNA testing have confirmed that they belong to the list of 70 civilians who went missing in on 21 August 1974 in the nearby village Ashia;


D.       whereas evidence suggest that that two of the mass graves had been previously exhumed, with indications that some of the remains had been removed and transferred elsewhere;


E.        whereas the suffering of the families of the missing persons, who have remained ignorant of the fate of their beloved relatives for decades, still continues and whereas all efforts must therefore be made to expedite the investigations;



F.        whereas the European Court of Human Rights has ruled on the responsibility of Turkey as the de-facto occupying force in the northern part of Cyprus to investigate the whereabouts and fates of those missing and facilitate the work of the Committee of Missing Persons;


1.        condemns the continued failure of the Turkish authorities and military, but also of the local Turkish Cypriot authorities, to fully cooperate with the Committee of Missing Persons and to allow for full and unrestricted access throughout the northern part of Cyprus; underlines that the Turkish military should supply and share old military maps and give full access to its archives in order to facilitate the search for still undisclosed burial grounds;

2.        reminds Turkey about the obligation of every State, under the European Convention of Human Rights, to abide by final judgments in cases to which it is party;

3.        underlines that an increased cooperation for the final location of all mass graves and burial sites would be a step towards a closure of the emotional suffering from the families involved and maybe constitute a step forward in a much needed process of reconciliation between the two communities;

4.        reiterates its continued support for the work done by the Committee on Missing Persons and expresses its condolences and solidarity with all the families of missing persons, in both of the two communities;

5.        stresses that the continued division of Cyprus is against the fundamental values upon which the European Union is founded and reiterates its full support for a comprehensive settlement of the division of Cyprus along the established UN-parameters of a bi-communal federal state;

6.        instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and the Government and Parliament of Turkey