Turkey agrees access to Cyprus army zone graves in search for missing

Turkey has agreed to allow access to graves in military zones in war-split Cyprus in a major breakthrough in a decades-old search for persons missing in past conflicts, a team working under UN auspices said on Thursday.
Turkey has formally agreed to let exhumation teams inspect 30 known suspected burial sites in closed military areas, the Committee For Missing Persons (CMP) said in a statement. Access would be given over a three-year period.
More than 2,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots disappeared in a Turkish intervention in 1974 and intercommunal violence on the island over the decade prior to that.
The CMP has been carrying out exhumations at sites since 2006, but has never been allowed to carry out work in army zones. More than 1,000 Greek Cypriots are still missing.
Cyprus was split after the Turkish intervention in 1974, triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.
Talks to reunify ethnically divided island have accelerated recently as Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders embarked on a new diplomatic process endorsed and mediated by the UN.


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