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War crimes were committed during Turkish invasion, British Member of Parliament reiterates
2009-08-24 13:10:58

Nicosia, Aug 18 – War crimes were committed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 said Roger Gale, Conservative Member of the British Parliament, in an interview with London Greek Radio.

Gale spoke about the recently identified remains of five Greek Cypriot prisoners of war 35 years after they were killed and thrown down a well, and stressed, “I think that the news that has come through confirms simply what most of us have always believed which is that in the course of the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus war crimes were committed. That is a fact that needs to be fully and properly investigated by the appropriate authorities and the appropriate action taken. I would be saddened, however, if any such investigation were to delay the process of the retrieval of remains that can be identified, because the most important thing, I think, is that families who have been waiting for news, have the news and are able to obtain at least some kind of closure.”

When asked what Britain can do to help solve this problem, Gale said that he does not think “this is particularly a problem that Britain can involve itself in any other way than as one of the guarantor powers. The process is one that is probably going to be hastened -- if at all -- by the United Nations and the International Red Cross,” he added.

In response to a question about whether or not Britain can put pressure on Turkey to resolve the problem, Gale said: “This has been going on now for rather a long time and British governments have failed to achieve any notable pressure on Turkey…it is more probable that that will be done possibly by the European Union and equally possibly, if they had the will to do it by the United States.”

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