In January, in a tranquil, overgrown field dotted with olive vines and fig trees in northern Cyprus, the remains of a 56-year-old man were pulled from the bottom of a well.
It marked the end of a decades-long quest for the truth for the family of Kyriakos Constanti Hadjisoteri, one of an estimated 1,500 Greek Cypriots who were forcibly disappeared following the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. They were not the first to go missing – a decade earlier around 500 Turkish Cypriots had vanished during another bout of bloody ethnic unrest.
Fought over by Greece and Turkey for hundreds of years, Cyprus never fully recovered from the 1963/4 and 1974 conflicts, which saw the island effectively partitioned into Greek and Turkish sides and more than 200,000 Cypriots expelled from their homes. While Turkish and Greek Cypriots to a large extent remain estranged, one question unites families across both communities – what happened to the disappeared?
Hadjisoteri’s mystery was finally solved thanks to the work of investigative journalist Sevgul Uludag, a Turkish Cypriot who started writing about the missing in 2002……..
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