Turkish Cypriots mark 50 years since 'Lost Bus' massacre

50 years ago today, 11 Turkish Cypriot men were killed by Greek Cypriot militiamen on their way to work. Their bodies were found 43 years later.

Turkish Cypriots mark 50 years since 'Lost Bus' massacre

World Bulletin / News Desk

A day after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered Turkey to pay 90 million euros in compensation to the Greek Cypriot administration for 'violations' committed during the 1974 Cyprus military operation, Turkish Cypriots, who have reacted angrily to the verdict, mark the 50th anniversary since the tragic 'Lost Bus' massacre.

On 13 May 1964, eleven Turkish Cypriots left their homes in Tuzla (Engomi) and Larnaca on their way to work in the British-controlled zone of Dhekelia. Just as they did everyday, the group of workers boarded the town's bus after saying goodbye to their families. However, little did their families know that they would never see their loved ones again.

On their way to work, their route was blocked by a group of armed Greek Cypriot EOKA militiamen who ordered all of the passengers out. They were then taken to an unknown location and killed.

The bodies of the eleven men - were not found until 43 years later in 2007, thrown down a well in the Greek Cypriot village of Oronliki. The TG856 registered bus till this day is still missing.

Marking the occassion, Martyr Families and Wounded Veterans Association general manager Ertan Ersan said: “While we remember our 11 martyred brothers from Tuzla and Larnaca on the anniversary marking the day they were kidnapped, mercilessly killed and thrown into a well by EOKA militants as they were travelling to the British base on 13 May 1964, we have not forgotten, will not forget and will not allow this painful memory to be forgotten. May they rest in peace.”

Turkey launched a military operation on Cyprus as a constitutional guarantor of peace after Greek extremist militant group EOKA, which sought to unite the island with Greece, conducted a coup on the government in July 1974 after having forced Turkish Cypriots to flee into enclaves to escape from years of massacres.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mayıs 2014, 10:55