After 47 years, the remains of seven Greek soldiers killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus were finally returned to Greece on Thursday to a hero’s welcome and full military.
Prior to the departure for Greece, a special handover ceremony took place in Cyprus in the presence of the political, military and religious leadership of Cyprus and Greece`s Deputy Minister of Defense Nikolaos Hardalias, who were joined by relatives of the soldiers who had travelled from Greece.
The seven soldiers were identified following DNA tests as part of the exhumation program of the Commission of Inquiry into those Missing in Action.
These are the remains of:
- Colonel (Infantry) Konstantinos Kokkas.
- Colonel (Engineer) Nikolaos Giannakopoulos.
- Reserve Warrant Officer (Infantry) Dimitrios Velonas.
- Reserve Warrant Officer (Paratroopers) Christodoulou Doitsidis.
- Reserve Warrant Officer (Supply-Transport) Dimitrios Thanopoulos.
- Reserve Warrant Officer (Infantry) Charalambos Karagounis.
- Reserve Warrant Officer (Infantry) Thomas Koukoulis.
In Tatoi, the Heroes and the Greek delegation were welcomed the Vice President of the Parliament Athanasios Bouras, on behalf of the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, the Metropolitan of Ilio, Acharnes and Petroupolis Athenagoras, on behalf of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, representatives of Party Leaders, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Greece Kyriakos Kenevezos and the Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Georgios Blioumis.