Missing Bus Monument opened
Date Added: 14 May 2024

On May 13, 1964, a bus with 11 passengers on board left the Larnaca district and never returned.

The Lost Bus Monument, built in memory of those who were on the bus was inaugurated with a ceremony.

The Missing Bus Monument made in memory of 11 martyrs who on the 13th of May 1964 were abducted by Greek Cypriot Police on their way from Larnaca to their workplaces at the British Base Area of Dikelya and who were shot and thrown into a well near the Greek Cypriot village of Oroklini in Larnaca, was inaugurated on Monday.

In the museum built at the monument, the belongings of the 11 martyrs, which were found on them when they were taken out of the well where they were thrown after being brutally murdered will be exhibited.

The remains of the 11 martyrs were found in 2007 as a result of the work carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus.

Delivering the first speech Fevzi Tanpınar, who prepared the Missing Bus Documentary and presented the opening ceremony, apologized to the martyrs for the fact that the documentary was made 47 years later and the monument 60 years later and said that they should protect the social memory and pass it on to future generations before it is too late.

The head of the Larnaca Refugees Association Zarifşen Menteşoğlu said that this massacre was recorded in international records as “the first mass genocide”.

Celal Dimililer, the child of one of the martyrs, stated that reaching the bodies of their ancestors after 46 years as a result of the work carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons relieved them to some extent and expressed his satisfaction that a monument and museum worthy of the martyrs was built in order to prevent all the experiences from happening again and not to forget what happened.

Mayor of Iskele Hasan Sadıkoğlu also gave information about the construction of the monument and said, “What we Turkish Cypriots have been subjected to is inhuman treatment that will never be forgotten”.

The Chairman of the Türkiye-TRNC Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Orhan Erdem commemorated all those who were martyred to make these lands a homeland and emphasized the importance of the new generation moving into the future by knowing their past well.

The Chairman of the Azerbaijan-TRNC Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Cavanşir Feyziyev for his part stated that they have suffered a lot as a Turkic nation and explained the struggles of Azerbaijan and expressing his belief that the Turkish Cypriot people will also be successful in their struggles.

Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Metin Feyzioğlu also stated that the monument is a shrine to the genocide committed against the Turkish Cypriot people, noting its importance and congratulating  everyone who built the monument.

Emphasizing the importance of building the future without forgetting the past, Feyzioğlu noted that the Cyprus problem ended with the Peace Operation and yet there was no agreement that peace came to the island.

He emphasized the importance of Azerbaijan’s support and stated that the events in Gaza once again showed the importance of this unity and said “Long live the TRNC, long live Azerbaijan”.

Prime Minister Ünal Üstel also talked about the struggle for existence of the Turkish Cypriot people and noted that freedom was achieved thanks to Türkiye.

Üstel stated that they commemorated the martyrs who lost their lives in the Greek Cypriot massacre and said that they will not forget the martyrs and would never let them be forgotten.

Thanking Azerbaijan for paying a historic visit to the country, Üstel also thanked the National Assembly of Azerbaijan and said that they will continue their struggle as three states and one nation and emphasized the importance of the support given to the Turkish Cypriot people.

The Speaker of the Republic’s Assembly Zorlu Töre in his speech at the event stated that they made these lands their homeland by giving their life and blood.

He expressed the hope that what happened in the past will never happen again.

He said that they will never give up defending the homeland.

President Ersin Tatar during his speech congratulated everyone who contributed to the building of the monument.

Drawing attention to the similarities to the sufferings and struggles waged by the Turkish Cypriot people and Azerbaijan, President Tatar thanked the Azerbaijani delegation for their meaningful visit and expressed his love and respect to Aliyev.

Stating that the monument will have an important place in Turkish Cypriot history, Tatar stated that they want the support of Türkiye, Azerbaijan and Turkic states to keep the independent Turkish Cypriot state, the TRNC live forever.

President Tatar also emphasized the importance of the guarantorship of the Republic of Türkiye.

After the speeches were completed, prayers were recited by the Religious Affairs Representative in memory of the martyrs and the Missing Bus Monument was opened.

At the opening, 11 cypress trees were planted by the relatives of the families of the martyrs in memory of the 11 martyrs.