Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash claimed on Tuesday (3 September) that a third mass grave of massacre victims had been discovered on the Island.
CU Denktash speaking.
SV Interviewer with Clerides
CU Clerides speaking. "First I would like..." "... the people of Cyprus."
MR DENKTASH: "Well, what can one's reaction be...for the mass murder of a village papulation... aged one to aged 90... women and children. And especially if those people are people that you have known well... with whom you have worked together to build those little houses, because they were burnt down again in 1958...people with whom you have had lunch and you have shared their joys and their sorrows. I am shocked."
INTERVIEWER: "Some doubts have been raised by the Greek Cypriot authorities over whether they really are all Turkish Cypriots."
DENKTASH: "Well, that adds great insult to a grave injury. I wish they could be men enough to get up and say, 'We condemn this ??? of mass murder. We condemn the murder of civilians... of ??? children.' That would have been better. It would have helped us."
clerides: "First, I would like to say about that massacre...it has not been established to which community, in my opinion, the people massacred belonged to. There are a very large member of Greek Cypriots missing. The total of number in the district of Nicosia is 2500 persons missing. I really would prefer that the Turkish side accepted a neutral investigation with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot observers. I cannot but condemn the massacre ... whether it was Turks which were massacred or whether it was Greek Cypriots. I believe that both the Turks and the Greeks will have to life on this Island for centuries to come and, therefore, anything which creates hatred and animosity is really not serving the best interests of the people of Cyprus."
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Background: Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash claimed on Tuesday (3 September) that a third mass grave of massacre victims had been discovered on the Island. Mr. Denktash said he suspected about 50 Turkish Cypriots had been shot and buried in a village near Limasol, southern Cyprus.
On Monday (2 September), Mr. Denktash postponed his scheduled meeting with the Acting President of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides, after the discovery of a mass grave in the village of Maratha. By Tuesday afternoon, 51 bodies had been removed from the gravey Turkish Cypriot authorities claimed the villagers were victims of a retaliatory raid by Greek Cypriots. The Denktash-Clerides meeting on humanitarian issues was postponed until Friday, 6 September but observers say the latest massacre allegation could mean an indefinite delay.
In answer to the Maratha massacre allegations, a Greek Cypriot Government statement said hundreds of Greeks were also missing - particularly in the Maratha area. The Government ??? condemned the reported crime "regardless of which side is responsible for it".
In ???, the capital, on Tuesday, BBC reporter Mike McKay interviewed both Acting President Clerides and Mr. Denktash. Transcripts of those interviews appear below: