The Greek Cypriot government has provided additional information to the Turkish Cypriot authorities concerning the sites of 28 minefields laid by the Greek Cypriot military in the Besparmak mountain range in 1974.
According to a written announcement by Greek Cypriot government spokesman Christodoulides, in addition to the coordinates of the 28 minefields in the Besparmak Mountains, which President Anastasiades gave to President Akinci at their recent meeting, the South’s government, in consultation with the UN, handed over photocopies of all the information related to these minefields, based on the established relevant guidelines.
Akinci met earlier yesterday with UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and UNFICYP Force Commander Kristin Lund, and according to news reports, he asked for the cooperation of the UN in acquiring all relevant information, as well as in contributions from experts in de-mining. Both UN officials replied positively to Akinci, reports note.
Experts speaking to ‘Kibris Postasi’ believe that there are no landmines in the Besparmak mountain range. Retired Colonel and Security Expert Mehmet Celebioglu told the newspaper that he had been training soldiers in the Besparmak Mountains for 27 years, and not once had he found any landmines. He said it was his personal opinion that there were no mines on the Turkish contact line.
Celebioglu speculated that President Anastasiades had possibly done this to create confusion and said it’s not likely that landmines would be planted in mountainous regions but are more likely to be found on level ground. He also added that it was easy to spot a landmine.