Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
Forty-seven years after they were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the remains of 7 Greek soldiers were returned to their homeland.
Relatives of the deceased soldiers, who hailed from Karditsa to Nea Ionia and from Ilia to Didymoteicho, arrived from Greece to claim the remains that were identified through DNA analysis.
A small ceremony was held at the Ayia Sofia church in Strovolos in the presence of political, military and religious leaders, among them, the Deputy Minister of Defense Nikolaos Hardalias, the Speaker of Parliament, the Bishop of Karpasia on behalf of the Archbishop, the Ambassador of Greece and other military officials.
Colonels Konstantinos Kokkas and Nikolaos Giannakopoulos and the reservists Thomas Koukoulis, Charalambos Karagounis, Dimitrios Velonas, Dimitrios Thanopoulos died in ground battles while Christodoulos Doitsidis died while onboard the Noratlas "Victory 4" helicopter, which was shot down in July in Nicosia.
All were given posthumous honors while their relatives were awarded medals.
The bones were transported by air force aircraft to Greece for burial at the places of origin.