# The UN-supervised buffer zone is a demilitarized zone under the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). It was first established in 1964 when General Young was commander of the British Peace Force (forerunner of the UN Peace Force). He is said to have used a green grease pencil – nothing else was to hand – to draw a ceasefire line on a map. This is why the buffer zone is also called the "Green Line". It was expanded to its current dimensions after the ceasefire of 1974. It delineates a de facto border between the section of the island controlled by the Republic of Cyprus (South Cyprus apart from the British military bases) and the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC) in the North.
In the interest of simplicity, the southern area governed by the Republic of Cyprus is called "South" here and the "TRNC" area "North".
The UN buffer zone stretches over 180 kilometres from Paralimni in the east to Kato Pyrgos in the west, where it also encircles Kokkina. It goes through the centre
of Nicosia and divides the city into a southern and a northern part. Its whole area amounts to 346km²; its width varies from less than 20 metres to more than 7 kilometres. In 2003 the first
checkpoint was opened in order to enable both population groups to visit the other side. Since then, gradual steps towards relaxation have taken place.
# Because the naming of places is a part of the Cyprus conflict, the use of place names is seen as controversial and is a very sensitive area at the human as well as the political level. In the Republic of Cyprus it is illegal to use the Turkish place names introduced to the North after 1974. However, some places have had two names for a long time or were renamed before 1974.
In order to make the places identifiable in reality and reflect how the people who entrusted their stories to me designate them, I use both place names, the old
one followed by the new one.
# The historical information about the places is based on the information of the PRIO | Peace Research Institute Oslo, Cyprus Branch, Internal Displacement in Cyprus, Mapping the Consequences of Civil and Military Strife, http://www.prio-cyprus-displacement.net (last visit to the website: 2/8/2016).
# As a consequence of the conflicts since the 1950ies and the tragic events of 1963-64 and 1974 most Cypriot families have been directly or indirectly affected by "missing" relatives. The primary objective of the CMP is to enable relatives of missing persons to recover the remains of their loved ones, arrange for a proper burial and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty.
The CMP was established in April 1981 by agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities under the auspices of the United Nations. Over the next two decades, work on both sides focused on conducting investigations to negotiate a common official list of all those who disappeared.
In 2006, the climate was ripe for the CMP to begin excavations and exhumations on both sides of the island. An anthropological laboratory was set up in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia.
Since then, the CMP’s bi-communal forensic team consisting of about 75 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot scientists has been carrying out exhumations. They are involved at every stage of the exhumation and identification processes and at the return of the identified remains to their families.
From a total number of 2001 officially "missing" people (1508 "missing" Greek Cypriots and 493 "missing" Turkish Cypriots) 680 individuals (499 Greek Cypriots and 181 Turkish Cypriots) could be identified and returned to their families by the CMP (up to 31 July 2016).
www.cmp-cyprus.org (last visit to the website: 2. 8. 2016)