02 April 2014 19:24

Despite efforts, the location of a Greek-Cypriot cemetery in the occupied areas where a fashion photo-shoot took place has not been determined, Andreas Petrou, head of the Occupied Communities Committee told The Cyprus Daily on Tuesday.  
Greek Cypriots have expressed outrage over the event calling the incident 'sacrilege' and a sign of disrespect.
The fashion photo-shoot features a male and a female model posing on graves in a Greek-Cypriot cemetery in the occupied north, carried out by Turkish photographer Bastemur Bilal.  
Petrou said that all 132 occupied communities and relevant authorities have been mobilised and are searching to find the location of the cemetery.
He said the search includes identification of the cemetery through photos released online as well as paying visits to cemeteries that bear a resemblance.
He said about four communities until yesterday morning claimed, from the photos released, that the cemetery is within their district.
"I have contacted the Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry and I'm also expecting a response from them about the issue," said Petrou.
The Turkish photographer Bastemur Bilal, of M&B Photography studio, apologised yesterday in response to comments made by Greek Cypriots of violating a sacred space and said he had not realised the controversy that would emerge.
He said: "It's clear that a lot of mistakes have been done," adding "we will have to use every possible chance to apologise. Sorry."
Bilal also said that he had chosen the abandoned space randomly because he thought it would provide an interesting backdrop and had no intentions to pass any messages.
Petrou said the fact that the photographer apologised found him in agreement, saying it was a positive move, given the situation with the peace talks between the two sides.
"I am glad he apologised because this is a critical period in the negotiation process of peace talks to find a solution.
"The fact that he apologised shows that there is understanding between the two sides and that when anything that occurs on one side that is not in agreement with the other side can be peacefully resolved."
He added: "However, we still need to find the location of the cemetery. After talking with the ministries, we will also decide how to proceed with the case."


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