Northern Cyprus slams Greek side for deporting tourists
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Jan. 2 warned that it will take action against the Greek Cypriot administration if it continued to stop travelers from crossing their mutual border.
The statement by the Turkish Cyprus Foreign Ministry came after a group of Israeli tourists intending to make their way into Northern Cyprus were held at Larnaca International Airport on the Greek side and subsequently deported.
Turkish Cyrus expressed its “sadness” over the move, which it said was “arbitrary” and “illegal.”
“The behavior shown [by the Greek Cypriot administration] is unacceptable and it is the product of a mindset attempting to prevent our interaction with the world […],” the ministry said.
Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkish troops intervened in response to a coup sponsored by the military junta then in power in Athens seeking to unite the island with Greece.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of the 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.
Turkey blames Greek Cypriot intransigence for the talks’ failure, also faulting the European Union for admitting the Greek Cypriot administration into the union in 2004 although Greek Cypriot voters had recently rejected a peace deal.