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South denies blocking entry to north to school party – Update

19 April 2017

North Cyprus News - Larnaca Airport

The South Cyprus government has denied Turkish Cypriot claims that they prevented children from Russia and Serbia from attending youth day celebrations in the north of the island.

Turkish Cypriot newspaper ‘Kibris’ reported on Tuesday that the children, who were invited to attend Youth Day celebrations on April 23 in the north, had arrived in [South] Cyprus through Larnaca airport but were denied entry into Cyprus after it emerged that they would cross the border.

South Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Alexandros Zenon countered those claims on state radio on Wednesday.

At the airport, we advised them that taking part in such events organised by an illegal entity, are a violation of the UN charter and a provocation,” said Zenon.

We reminded them that the Republic of Cyprus would not be able to protect them once they cross over into the north,” he added.

The Serbian delegation then left at their own accord. The allegations that we did not allow them entry are false. They left because they reconsidered their actions although three people did decide to stay to holiday in the Republic,” said Zenon.

If they had insisted we could not have stopped them. We just alerted them of the situation – that it was not an NGO but an invitation from an illegal ministry,” said Zenon.

The Serbian delegation included 17 school pupils. I am not aware if the Serbian Education Ministry was aware of the invitation or if the school acted on its own. The Serbian embassy in Cyprus was not aware of the invitation,” he added.

The same happened with the children from Russia. We informed the Russian embassy of the situation and they withdrew their participation instead of joining the celebrations,” concluded Zenon.

Update: Cyprus Mail reports that the Serbian foreign ministry said on Wednesday that a group of 13 Serbian children and their adult chaperones were denied entry to the Cyprus at Larnaca airport on Monday, after police saw that they had a letter inviting them to attend a Children’s Day festival on 23rd April by the Turkish Cypriot authorities,.

A statement issued by the Serbian ministry on Wednesday confirmed earlier reports from the north, stating that the children, all members of a dance troupe, had been “detained” and then “barred from leaving the airport”, before eventually being allowed to enter the Republic of Cyprus following diplomatic consultations.

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris reported on Wednesday that non-EU nationals arriving in Republic of Cyprus-controlled points of entry are asked to state their place of residence in the government-controlled areas during their visit – otherwise, they are denied entry.

Eventually, they flew back home minus three of the adults who remained behind, not out of choice but because there were not enough seats on their return flight, the Serbian ministry said.

Cyprus Weekly, Cyprus Mail

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  • MrH

    The Greek Cypriots are lying again. Imagine them as the majority people’s in a new a federal Cyprus government! These people just cannot be trusted!

  • Nicos

    I wonder how Azerbaijan would react if a group of Turkish children arrived in Baku to then cross over to Nargono-karaback to take part in an Armenian festival??

    • Hulahoop

      No Turk woudl ever do that.However many of your fellow Europeans cross to the TRNC.

      • Nicos

        Ok. What about children from any country? Would Azerbaijan let them cross into Nargono-karaback? I don’t think so. And you Turks would support that decision.

  • turkishcypriot

    They are making it worse by trying to justify their actions. They should lock themselves in a dark room away from the outside world and never come out. I am going say only one thing to our president Akinci. Next time you consider coming together with these people, please think twice. We have reached the end of the road with the GCs.

    • Nicos

      The GCs have not reached the end of the road with you though. We are particularly fond of our northern region.

      • Qovaq

        You better come and force us off the northern region Nickos, then you’ll get kicked up your nether region again, just like in ’74. You don’t learn.

        • Nicos

          That’s what the Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans and British thought as well. You don’t know how tenacious Greeks are. We are the legendary survivors of history and we will come again. Don’t forget that in 1922 Greeks came within a whisker of destroying Turkey for good. Modern warfare is not all about numbers.

  • maxbarnes

    Another example of harassment and deceit by the GC system to travelling people.Many individuals have experienced similar obstructions and brainwashing from these officials.No wonder the World and visitors to the South, and GC schools are confused and mislead about the real truth of the Cyprus problem.

    • Nicos

      Well we are in dispute with thousands of soldiers facing each other! What do you expect…An orchestra to entertain people as they cross over? Propaganda has and is still being used by both sides. The GC enclaved are constantly being harrassed by TC police, are you also angry about that?

      • Terry

        Could you explain enclaves to me as they live here have free movement drive shiny new GC registered cars. They get food parcels which they sell and seem extremely happy. If there’s a vacancy can I be enclaved. As regards the soldiers facing each other I see more soldiers in the south than here. Say 15000 here your side maybe 10000.

        • Nicos

          I’m sure you can Google it for yourself and you will find out that the situation was much worse for the enclaved in the 1980s and 1990s. Hence their numbers dropped from10000 to just 350 now.

          • Terry

            True but are they not returning now as your side are reporting.

  • Terry

    Would not be able to protect them what utter rubbish. So it’s ok for the GC in the south to come and go but not children from another country on a school visit. They never miss a trick regarding propaganda to publicise themselves. Sadly they do not realise how petty and stupid they look. Over to you Nicos.

    • Nicos

      Well I’ve been saying for many years that there is no legal protection for anyone who crosses into the breakaway regime. No embassy can assist you in any difficulty as there is no official representation there.
      However it does seem to have been handled badly as i take it there is no GC officials at the border crossings advising other travellers of this. Either everyone can cross over or no one should be allowed. I prefer the latter.

      • Terry

        To each their own but the way it was worded implied they would not be safe in the north when in truth they are safer hear regarding crime than in the south.

        • Nicos

          I don’t know the statistics on both sides for crimes against visitors. I would imagine both to be very low as Cypriots are known for their hospitality. This incident is clearly some kind of propaganda on our sides part to remind the world of the unlawful status of the north.

          • Terry

            Fair enough but I think general crime is much much lower here. But I think kids that have come all his way was a bit low even for you guys. You have been banging that drum for 50 years and will be banging it for another 50. The world must know by now but chooses to ignore it except for a few words here and there yet life goes on here and improves day by day.

          • Nicos

            Yeah but you have a choice and you can return to UK at any time. TCs are I guess not happy about their isolation whether it’s real or not. And war can break out at any time over even a minor incident never mind the gas exploration.

          • Terry

            War is not going to break I think the last incident was 96 if memory serves me. The Turks have run the bases down to serve in Syria . The NG and Greek forces have neither the equipment or the will to fight. The UN is useless in his situation so what would be gained for either side. As regards the drilling that will not happen if the sultan deploys the navy which he most likely will. Sadly he has nothing to lose joining the eu has faded into the distance. I feel the eu will fall or change dramatically into a two part group north and the med .

          • Nicos

            As I’ve said before if everything were great in the north why was a pro solution president elected? The TCs dark ages were in 1963 when they retreated to enclaves. They now control 37% of Cyprus and yet still are not happy. Still they want closure on this problem through a Federation. That means that they must be fearful of something despite being defended by Turkey. Perhaps they know how things can change in Cyprus?