Cypriots in Row Over Island Crossing
Turkish Cypriots have excluded Greek Cypriots from facilitated travelling rights granted to all other EU citizens, when crossing the line dividing the two communities.
Mehmet Ali Talat, the Turkish-Cypriot premier was quoted by Kibris newspaper as saying that all EU citizens and only Greek Cypriots who live abroad will be allowed to enter the Turkish occupied north of the island just by displaying their identity cards. Under new measures that came into force on Saturday, Greek Cypriots living on the island would still have to present their passports. This decision has reportedly angered Greek Cypriot officials, particularly after the Cyprus Commissioner Markos Kyprianou was refused entry into the Turkish part on Friday, unless he showed his passport. However, Talat added that the issue of whether to allow Greek Cypriots to cross without showing their passports is still being examined. Cyprus joined the EU on May 1, but EU law only applies to the Greek Cypriot part, after a UN blueprint for the island’s reunification was rejected by the Greek side last month.