By Evie Andreou
The opening of the road through the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kokkina in the Tylliria region will be raised at the next meeting of the technical committee for crossing points in January, the head of Kato Pyrgos community council Costas Michaelides said on Monday.
In an announcement, Michaelides said that the community council had a meeting with the head of the Greek Cypriot team of the technical committee, Sotos Zacheos, to press for the opening of the road that passes through Kokkina, an enclave controlled by the Turkish army since the bicommunal clashes of 1963-64.The coastal road used to link Nicosia to Paphos.
After the route was no longer available, and following the 1974 invasion, residents of the Tylliria region were left cut off both from Paphos and Nicosia as access to the capital was also cut off. Drivers are now forced to travel on a winding road inland to reach the north western part of the island.
Over the years new roads were constructed to shorten the travelling times, but distances are still longer than when the original routes were available.
In 2010, the Tylliria communities welcomed the opening of the Limnitis checkpoint north of Pyrgos which shortened distances to and from Nicosia, and are now asking for the opening of a crossing through Kokkina to ease the journey to Polis and Paphos.
Zacheos was given a tour of the crossing points to and from Kokkina, in Mansoura and Pachyammos and “realised how easy it is to open a crossing to stop the suffering, exclusion and violation of basic human rights of the area’s residents”, the announcement said.
The technical committee member said he would urgently raise the issue in the committee’s next meeting in January.
Michaelides said he rejected Turkish Cypriot arguments that the road passes near Turkish army outposts and could not be opened.