Cyprus Mail

Over nine million crossings in 2018

Long queues at Ayios Dhometios crossing

In the first 11 months of 2018, there were over nine million crossings between the two sides, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Tuesday.

According to Havadis, using data from the ‘tourism planning department’ there were 9.438m crossings between the government-controlled areas and the north.

There were 4.49m crossings from the south to the north and 4.71m crossings the other direction.

In the same period the previous year the respective numbers were 4.47m and 4.49m crossings.

The number of Greek Cypriot crossings 1.63m compared with 991,164 in the same period in 2017. More Greek Cypriots crossed in 2018 due to the fall in the Turkish lira.

Turkish Cypriot crossings accounted for 1.61m. The remainder crossing over and back would constitute other EU citizens and foreign nationals.

The crossings of tourists from the south to the north reached 1.63m and the number of tourists who crossed the other way reached 1.62.

A 71 per cent increase was observed in crossings by Bulgarian during the period, and a 48 per cent increase in crossings by Greeks.

There was also a 61.7 per cent increase in crossings of Israeli tourists from the south to the north of the island.

Authorities in the north warned last week they would not sit idly by while the Republic of Cyprus refuses entry to third-country nationals wishing to holiday in the north, after some 30 Israelis were sent back home on arrival at Larnaca airport when it emerged they would cross to the north for New Year.

The Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign ministry’ warned in a written statement that unless the Republic of Cyprus does not end the practice, they would take their own measures.

The announcement follows an incident involving more than 30 Israeli citizens, the ‘ministry’ said, who had arrived at Larnaca airport for the purpose of holidaying in the north for New Year and who were refused entry.

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