Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Saturday visited the Dherynia crossing for the first time since its opening on November 12 last year.
The previous day he had visited the new crossing at Apliki, which opened the same day. During Saturday’s visit to Dherynia, the Turkish Cypriot leader said he hoped that Cyprus would reach a future of lasting peace where barricades would not be needed.
“It is not difficult to build conditions for a future in Cyprus with peace and prosperity without the need for barricades, and this can be done by both sides showing respect for mutual rights and political equality,” he said.
From the numbers of the crossings at Dherynia, he said it appeared the crossing was a real necessity for people who live in the Famagusta region. He and President Nicos Anastasiades had agreed to the opening of new crossing back in May 2015 but it took more than three years for it to happen.
According to CNA, between November 12, 2018 and January 2019, some 26,500 Greek Cypriot crossings from the south to the north and 14,692 Turkish Cypriot crossings from north to south have taken place, in addition to more than 20,300 by third-country nationals from the south of the island to the north.
“These numbers indicate that the roadblock was a necessity,” said Akinci.
Akinci was accompanied to Dherynia by the ‘commander of the security forces’, the Turkish Cypriot ‘mayor’ of Famagusta and members of the bicommunal group, Famagusta Initiative.