Cyprus Mail

Syrian refugees ‘being guided’ to checkpoints by Turkish Cypriot authorities

The Ledra Palace checkpoint

Sixty-three Syrian refugees who recently arrived in the north of the island via Turkey, have reportedly crossed to the south.

According to Ihlas, a Turkish news agency, the Syrians flew out of Turkey and landed at Tymbou (Ercan) airport in the north.

Under the supervision of Turkish Cypriot authorities, they were then guided to cross to the south via the Ledra Palace crossing.

The Syrians were apparently instructed to apply for political asylum once in the territory controlled by the Republic.

The news agency said that previously refugees arriving in the north would be sent back to Turkey. But the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ changed this policy about a month ago.

Since then, it said, some 100 Syrians have been given permission by the north to cross into the south.

According to official statistics for the year 2018, in Cyprus the three main nationalities granted protection status were Syrians 1,000 (82 per cent), Somalian 35 (3 per cent) and Iraqi 35 (3 per cent).

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