The cabinet decided on Thursday to give three families in the Strovilia area of the buffer zone a monthly stipend of €500 due to the negative effects on them from the presence of the Turkish military, deputy government spokeswoman Klelia Vasiliou said.
“Today, a monthly stipend was approved, worth €500 for three families in Strovilia, who are affected by the occupying army,” she said.
In her statement after the cabinet meeting, the spokeswoman did not say how the families were affected such as possibly having difficulty getting to work.
Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou was equally vague. He told the Cyprus Mail later in the day: “The money is an allowance to help them overcome financial burden caused due to the situation since they are experiencing difficulties in moving freely among other things.”
Earlier this year it was reported that the Turkish military had advanced in the Strovilia area. They reportedly placed barrels, bars and chains to cut off an area where three Greek Cypriot families reside in three houses.
Incursions began as far back as the year 2000 but had escalated between February 1 and 11 this year, ‘trapping’ the three families.
CyBC reported the Greek Cypriot families had been told by the Turkish military that they now live in the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ and that they would therefore need travel documents issued by the breakaway north if they wish to visit the nearby British base at Dhekelia.
Despite repeated calls by the UN to pull back to its original position, the Turkish military has not complied.
In its latest renewal of Unficyp’s mandate in January 2019, the UN Security in its official resolution called on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to June 30, 2000.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his report prior to the mandate renewal had said that “military positions established by the opposing forces in violation of the status quo inside the buffer zone and at Strovillia remained in place and are classified as permanent violations”.
“In a concerning development, the reporting period saw renewed restrictions of movement and even threats directed at Unficyp military personnel in Strovillia,” he said.