Cyprus Mail

Turkish Cypriots detain Syrian migrants

File photo

Turkish Cypriots in the north have detained 33 Syrian men who arrived in Cyprus by boat the previous day.

The men, aged between 20 and 40, were intercepted near Limnitis.

Reports from the north said the men are accused of entering the breakaway state without permission.

Those detained said they did not wish to return to Syria but instead want to stay in the north.

Turkish-Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen reported that the Syrians who arrived at Limnitis were taken to prison.

Turkish-Cypriot media also reported that according to the Syrians’ testimonies, those who arrived paid between $4,500 and $7,500 to smugglers to reach European soil.

Their boat encountered difficulties in the sea just north of Cyprus and the person in charge of the boat fled on another boat, abandoning the rest in the middle of the sea.

On Tuesday, police in the Republic intercepted a vessel carrying 101 Syrians off the coast of Cape Greco.

The Syrians were loaded at sea onto a coastguard vessel and from there led to a harbour in the south-east of the island.

“There were minors among those on the boat, which appears to have set off from Turkey,” a police spokeswoman said.

The island, the closest European Union member state to the Middle East, has seen a gradual uptick in arrivals of undocumented migrants in the past 18 months as other routes have become more difficult to traverse.

Many are refugees from Syria, but there has also been an increase in arrivals of people fleeing upheaval in Cameroon via the unrecognised breakaway state in north Cyprus.





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