An enclaved Greek Cypriot was earlier this week laid to rest in his native village of Ayia Triada in the north, some 20 days after he had passed away, due to the refusal of Turkish Cypriot authorities to admit his remains in the north ostensibly due to the coronavirus situation.
The man’s remains were finally transferred to his village, and the deceased was buried there on Wednesday in the presence of enclaved relatives. Family members residing in the south were not permitted to cross to attend the burial.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, a funeral service had earlier taken place in the south of the island.
Citing public health reasons – apparently a blanket ban on burials due to the coronavirus state of alert – authorities in the north initially refused outright a request for the man’s remains to be buried in Ayia Trada as per his wishes.
They later relented, but demanded that the man’s remains be tested for Covid-19. Only if the deceased tested negative would they allow the body to be taken to the north for burial.
A sample was taken from the deceased’s body, and tested negative for Covid-19. Authorities in the north finally agreed to let the body in through a checkpoint.
The UN peacekeeping force assisted in returning the man’s remains to his village.
It’s understood that a number of enclaved Greek Cypriots from the Karpas peninsula with health issues cannot attend scheduled appointments with doctors in the south. There is also one person undergoing chemotherapy among the enclaved.
The leaders of the two communities have agreed to open crossing points for motor vehicles only, starting June 8. The measure applies for enclaved Greek Cypriots or Maronites residing permanently in the north, as well as for Turkish Cypriots who work, study or are being treated in the areas controlled by the Republic.
A certificate proving that the person who wants to cross is Covid-19 negative is mandatory.