The communities of Mammari and Denia on Tuesday said in a joint announcement that they will block any efforts to extend the barbed wire along the buffer zone to reach their villages.
Signed by Denia community leader Christakis Panayiotou and Mammari community leader Nicos Kodjiapashis, the announcement said the interior ministry’s decision to install barbed wire along the buffer zone in Peristerona, Akaki and Astromeritis has had “disastrous consequences,” cutting off huge stretches of land.
The announcement said that while the ministry insists the barbed wire is necessary to block strategic migrant flows from Turkey, all it does is target local residents.
Predicting that the ministry will get to their communities next, the community leaders said that if that happens, “3,000 people would lose access to government controlled areas, effectively trapping them between Turkish troops and the barbed wire, with little room for escape”.
The announcement also doubted the barbed wire’s installation had made a dent in the migration data recorded, asking for evidence to the contrary.
“We will not accept entire villages and families being cut off and deprived of free movement,” it added, saying that the interior ministry is sowing division overnight.
The community leaders finally said that they are against any state plans to “encircle” them, adding that they will not allow any project that would endanger the residents, property and quality of life in their villages.