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Decrease in ships from Turkey sailing to the Republic

The number of ships departing from Turkey and sailing to ports in the Republic of Cyprus has decreased, according to the ports authority.

A total of 43 ships sailing from Turkish ports have docked in the Republic of Cyprus so far this year, down from 140 in 2022. Ninety-seven such voyages were recorded in 2021, while 122 were recorded in 2020, making for a total of 402 between 2020 and 2023.

Of those 402 ships, 370 sailed to the Republic to unload cargo, 19 to unload passengers and cargo, one to drop off passengers only, and 12 arrived without cargo or passengers on board.

The total declared cargo on board these ships amounted to 4.04 million tons.

In addition, a total of six Turkish-flagged ships sailed into ports and moorings in the Republic: four to Larnaca, and one each to Limassol and Zygi.

Heading in the other direction, 2022 saw seven cruise ships, all of which bore flags other than that of the Republic, sail directly from ports in the Republic to Turkey. Three such voyages have been made so far this year.

The ports authority pointed to an embargo imposed by Turkey on Republic of Cyprus-flagged ships and ships passing through the Republic as a major reason behind the small amount of nautical traffic.

Since 1987, Turkey has imposed a docking embargo, restricting the entry into its ports of ships registered in the Republic and ships which approach a port in the Republic as its last port of call before arriving in Turkey.

In 1997, that embargo was extended to ships managed by companies based in Cyprus and ships of which the ownership is “of interest to the Republic of Cyprus”. The embargo does not apply to cruise ships.

The ports authority described these embargoes as “violations as international law”, and said it does not place any reciprocal embargoes on Turkish-flagged ships, except for those which sail from ports in the north. This embargo, they say, applies to ships carrying any and all flags.

The statistics given do not include maritime traffic between Turkey and ports located in the north, which all fall outside the control of the Republic of Cyprus.

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