Cyprus Mail

Denia construction outside buffer zone

denia 01
Unficyp soldiers in the buffer zone (Christos Theodorides)

Any construction being undertaken by Turkish forces in the Denia area is currently outside the buffer zone, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus spokesman Aleem Siddique said on Thursday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, he said: “We are aware of construction work taking place north of Denia and are in contact with the mukhtar to reassure him that the status of the buffer zone remains unchanged.”

“Peacekeepers are in the area to deal with any challenges which may arise,” he said.

Siddique’s tone is markedly different to that of President Nikos Christodoulides, who wrote on Facebook on Wednesday night about “new Turkish provocations in Denia”.

Christodoulides, too, noted that the construction was taking place outside the buffer zone, but still said that “this is something about which we will take all necessary actions both at the UN and the European Union.”

His statements came hot on the heels of an announcement from the village’s mukhtar Christakis Panayiotou that Turkish Cypriot forces “appear to be constructing an anti-tank trench estimated to be four to five metres wide and three to four metres deep.”

Denia has been a flashpoint on numerous occasions in the past, with the village’s mukhtar regularly reporting “threats” made by Turkish soldiers and other disagreements having taken place in the buffer zone near his village over the years.

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