On Saturday, December 7, Cypriot farmers held a peaceful protest at the Astromeritis crossing point against the intrusion of Turkish troops in the buffer zone, that prevents them from cultivating their land.
The farmers in their tractors were gathered in the area and drove to the crossing point where they handed a resolution to a representative of the United Nations. They complained that Turkish troops aimed to occupy the land in the buffer zone.
The land, which belongs to Greek Cypriots, is now being used by Turkish Cypriots and settlers from Turkey.
According to the Cypriot farmers, it had been agreed that, after the removal of mines in the buffer zone, they would be allowed to cultivate the land up to 200 metres from the Turkish guard post.
The farmers asked the UN to protect their right to freely cultivate their land.
According to the “Cyprus Mail,” the main goal of the farmers was “a fair and viable solution, which ensures that each Cypriot will plough their birth land and together, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians, and Latins, will feed the people in a united country with a united economy.”
It is not the first time that Turkish forces have tried to violate the ceasefire line.
On June 30, 2000, Turkish forces violated the status quo in Strovilia, a small village inhabited by Greek Cypriots, and refused to go back despite the orders of the UN.