Turkish Occupying Troops Advance Positions in Cyprus

The Cypriot government announced on Friday that is working in cooperation with the UN peacekeeping force to resolve tensions following an advance of the Turkish army inside Cyprus.

Cyprus State radio (CyBC) said the incursion of the Turkish military into the Strovilia area is said to have taken place between February 1 and 11, in effect increasing the area of Cypriot territory which is under occupation.

Turkish troops reportedly placed barrels, bars and chains to cut off an area where three Greek Cypriot families reside.

CyBC said the families were told by the Turkish army that they now live in the breakaway “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and they would therefore need travel documents if they wanted to travel to the nearby Dhekelia garrison.

Cyprus governmental spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said “we are handling the matter in cooperation with the United Nations; we have no further announcement for the time being.”

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesperson Aleem Siddique said that the force is aware of tension in the area, and is currently liaising with both sides to reduce it.

“There is a situation that we are aware of and we are monitoring… we are liaising with both sides to see why there are tensions, and do what we can to reduce those tensions,” Siddique announced.