Elderly and other vulnerable Greek-Cypriot people in Karpas have been left without medical and other humanitarian supplies after the Turkish-Cypriot administration imposed ‘taxes’ on a routine delivery on October 4th, said UNFICYP.
The UNFICYP delivery has been regular practice for four decades, but was halted this morning at 10:50 by demands for taxes and fees.
“Humanitarian assistance to Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities in the northern part of the island is based on a longstanding agreement between the sides known as Vienna III, and provides hundreds of elderly and other vulnerable people with basic supplies on a weekly basis,” said the UNFICYP in a statement.
There will be protests and further steps or even measures taken if necessary, said President Nicos Anastasiades.
The development follows a travel warning by Israel to tourists staying in usurped Greek-Cypriot properties which have been turned into hotels in the Turkish-held north of the island.
Two weeks ago, several tourists were turned back at Larnaca Airport on the grounds they were staying in hotels in the occupied areas. The orders were temporary and subsequently lifted by the Interior Ministry, but had the result of the Israeli travel warning.
UNFICYP stands ready to assist the sides to reach a mutually acceptable solution, with the interests of the affected communities in mind, said UNFICYP.
Needless to say, this is not good news for the Greek-and-Turkish Cypriot relations and visitors to the north could expect other arbitrary fees and ‘taxes’ in the near future.
But mainly, more people are suffering because of the Turkish occupation. It’s a sad reminder that the status quo is just a truce that has gone on for a long time.
In the latest development, the Turkish-Cypriot administration said it has allowed UN trucks carrying only medicines to reach the enclaved without fees or taxes.