A reporter from Turkish Cypriots daily ‘Havadis’ reporter visited the Greek Cypriots living in North Cyprus following the decision by the TRNC to tax any humanitarian aid sent to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north. The only exemption being medical supplies. The reason given by the foreign minister was that the recipients no longer needed the aid, that they could buy what they needed in the TRNC and that they sold the goods they had received. The minister also pointed out that they were free to come and go as they pleased, as were their visitors who were family or friends, in other words, they were no longer enclaved.
Last Wednesday, UNFICYP said it was forced to limit the day’s delivery to medical aid supplies, following the Turkish Cypriot administration’s unilateral decision to impose taxes and fees on other humanitarian goods.
“UNFICYP regrets the decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot administration, which it considers to be an unfortunate development.”
The paper notes that this aid had been sent according to the provisions of the 3rd Vienna Agreement signed on 2 August 1975 [by the late Rauf Denktas on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots] and that the aged Greek Cypriot ‘enclaved’ persons have established their lives according to this system.
The TRNC Foreign Ministry stated that the new implementation complies with the 1975 Vienna Population Exchange Agreement signed between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Nonetheless, the Ministry has decided to continue its cooperation with the UN Peace Force in Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis reporter paid a visit to the Greek Cypriots to find out how they had reacted to the decision. The paper reports that they had rejected the government’s allegations and were both saddened and offended by them.
“The majority of the Greek Cypriots are over 80 years old, some of them are paralysed, many of them cannot walk without support”, notes the paper, adding that the aged and sick Greek Cypriots live with their assistants, who are paid by the government of the Republic of Cyprus.