Thursday, 31 August 2023
The Pile-Yiğitler road project, has had a history of over 25 years, TRNC International Relations and Diplomacy Special Advisor and Negotiation Committee Member Prof. Hüseyin Işıksal said, Kibris Postasi reports.
Despite the constructive attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side, and requests for cooperation, the United Nations Peace Force (UNFICYP) has given no response. This is because the TRNC is not recognised, he said.
Thus on 18 August, UNFICYP officials were notified about the roadworks between Pile-Yiğitler. This ended with a struggle between UN personnel and Turkish Cypriot police.
The move by the Turkish Cypriots was roundly condemned by the international community, however, none of this addresses the problem faced by Turkish Cypriot residents of Pile, which is the only mixed community village on the island.
Professor Işıksal pointed out that currently, Turkish Cypriots wishing to leave the village, which lies in the UN buffer zone, have to exit and enter through the British Base at Dekhelia. This adds time and inconvenience to their journey. Additionally, a journey to Nicosia takes an hour, however with an extension of the road from Pile to Yiğitler, this could be reduced to 15 minutes. It is only the Turkish Cypriot residents who have to pass through security checks, he noted.
The total length of this road is 11.6 kilometres, 7.5 kilometres of which are in Yiğitler, The remaining 4.1 kilometres is located within the borders of Pile. To summarise, the Yiğitler-Pile road project, which was prepared entirely for humanitarian reasons and needs, is a project that will be a lifeline for Turkish citizens living in Pile, whose population is decreasing day by day and under socio-economic pressures, Dr. Işıksal said.
Work on the road has been suspended.