Greek Cypriots demonstrators cause crisis at crossing

The short-term crisis at the Lokmaci crossing in Cyprus happened due to the Greek Cypriot demonstrators, a Turkish Cypriot minister said on Friday.

Greek Cypriots demonstrators cause crisis at crossing

Greek Cypriot demonstrators violated the region which is under the control of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Thursday night, and unfurled banners only a few hours after the Lokmaci gate was opened to pedestrian crossing from both sides of the island.

The gate was closed for 45 years since the start of communal strife in Cyprus in 1963.

"Around 20 Greek Cypriots carried banners, chanted slogans and crossed the Greek Cypriot barricade into the north of Cikkos which is under TRNC's control," the interior minister of TRNC said.

Minister Ozkan Murat said TRNC police intervened in protestors and took their banners to enable secure crossings between the two sides.

"TRNC police have an authority to intervene in this region under an agreement reached with the UN, and are taking action in line with this agreement," the minister also said.

Murat said the two sides closed the gate to pedestrian crossing for a short time, but the gate was re-opened at 11 p.m.

Lokmaci gate, qualified as the "symbol of partition" as it separates Cyprus into two, has always been under scrutiny since April 23rd, 2003 when crossings started between TRNC and Greek Cypriot side.

Repair works started at Lokmaci gate after TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met on March 21st, and agreed to set up working groups and technical committees which would work for comprehensive negotiations.

Tradesmen of the region are pleased with the opening of the gate to crossings.

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Last Mod: 04 Nisan 2008, 15:58
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