Cyprus Wants EU Border Agency to Stop Migrants from Turkey

NICOSIA — Cyprus wants the European Union's border agency Frontex to step in and prevent the flow of migrant arrivals from Turkey that authorities say have stretched the eastern Mediterranean island nation's asylum system to its limits.

It's also asking the EU to "activate all available mechanisms" to help the country manage the arrival of Syrians either directly from Syria — especially the port of Tartus — or from Lebanon or Turkey.

The Cypriot Foreign Ministry says Turkey hasn't included Cyprus in its program to halt migrant flows into the 27-member bloc since the deal was signed five years ago.

The country of around 1.1 million people is also asking the EU's executive arm to help relocate a "significant number" of Syrian asylum-seekers who have been granted international protection.

"Their numbers have reached such levels that their integration into local communities is realistically unsustainable," the ministry told the Associated Press on Thursday.

According to official figures, 1,337 Syrians have reached Cyprus by sea since 2019 — and one-third of them came in the last three months.

More significantly, 3,896 Syrians have reached Cyprus from Turkey in the last two years, usually flying into the island's breakaway Turkish Cypriot north before crossing a porous, U.N.-controlled buffer zone into the south where they seek asylum with the island's internationally recognized government.

Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and maintains more than 35,000 troops in the north. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 but only the south enjoys full membership benefits.

The ministry suggested other EU member states could help take in some of these migrants in line with a relocation scheme agreed a few years ago for Greece and Italy.

The Cypriot government will also formally request additional EU funding to build a new accommodation center to house asylum-seekers as well as a "pre-departure center" for those who have had their asylum applications rejected.

The number of migrants who have either received or have applied for international protection in Cyprus now accounts for 4% of the country's population.

Cypriot authorities say controlling the flow of migrants from the north into the south is exceedingly difficult because the buffer zone isn't a recognized border where authorities can take strict measures to curtail peoples' movement. There are nine crossing points along the 180-kilometer (120-mile) buffer zone, but most of it is unregulated.

The Foreign Ministry said Cypriot police carries out daily patrols along the buffer zone and thermal cameras will soon be installed to monitor crossings in remote areas. 


Hoping to restart stymied Cyprus unity talks, the European Commission has proposed offering Turkey - which invaded the island in 1974 - inducements to help bring the island back together.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


Teen Girls are Being Victimized by Deepfake Nudes. One Family is Pushing for More Protections

A mother and her 14-year-old daughter are advocating for better protections for victims after AI-generated nude images of the teen and other female classmates were circulated at a high school in New Jersey.

NANTES, France (AP) — A supporter from Nantes died on Saturday following a fight that took place before the club's 1-0 win over Nice in the latest outbreak of violence to mar French soccer this season.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Saturday attempted to turn the tables on his likely rival in November, President Joe Biden, arguing that the man whose election victory Trump tried to overturn is “the destroyer of American democracy.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — For a second Sunday, an ailing Pope Francis skipped his popular window appearance to the public in St.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 107-97 on Saturday night, keeping the Rockets winless on the road.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.