Nicosia says Turkey complicit in migrant trafficking into Cyprus

Cyprus‘ interior minister is accusing Turkey and breakaway Turkish Cypriots of helping to traffick migrants to the internationally recognized southern part of the ethnically split island nation, as reported by Associated Press.

Constantinos Petrides told state radio it’s “now certain” that a mass influx of migrants is arriving by aircraft to the breakaway north of Cyprus from Turkey.

He called Turkish Cypriot authorities facilitators of people trafficking rings, in collaboration with Turkey, adding that this “cannot be tolerated on a European level.”

Asylum claims in Cyprus rose 69 per cent between 2017 and 2018, making it number one on the list of top five receiving countries per capita, data from the European Asylum Support Office (Easo) revealed.

In Cyprus in 2018, some 7,765 people applied for asylum compared with 4,600 in 2017, making Cyprus the top country in terms of per capita applications. In 2014, Cyprus had 1,745 applications, in 2015 it saw 2,265 and in 2016 this rose to 2,940.

Cover pic: Dominic Dudley @