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Crossing of Cypriots continues
2003-04-24 11:17:01

Nicosia, Apr 24 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are queuing at check points on either side of the divide to cross from the southern government-controlled areas to the northern Turkish- occupied part of the island and vice versa.

This is the second day Cypriots are expressing an interest in visiting a part of their country, many had not seen before because the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus has prevented them from doing so.

The crossings take place after an announcement by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime to ease restrictions it had imposed on the freedom of movement of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. The regime continues to demand that Greek Cypriots show their passports to move freely in the areas of the Republic under Turkish occupation, part of their own country.

So far about 70 Turkish Cypriots have crossed into the free areas of the Republic and many Greek Cypriots are waiting to go to the occupied north.

Greek Cypriots have told CNA that they were encouraged by Wednesday's events and said they felt moved by the prospect of seeing their homes and villages after 29 years of Turkish occupation.

It is estimated that so far about 120 Greek Cypriots have expressed an interest to visit the occupied areas.

Some Turkish Cypriots said they would visit the shops in Nicosia, others said they would seek information about acquiring passports of the Republic and birth certificates while others said that they would visit their villages.

Police officers are out in force to keep law and order and have put up tents to make waiting easier for everybody.

Yesterday police said some 5,000 Cypriots, from both sides of the divide, crossed into the opposite part of the island.|


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