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More Cypriots crossed divide in July than in May, study says
2003-08-05 11:27:58

Nicosia, Aug 5 (CNA) - The number of Greek Cypriots who intend to revisit the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, following the partial lifting in restrictions in the freedom of movement last April, is increasing, according to a study conducted by the Statistical Service between 11 and 13 July 2003. Also, the majority of Turkish Cypriots asked said they would visit the free areas again.

According to the study conducted among 2,534 Greek Cypriots who had traveled to the occupied areas in 794 groups and 1,294 Turkish Cypriots who had visited the free areas in 430 groups, 61% of the Greek Cypriots asked intend to revisit the occupied areas, compared to 45% asked in May when the first study was conducted.

Regarding Turkish Cypriots, 94% maintain their intention to revisit the free areas.|

According to the results of both studies and movement from 23 April 2003 until 13 July 2003, the total expenditure of Greek Cypriots in the occupied areas is estimated at 5,523,000 Cyprus pounds and that of Turkish Cypriots to 3,133,000 Cyprus pounds.

On average Greek Cypriots spend 9.81 pounds per person compared to 7.38 in May. This increase came from spending at nightclubs, from 1.72 pounds to 3.81 pounds, and from 2.12 pounds to 3.90 pounds at restaurants.

On the other hand, on average a Turkish Cypriot spends 8.89 pounds compared to 7.19 pounds in May. This increase is due to the purchase of foodstuff and drinks from supermarkets.

Turkish Cypriots' spending at restaurants was down from 2.74 to 2.08 pounds, as well as on clothing and footwear, from 1.77 in May to 0.69 pounds in July.

Between 23 April and 13 July a total of 552,880 Greek Cypriots visited the occupied areas while 403,577 Turkish Cypriots came to the free areas of the Republic.

In July 40% of Greek Cypriots had visited the occupied areas four and more times, while the percentage during the first study was only 12%.

The percentage of Greek Cypriots visiting the occupied areas for the first time was significantly down to 16% compared to 43% in May.

Similarly, 78% of Turkish Cypriots have visited the free areas four and more times, while 49% of them had crossed to the southern controlled areas more than ten times.

The percentage of Turkish Cypriots visiting the free areas for the first time was down to 4% compared to 27% in May.

According to a study in June at Larnaca Airport, 4.1% of tourists who resided in the free areas visited the occupied areas, spending on average 12.70 pounds per person and a total of 136 thousand pounds for the month.

The interviews were conducted at the crossing points.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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