Cyprus Dispute – No more paperwork at crossing points

Cyprus Dispute

No more paperwork at crossing points

Akinci-Anastasiades-EideFilling a ‘visa’ slip will no longer be required by the Turkish Cypriot side at crossing points, it was announced on Friday, as the leaders of the two communities agreed to work “tirelessly” to resolve the island’s division.

The announcement was made after a meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“Mr. Akinci announced that from tomorrow (Saturday), there will no longer be a requirement to fill a form at the crossing points,” UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said.

Friday’s were the first talks between the leaders of the two communities after a seven month hiatus.

The election of Akinci in the meantime renewed hope that the island’s longstanding division would come to an end in the near future.

Metehan“In this prevailing climate of optimism, and encouraged by the momentum that is building across he island, the two leaders underscored their shared will to reach a comprehensive settlement, Eide said, adding that Anastasiades and Akinci undertook to work tirelessly to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

The two leaders agreed to meet “at least” twice a week while their negotiators, Ozdil Nami and Andreas Mavroyiannis, will meet “intensively” in between.

Their next meeting is scheduled for May 28 but they will also meet socially five days earlier.

“They plan to meet socially in the coming period demonstrating their unity in promoting a mutually acceptable resolution of the Cyprus issue,” Eide said.

Divided CyprusAnastasiades and Akinci also agreed to work on confidence building measures that will benefit the two communities.

Scrapping the ‘visa’ slip is part of this agreement. During the meeting, Anastasiades handed over ground maps for 28 minefields laid down by Greek Cypriot forces in the Pendadaktylos area, in the north, before the 1974 invasion.

Despite saying it would come into force on Saturday, it appeared that the measure was already being applied on Friday.

A Cyprus Mail reporter witnessed two Greek Cypriot ladies who crossed north without having to fill the form. But their identity details were recorded.

Also, Cyprus Mail reader said he had crossed both ways on Friday morning on a UK passport and did not have to fill in a paper.

Visa“In both directions there was an official to take the passport without need to get out of the vehicle. My confidence is boosted,” the reader, who identified himself as Mark, Nicosia, said.

Anastasiades and Akinci also agreed to set up a committee to promote cultural events that could bring the two communities closer together.

“I believe that working in this way, we can hope for progress,” Anastasiades said, adding that the talks had taken place in a very positive climate.

Of the CBM announced by Akinci, the president said “we are still at the first stage.”

“We have given instructions to the negotiators to process a series of measures,” he told reporters upon his return from the talks.

Cyprus airpicAccording to KP Daily, Akinci said CBMs were good but “we should never forget that our main focus is always the comprehensive settlement. Whatever we do in the meantime will serve the final result and that is the comprehensive and permanent solution.”

On scrapping the ‘visa’ slip, Akinci said many Greek Cypriots did not cross to the north because of that.

“No one will need to fill up visa forms from now on. Therefore, one barrier is overcome,” the Turkish Cypriot leader said.

Source: Cyprus Mail

17 replies »

      • I cannot see why there would be any change to normal visa requirements ie if you are allowed to enter RoC now you will still be allowed, if you are not allowed to enter now then that will remain.

        This change is to allow easier movement of GC and TC throughout Cyprus.

  1. I hope this is the beginning of a resolution – the new president fills us with hope

  2. I hope that the Greek Cypriot Police at the Bostanci gate will now start to behave themselves! We crossed last week, the only car there and it took us 20 minutes. Relentless questioning etc, and every document was recorded manually, passport, insurance, car documents. And their attitude was appalling! I am doubtful of any change there! Adrian Connor

  3. Sorry I also need to mention that crossing from the Turkish Cypriot gate was a pleasure!

  4. Does that mean you you don’t have a time limit when you come over to Cyprus

  5. It says in the cyprus today news paper all nationalities can cross the borders now 🙂

  6. What about the tourists who need 90 days? How do they know, when crossing, how many days they have?

  7. Can foreign students who are legally resident in TRNC cross the Greek-Cypriot border as well..?

  8. If you are not permitted to cross in to the Greek side now nothing will change there, but apparently there is a new sign up in the TC immigration window at Metahan that states:
    “A 90 day visa will be granted on entry, Failure to renew before expiry will attract a fine”

    And so with the white slip being abolished as so many have said since last Friday, one has to assume that only 90 day visas will be issued save any confusion or margin for error. Anything else would be totally unworkable without a slip as hard evidence, and you can not say that an EU national has to leave Cyprus when they have a right to stay in the RoC for as long as they like, and of course leaving the North directly to Turkey on a visa run would in the eyes of the RoC be encouraging the use of illegal ports. So 90 days it hopefully is, which certainly would be a confidence boosting measure, with no more worries about being told one has just 24 hours as has happened to people in the past back and forth to the RoC to renew their visas. EU Nationals as well as all Cypriots should be able to visit the island for as long as they want without feeling tense and unwelcome at the TC entry crossing, just as they are permitted to do so in the rest of the EU.

  9. So given the Visa is still required for non-residents, anyone using the Cyprus/TRNC border to top-up their 90 day Visa, will need to go to Turkey (or elsewhere) from Ercan airport or by ferry … can see an increase in Residency applications

  10. There is much to learn about the changes but this information is very promising:

    North Cypriot Minister for Internal Affairs Teberrüken Uluçay has announced that an optical reader will be placed at all border gates in order for speedy and secure access to the country.

    Speaking on BRT Uluçay said that they hope to have the optical reader fully functional by the 1 June 2015.

  11. An interesting extract from this article is shown below:

    “For example, the decision of the Turkish Cypriot administration hours after the resumption of the talks on May 15 (as of midnight May 16) regarding visa requirements for travelling between the south and north was a welcome development. Not just Cypriots with both ethnicities but foreigners as well will no longer need a visa slip and a stamp at the border crossing, as presenting ID cards will be enough to cross between the two states. Also, because of new President Mustafa Akıncı’s instruction, drivers will not need to get out of their cars as border police will not stay in booths; instead, the police will go to cars and check IDs of drivers.………………This will hopefully help those fanatic Greek Cypriots who refuse to visit north who believe that obtaining a visa might tacitly amount to recognizing the Turkish Cypriot state. The more there is social contact and people-to-people relations, there will, of course, be more understanding between the two peoples. Naturally, as this writer suffered from many times, there might be negligible cases of individual attacks (my car was scratched with a sharp object twice on the Greek Cypriot side) but the overall result will be conducive to the goal of a building a common future.”