By Chris Elliott…
Recently we published a letter from Chairman Horst Gutowski of The Foreign Residents in the TRNC – TFR click here in which he reported progress made following a meeting with the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clarify the situation regarding when ex-pats living in Northern Cyprus will be able to return to their homes after the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown.
We have now received a further letter in which TFR explains further progress made following a meeting with the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday 2nd June 2020.
The Foreign Residents in the
2nd June 2020
Foreign Residents Returning to the TRNC
I am writing to you on behalf of the Foreign Residents in the TRNC Association (TFR) to provide you with an update on the latest position with respect to Foreign Residents wishing to return to the TRNC following the Coronavirus Lock-down.
This morning the TFR Chairman, Horst Gutowski and TFR Secretary, Caroline Houghton met with The Foreign Minister, Kudret Özersay, and Ismail Ali Sahinoǧlu, Department of Foreign Affairs to discuss repatriation of Foreign Residents who have been stranded outside the TRNC and to understand how and when the borders will be opened.
We would like to thank the Foreign Minister for openly discussing the issues to ensure Foreign Residents have the latest view of the current situation.
Stranded Foreigners & Residency
As you are aware many Foreigners who live in the TRNC have become stranded outside the country as the borders were closed as part of the Lock-down procedures.
A number of the people who have become stranded had not completed/or had only partly completed their residency applications when the TRNC locked-down. As a result, many genuine residents do not have a residency document to show they are permanent residents. This has caused significant concerns, as these people wish to return as soon as possible to their homes.
As a result of representations made by several organizations, this situation is now understood by the TRNC government. Kudret Özersay advised that the Interior Ministry has agreed to review and confirm the residency status of any person wishing to be repatriated, and confirm they are permanent residents. We are writing to all the people on our database, who have registered that they are stranded and wish to return asking them to provide additional information to assist the Interior Ministry to undertake checks.
If you have been stranded outside the TRNC and have not already completed the repatriation form, it’s not too late to apply, but you must reply by mid-night Thursday 4th June. You should complete the attached form and in addition provide the following information:
Category 1 Persons with Residency – to provide a scanned copy of the data page of their passport and a scanned copy of their current residency document.
Category 2 Persons who started Residency, but not fully completed – a scanned copy of the data page of their passport and a scanned copy of the slip issued to them by the Police Station notifying of receipt of their application. If you were not given a slip, please state.
Category 3 Persons without Residency – a scanned copy of the data page of their passport. If you can also provide a scanned copy of your Kocan or the signature page of your rental contract this will also be helpful.
All completed forms and information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreign Residents who are stranded and wish to be repatriated in June, will need to undertake 14 days quarantine. This will be chargeable. The costs for quarantine have not been confirmed. Kudret Özersay, the Foreign Minister is meeting with the Minister of Finance on Wednesday to discuss and details of the costs of quarantine will then be published, probably on either Thursday or Friday.
It is proposed to offer a choice of quarantine hotels, and the cost of quarantine will vary depending on the hotel selected. The process for selecting a quarantine facility has not yet been confirmed.
From 1st July some tourists and other travelers will be permitted to enter the TRNC. The requirements on entry to the TRNC will differ dependent on the country you arrived from. It is planned to classify countries into two categories – high and low risk.
Low risk countries – people will need to present a certificate showing they have had a negative PCR test within 3 days of departure. No quarantine required.
High risk countries – people will need to present a negative PCR test certificate, but will also be required to quarantine (costs and arrangements as per above)
The list of high and low risk countries is not yet confirmed, but it is probable the UK will be classified as a high risk country. Other classifications may be similar to those already published for the Republic of Cyprus, but there may be variations.
Quarantine requirements will be monitored and only relaxed if the number of COVID19 cases remains very low.
3 flights have been arranged from the UK to Ercan for Turkish Cypriots who live on the island. The flights are not open to Turkish Cypriots who live in other countries. If there are spare places on these flights they will be offered to Foreigners who live permanently in the TRNC. Additionally one or more flights are being arranged for Foreign Residents who are stranded in the UK.
From mid-late June Turkish airlines and Pegasus will resume a small number of scheduled flights. The number of flights is likely to be very limited and will be dependent on demand.
A small number of Chartered flights from other countries with ‘touch-down’ in Turkey may be organized. These are likely to only be from ‘low risk’ countries.
Flights which transit through Turkey – there is currently no agreed process for people who book a flight from another country which transits through Istanbul or who book a flight to Turkey and a follow-on flight to Ercan.
Border with Republic of Cyprus
At the present time, only a small number of Turkish Cypriots who meet the criteria previously published will be able to cross the border. When the border will be opened to other people has not yet been confirmed.
Information & Updates
We have provided the latest position and as you can see, there are several areas where we cannot provide complete answers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs are committed to resolving the issues during this difficult period and we will continue to work with them and provide updates as and when they become available.
Editor’s note We are showing an image of the forms requiring answers to and request readers to whom this letter applies should email their answers to Caroline Houghton email@example.com together with other information requested.