Armed Turkish Forces are Rumoured to Have Enter South Cyprus at Denia

Armed Turkish Forces are Rumoured to Have Enter South Cyprus at DeniaAccording to the Cyprus Mail, on Thursday peacekeeping forces were dealing with heightened tensions in Denia in South Cyprus after agricultural machinery, supported by armed Turkish Forces, entered from North Cyprus and began harvesting a wheat crop sowed by Greek Cypriot farmers.

“We are liaising with both sides to address the raised tensions in the area,” UN spokesman Aleem Siddique said on Friday. “Maintaining the status quo in the area is our most important priority.”

According to media reports Turks, believed to be settlers, accompanied by unarmed Turkish armed forces began harvesting their crops. TV footage on Sigmalive showed a Greek Cypriot farmer standing close to a moving harvester shouting “thieves, thieves” as it continued to mow down the wheat crop.

Denia community leader Christakis Panayiotou said the Turkish forces that had accompanied the harvester were not armed, but others further back, around 50 or 60 metres away, were.

He said the people attempting to harvest the crops were likely to be settlers as the neighbouring villages of the area, Gayretköy and Serhatköy, are mostly inhabited by Turkish settlers. He said the Greek Cypriots living in the area do not have a problem with Turkish Cypriots.

One farmer told media: “One cannot describe the feeling when you see the Turks reap your crop. “We cultivated this land for the past five to seven years at risk of our lives. For 35 years before that this land was uncultivated and we cleared it. The Turks have now found them clean and ready and they came and took the crop.”

This was not the first time there have been issues in Denia. Similar incidents were reported last November. At the time it was suggested but not confirmed that the Greek Cypriot farmers did not have permits and had begun cultivating too close to the Turkish ceasefire line, for which permits are not granted.

Denia was a mixed village prior to the intercommunal troubles in the 1960s. In 1974 Greek Cypriots fled the village, while Turkish Cypriots were relocated north with the former returning to the area after hostilities ceased.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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