Cyprus News | Passport Checks Causing Long Crossing Queues

Cyprus News | Passport Checks Causing Long Queues at CrossingsAt Cyprus checkpoints Greek Cypriot police are scanning and registering foreigner’s passports when they cross to and from the north. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots using the south’s ID cards were not being registered. Police spokesman, Andreas Angelides, explained that:

“Apart from airports and ports where we already took extra measures, we have applied extra measures to the crossing points even though there has been no specific threat. There is no imminent threat or knowledge of a threat. There are extra police everywhere, not just the checkpoints. The entire force’s personnel will be utilised for better controls.” [Cyprus Mail]

Normally when someone crosses from the south to the north they are not checked and are free to just walk across. Returning, they may occasionally be asked to show their passports or ID but nothing is registered by police at the crossing points.

The argument put forward by the South Cyprus government was that scanning paspports was as a precaution in case of a terrorist threat or attack in the south of the island where a terrorist fled to the north. Police would then have a record of their movements. Police in the north already register everyone who crosses in either direction. However, this does not explain why a terrorist with a forged copy of the south’s ID cards would avoid this check.

I wondered how long it would be before Greek Cypriots stopped pretending the crossings were not borders between the two countries.

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