According to the information received from the farmers of Serhatköy as well as the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces, 11 Greek Cypriots who were accompanied by Greek Cypriot press have driven to the region in 6 civilian vehicles violating the buffer zone and reaching as far as the TRNC border in the early hours of the morning. Upon the information given to the UN officials by our Security Forces on the matter, the Greek Cypriot group was removed from the area with great difficulty by UN police patrol unit.
It is understood from this incident that the Greek Cypriot administration of the Southern Cyprus consciously intended to heighten tensions in the Serhatkoy-Denya region by encouraging the Greek Cypriots to violate both the buffer zone and the TRNC border.
As it will be recalled, the request of former Turkish Cypriot residents of Denya to utilise the Serhatköy-Denya road to access their village in the buffer zone in order to conduct Friday Prayer at Denya Mosque was prevented by UN at the very last minute. On 17 November 2018, a group of around 15-20 Greek Cypriots, accompanied by Greek Cypriot journalists and cameramen, violated the buffer zone with their vehicles, pitching slogans near the TRNC border. They were removed from the location by two UN Peacekeeping Force patrol units.
Regarding this matter, the Greek Cypriot Minister of Defence Savvas Angelidis publicly stated on 18 November 2018 that Denya issue, which he claimed was concerning the prevention of the farmers from conducting farming activities in the buffer zone, was “regulated and managed very well” by the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This statement and recent events which have taken place in the said region clearly show that the Greek Cypriot side is systematically exerting efforts to create artificial tensions in the region. We are calmly monitoring the developments and we call on the Greek Cypriot side to refrain from exploiting the villagers for propaganda purposes.