In light of the recent discourse regarding the status of the bicommunal village of Pile and the events that unfolded within the framework of the football match held outside the borders of the bicommunal village between Mağusa Türk Gücü and Nea Salamina teams, Our Ministry has felt the need to put forth the following clarifications.

As is known, Pile, where Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots are cohabitants, has a unique status. The local administrations of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot peoples in Pile are separate and their representatives are elected separately by each community respectively.

The Turkish Cypriot Police authorities are authorized to deal with incidents involving Turkish Cypriots, and the Greek Cypriot Police authorities are authorized to deal with incidents involving Greek Cypriots. In incidents where the members of both communities are involved, the police authorities of the two sides intervene together, under the supervision of UNFICYP. As it will be recalled, the police authorities of the two sides intervened jointly in the case of the casinos operating illegally in the village of Pile. In addition, the municipal and other public services are also provided by the respective authorities of either side. Although located in the buffer zone, Pile is not under the control of UNFICYP as is the case in the rest of the buffer zone. In this context, the only role of UNFICYP in Pile is observation and liaison activities. Against this background, it is unacceptable that UNFICYP, by alleging that it could not provide adequate security measures, insisted to move the football match, an organization where Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot athletes and spectators were to participate jointly, to a stadium situated in South Cyprus rather than holding it in a stadium in the buffer zone, where security would have been provided by the police authorities of the two sides. Moreover, it is simply irresponsible for the UN to create the impression that Pile is an area where there are security concerns.

Unfortunately, it is recently being observed that there is an increase in the biased stance of UNFICYP regarding issues concerning the buffer zone. This biased stance is not only contradictory to the mandate of UNFICYP, but is also at odds with the spirit of these events which are organized with the aim of bringing the two peoples closer together.

These developments reconfirm that the recent position of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the need to review the mandate and operations of UNFICYP in light of the changing circumstances on the island is justified.