Turkish Cypriots plan to create migration center in Northern Cyprus
The interior minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus announces plans for a migration center to tackle the migration crisis.
The interior minister of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ziya Ozturkler, announced on Monday that the republic's officials intend to establish a migration center to tackle unlawful migration.
"To make the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] a safe and peaceful country, the fight against undocumented and irregular migration continues," Ozturkler said after a meeting with Turkish Deputy Interior Minister Yasin Ekrem Serim, as quoted by the Cyprus Mail.
According to the newspaper, Ozturkler noted that the center will mostly inspect students and workers traveling in the region from Turkey and other nations. He also added that "foreign representatives" would also take part in the creation of the center.
This announcement comes amid negotiations to solve the migration crisis that has affected thousands of migrants over the years and across borders.
The number of migrants who have lost their lives this year while attempting to get to Europe by sea has been revised by researchers at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), bringing the total to over 2,000.
IOM statistics show that between January 1 and June 26 of this year, at least 1,999 migrants died, the majority of whom drowned (1,358 deaths occurred during the same time the previous year). The three main routes across the Mediterranean, as well as the Atlantic route from West Africa, are all included in these totals.
More than 60,000 migrants have entered Italy so far this year, compared to less than 27,000 during this period last year, a notable rise in the number of arrivals. More than 82,000 migrants are expected to arrive in total by sea in Mediterranean Europe this year, according to the IOM, compared to less than 49,000 at this time last year.
Cyprus has been divided since the Turkish army invaded the northern third of its territories in 1974. The republic joined the European Union in 2004, but the benefits of this accession are limited to the southern part of the island where Greek Cypriots live. The southern part of Cyprus is ruled by the only authority recognized by the United Nations, while only Ankara recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
After years of unsuccessful UN-backed efforts to resume talks, the most prominent of which took place in Switzerland in 2017, Erdogan is demanding the establishment of two states and the international community's recognition of Northern Cyprus.