NICOSIA – The Turkish-Cypriot government on the unlawfully occupied northern third of the island is dropping a requirement that Cypriots must have a visa slip and stamp to visit.
The island has been divided since a Turkish invasion in 1974 but hopes for reunification have arisen with the election of a moderate, Mustafa Akinci, as Turkish-Cypriot President after a series hardliners.
The end of the visa rule, reported by BGN News, didn’t say whether the gesture was designed to show goodwill as the talks are set to resume, and as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades supplied Akinci with the location of land mines in mountains planted in 1974.
No longer will a visa slip and a stamp be required at border crossings, but rather simply presenting one’s ID will be enough to cross between the two states.
The borders between the two areas was first opened on April 23, 2003. Only Turkey, which keeps an army there, recognizes the northern territories as a sovereign state.