The British High Commission with a post on Twitter on Friday, shone new light on the situation in Strovilia, where the Turkish military reportedly advanced its position, in violation of the status quo around the buffer zone.
Phileleftheros on Saturday reported that the Turkish military had advanced in Strovilia, placing barrels, bars and chains to cut off an area where three Greek Cypriot families live.
CyBC said that the Greek Cypriot families were Turkish military that they now live in the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and that they would need travel documents issued by the occupied north if they wish to visit the nearby British base.
However, on Friday the High Commission said that it was SBA authorities who moved the barrels in order “to prevent smuggling and the avoidance of customs checks.”
to prevent smuggling & the avoidance of customs checks, in line with our duties under the Green Line Regulation. We are content Cypriots in the area of #Strovilia are able to continue with their lives unhindered, without additional restrictions, including travel through the SBA.
— UK in Cyprus (@UKinCyprus) February 22, 2019
UNFICYP admitted existence of tensions
CNA on Thursday reported that, UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesperson Aleem Siddique told the agency that the peacekeeping force is aware that there is tension in the area of Strovilia and is liaising with both sides to reduce it.
Siddiwue noted that “there is a situation that we are aware of and we are monitoring and we are liaising with both sides to see why there are tensions and do what we can to reduce those tensions.”
In 2000 the Turkish army moved their positions forward and violated the status quo in the village of Strovilia, a UN controlled strip of land situated between Dhekelia British Base and the occupied areas. Despite repeated calls by the UN to pull back to their original positions, nothing changed.