News Local Government relocation scheme to Turkish-held villages: The problems and the numbers

Government relocation scheme to Turkish-held villages: The problems and the numbers

The occupying Turkish regime has hardened its stance with the issuing of “residence permits” to enclaved Greek-Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied North moving to their villages through the recognised Republic of Cyprus’ Relocation Scheme, Phileleftheros reports.

Around 50 Greek-Cypriots have relocated to their occupied villages in the Karpas peninsula since the scheme was put into force last year by the government of the Republic of Cyprus, and have since been inconvenienced by the occupying Turkish forces by being made to apply for a “residence permit” every month.

According to information obtained by Phileleftheros, the occupying forces have justified the move as a measure taken for all “third-country citizens” (as they classified Greek-Cypriots), including Turkish nationals, and not just for Greek-Cypriots moving back to their villages.


The Labour Ministry announced in September of last year that the government will provide financial aid to young Greek Cypriot couples and members of the Maronite community up to the age of 45 wishing to move to their Turkish-occupied villages.

Beneficiaries must be married or have entered a civil partnership and intend to reside permanently with their family in their Turkish-occupied village for most days of the week. They must not be guaranteed minimum income recipients or receive other public aid.

According to needs, beneficiaries will receive up to €15,000 for families with children up to 18 years old, and €10,000 for families without children. Aid will be granted in two equal tranches —  upon their settlement and after completing six months of residence.

The amount of aid will be decided in accordance with each family’s plans regarding building, repairing or maintaining their home, as long as beneficiaries receive no other aid for the same purpose, it is noted.

Moreover, they are entitled to a one-off financial assistance of up to €2,000 to cover appliances or other necessary items, after completing six months of residence.

Finally, they may receive up to €3,000 as a financial assistance for setting up a business.

After completing one year of permanent residence, recipients will be entitled to a monthly allowance, according to the Resettlement Scheme in the Turkish-occupied areas, for as long as they meet the requirements of the plan and can prove that they continue to reside permanently in their Turkish-occupied village, the announcement concludes.


Speaking of housing assistance beneficiaries yesterday, Chairwoman of the House Standing Committee on Refugees Skevi Koukouma raised the issue of delays with some payments to enclaved persons via the scheme to Fotis Fotiou, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots, adding that in one instance housing conditions are “miserable”.

Fotiou reminded that the second tranche of the assistance is paid six months after an enclaved person or their family relocates, but does not appear to have directly addressed the issue of payment delays.


As regards the Maronite villages, the number of persons who have relocated to Kormakitis via the government scheme is estimated at 140-150 people, while around 20-25 people have relocated to Karpasha.

The increased number of Maronites opting for relocation has been attributed to the close proximity of the Maronite villages to the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus where Maronite families moved after the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Phileleftheros estimates that Maronite enclaves’ relocation via the scheme will augur well given that the homes that were occupied by the Turkish military have been vacated and are expected to be returned to their Maronite owners.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. In July of that year, the Greek Cypriot population in the areas occupied by the Turkish army was 162,000. At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion in August 1974, 142,000 Cypriots were expelled or forced to flee. The majority of the 20,000 Cypriots who remained, mostly in the Karpas peninsula, were gradually forced to abandon the area. The number of Greek Cypriots living in this area today has diminished to only 338 Greek Cypriots and 105 Maronites, and are officially considered enclaved.

Read more:

Top Stories

Brazil COVID-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

  Brazil’s death toll from COVID-19 is expected to hit 100,000 today and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even...

Latest Covid infographics-870 recoveries, good on testing, no patients in ICUs

  870 people out of a total of 1207 cases (as of August 6), have fully covered from Covid-19 in Cyprus. Out of 26 deaths,...

Police to charge Aradippou mayor for not wearing protective mask (update)

  Police will be filing a case against Aradippou mayor Evangelos Evangelidis in the coming days, for violating Covid-19 prevention directives. As spokesman Christos Andreou told...

Death toll from Indian passenger aircraft accident rises to 18

  The death toll from an Indian passenger aircraft accident has risen to 18, while 16 people have been severely injured, a senior government official...

Forestry head shocked by heinous arson in Kouklia-Dora

  Director of Forestry Services Charalambos Alexandrou expressed utter shock and rage at today's criminal act against Cyprus, commenting on the mass arson causing a...


Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...