Children stranded in Cyprus return to Serbia

SOURCEB92

Two planes that departed for Cyprus to transport 13 children stranded at the Larnaca airport since Sunday evening landed in Belgrade early on Tuesday.

The children, members of the folklore ensemble KUD Izvor, were prevented from crossing to the Turkish part of the Island by customs officers of Greek ethnicity.

“The children were supposed to be guests of some cultural-artistic society on the ‘occupied’ part of Cyprus. I can’t speak about the details, because I don’t know them, but Cypriot authorities did not allow them to cross to that part,” Serbian embassy official Dejan Bivolarevic said earlier.

It was unclear on Tuesday morning who was in the planes, considering that Izvor’s director, Dejan Tosic, in charge of organizing the trip, said earlier that “there wouldn’t be room for everyone one,” and added, “three of us will have to stay behind and will be back in the country on April 19.”

Tosic explained that the ensemble was to perform in a festival in the town of Girne (Greek: Kyrenia).
Tosic said that the Serbians showed their passports and invitation letters in Larnaca and that “much of the group passed without problems” – but then “suddenly, one customs officer started creating problems, and we were all sent back.”

“He was bothered by us going to the Turkish part and because we were to preform in the parliament there,” said Tosic.

The two Air Pink planes were sent to Cyprus in cooperation with the Serbian Foreign Ministry.
MFA’s Secretary General Veljko Odalovic urged all those planning similar trips abroad to inform the ministry, “because our diplomatic network would certainly have indicated, in a timely manner, the problems that could arise.”

He specified that the Cypriot territory in question has been recognized only by Turkey, “so the Cypriot authorities’ decision is not unexpected.”

“Serbia can in no way stand behind organizing such events and visits, and that is why it’s good to arrange these things in full cooperation. We would have pointed out to the fact that this is a huge, practically unsolvable problem, and that’s how it played out – that festival could not be reached in this way,” Odalovic said.

B92

2 COMMENTS

  1. That’s because Turkey cannot expel people out of their ancestral land by ethnically cleansing them. They have barbarically destroyed 200,000 people ( half the country) and continue to suppress the people.

    The Turkish illegal occupation uses political invitations to various nations and groups to appear to be legitimate and legal; (strange they invite people they help destroy in their own land to dance at their political festivals like their entertainers.) unfortunately TRNC is ILLEGAL and not allowed. The TRNC is only recognized by Turkey, not by the international community. Thus, an Illegal occupation that needs to leave immediately. ( they only remain because nobody will force them out.)

    Serbia should be showing empathy towards this and sharing this opinion; as Serbians were ethnically cleansed out their lands by Turkey, and via Turkey’s proxy allies that they train, arm, support and send troop disguised as Bosnian, Albanians and others. Turkey cleansed Serbians out of their own lands in Bosnia, Kosovo and others. Turkey even militarily controls the borders of Serbia and they are not peace keepers. the UN are peace keepers, not a human rights abuser like Turkey. Does the Serbian dance group supports this ?

    The Greeks in Greece and Cyprus stood behind Serbia at all odds against their opinions even in very turbulent and troubled times for the Greeks, at their weakest.

    Turkey keeps attacking all non-Muslims or non-Turkish socially, physically and mentally.

    This type of agenda by Turkey does not fit anywhere in today’s democratic world.

    We need to recognize the problem to then seek a solution.

  2. Yes, Serbs should not be dancing for the occupied part of Cyprus. The Turks invaded it and killed Greeks. I don’t think Serbs would like a Greek group going to festivals in Kosovo.

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