A UN proposal issued to the Turkish Cypriot leadership on Monday suggested the closure of the Ledra checkpoint from the north, as has been done by Greek Cypriot authorities, effectively forbidding the movement of civilians into the Ledra Buffer Zone.
The UN proposal was brought to light by Turkish Cypriot ‘Deputy Prime Minister’ and ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Özersay, who said that the suggestion was an attempt on the part of the UN to transmit part of the blame for “the wrong move by the Greek Cypriot leadership” to the Turkish Cypriots.
“The UN should not attempt to hide the shame of the Greek Cypriot leadership,” Özersay said in his initial reaction to the proposal.
The UN proposal
According to Özersay, the UN requested that the Turkish Cypriot leadership move to close the Ledra checkpoint on Monday morning.
“The fact that they [the UN] attempted to get us involved in the wrong move by the Greek Cypriot side is shameful,” Özersay said.
The proposal appears to have been issued prior to a demonstration held by Turkish Cypriots at the Ledra checkpoint before noon on Monday. The protesters, who sought entry into the Buffer Zone, were blocked by a UN police line.
While some reports in the south said protesters in the north attempted to break through a UN police line, it later emerged that Turkish Cypriot police officers pushed UN officers back into the buffer zone, following a dispute over area of jurisdiction.
UN police held the line while UNFICYP, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, had called on demonstrators to refrain from any actions that disrupt public order.