Before Cyprus’ EU accession, tourists were denied entry to the Republic of Cyprus if they had entered via a port or airport in the north, in accordance with the Republic’s Aliens and Immigration Law. They could even be arrested or deported. And tourists in the south weren’t allowed to stay overnight in the north. However, this law was at odds with the EU’s policy of free movement and specifically with the Green Line regulation (that the Green Line isn’t an external border of the EU), which the government of the Republic agreed to implement on accession. So, in theory, the Cypriot authorities may now only hand out information leaflets about the situation in northern Cyprus. Nevertheless, just after EU accession in May 2004, the Cypriot justice minister warned that those who enter the Republic through what’s considered an illegal port or airport (i.e. any port or airport in northern Cyprus) could face on-the-spot fines of between CY£20 and CY£500.
In practice, freedom of movement between north and south depends largely on the point at which you cross the Green Line. Until recently, the only recognised crossing points were Ledra Palace and Agios Dhometis in the old city of Nicosia, but in 18th April 2005 the EU announced two new crossing points: Ledra Street, in Nicosia city, and Zodhia, just south of Morfou. However, you should check that these new points are operational before attempting to use them.
Note that parts of the ‘buffer zone’ between north and south are mined and that there are no recognised crossing points inside the British base areas in the south-east of the island. The EU is pressing for amendments to the Green Line regulation, including freer movement of people and goods, the opening of more crossing points and an EU-sponsored de-mining programme for the buffer zone.
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Cyprus from Survival Books.