In Cyprus on Friday (23 December), 127 Greek Cypriot schoolchildren were allowed to cross into the Turkish controlled sector of the island to visit their parents for Christmas.
In Cyprus on Friday (23 December), 127 Greek Cypriot schoolchildren were allowed to cross into the Turkish controlled sector of the island to visit their parents for Christmas. Since a turkish invasion in 1974, Cyprus has been divided into two communities, Greek and Turkish, each with its own government.
SYNOPSIS: The transfer of the children was arranged by staff of the Red Cross based in Nicosia who were on hand to make sure that the children's baggage was loaded safely. Also there were relatives of the children, who are all attending schools in Greek Cypriot held areas.
Their parents live in the northern part of Cyprus, mainly in the Karpassia area. Like about 40 per cent of Cyprus, Karpassia has been controlled by Turkish troops for the past three years.
Not all the children who wanted to go home for Christmas were allowed to do so. The Turkish authorities turned down 46 others because they were over the age of 15.
From the Red Cross building in Nicosia, the children were driven in three buses to the border of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot zones known as the "Green Line".
Once through the United Nations checkpoint, the children boarded Turkish buses to complete their journey.