Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said Tuesday that Nicosia had asked for the EU border agency Frontex to have a presence in Turkey to stop the mass flows of irregular migrants entering Cyprus.
“We want Frontex to monitor the southern Turkish coasts, mainly the port of Mersin and Antalya, where the irregular flows come from, and Istanbul airport, where Frontex officials can monitor flights to the occupied north “, said Nouris.
After meeting a delegation of the Cyprus Green Party, Nouris said that in the first three months, nearly 5,000 newly arrived irregular immigrants have applied for asylum.
The Interior Minister said it had been proven that the vast majority of those arriving are from sub-Sahara Africa via Istanbul, landing at the illegal airport of Tympou and crossing into the Republic.
He added that difficulties managing the migration flows are due to the large influx of irregular migrants.
For the fifth consecutive year, Cyprus is the EU member state with the largest number of migrants per population.
Nouris said the government wants to reduce this problem and gave Greece an example, saying that it drastically managed to reduce migration flows within a year.
“We would like to see something similar happen in our own country to help those people who are really in need in the right way.”