Authorities in the Mediterranean island flew 30 Israeli travelers back to Israel because they intended to visit Northern Cyprus, a Turkish-controlled self-declared state which Cyprus considers an occupied territory.


Cyprus Photo credit: 123rf/Channel 2 News

The government of Cyprus has forced 30 Israeli travelers out of the country after they declared they were going to visit the Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.

Cyprus officially considers Northern Cyprus an occupied territory and bans tourists from entering it. As a result of intervention by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Cypriot authorities have been willing to turn a blind eye until recently, but are now strictly enforcing the ban.

The Israeli travelers spent Monday night at the airport in Larnaca and were flown back to Israel Tuesday morning.

The Cypriot embassy in Israel said in response, “Every tourist who arrives in Cyprus with the intention of visiting the Turkish-occupied territories breaks the law and puts themselves at risk of being sent back to their home country.”