Cyprus Claims New Surge in Illegal Migrant Arrivals

Demonstrators carry a banner for refugees as they march against corruption in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on December 18, 2021. (Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou / AFP) (Photo by IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP via Getty Images)

Several dozen migrants have illegally crossed into the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus within a 48-hour period, as the number of illegal arrivals surges both by sea and across the border with Turkish northern Cyprus.

Cypriot authorities have claimed as of Tuesday that they detained at least 120 migrants attempting to enter the country illegally in the period of just 48 hours with the migrants arriving by boat from either Turkey or Lebanon.

Another 29 migrants are said to have come into the country illegally by land across the border with Turkish Northern Cyprus in the village of Kato Pyrgos Tyllirias, which, according to a report from the Euroepan Union-funded website InfoMigrants, is a frequent point for migrants to arrive.

Nikos Kleanthous, a local community leader, commented on the situation stating, “The whole area is concerned with the constant arrival of illegal immigrants that has become a frequent phenomenon,” and called for more action from the Cypriot government on guarding the island.

Cyprus has seen a large number of migrants arrive relative to its population in recent years, with the European Union border agency Frontex reporting in June that in the first five months of this year the route to Cyprus had seen a 213 per cent growth in illegal migrant arrivals compared ot the same period in 2021.

Frontex stated that the Cyprus route accounted for two in every three illegal arrivals in the Eastern Mediterranean route, with most migrants coming from Nigeria, Syria and the Congo.

Cyprus police have fought back against the people smugglers bringing migrants to the island and arrested two men accused of helping two-dozen Syrians enter the country illegally in April. The two men had allegedly piloted a boat with the migrants on board.

According to government officials, as many as five per cent of the total population of Cyrpus are asylum seekers, a number that is five times higher than the European Union average.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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