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More gypsies crossing from north as Koshis warns about spies
in The Cyprus Mail, April 3, 2001

by Jennie Matthew

Another 24 gypsies crossed to the free areas on Sunday, in the latest batch to arrive from the occupied areas, causing the government serious concern and putting a strain on accommodation facilities. Available Turkish Cypriot properties in Paphos have run out, leaving the government in a state of disarray about how to cope with any more who may arrive. Some of the 64 of the 84 to arrive in the last few days are being housed in the Paphos youth hostel and other makeshift accommodation.

The Director of Welfare in Paphos, Zoe Adamidou, Paphos District Officer Andreas Christodoulides and police met yesterday to see what steps could be taken to contain the situation. Police security has been stepped up in the light of statements made on Sunday by Justice Minister Nicos Koshis that the intelligence services (KYP) suspected some of the gypsies might be Turkish spies. But despite the revelations from Koshis that some of the gypsies could be on the payroll of the Turkish secret service, the government can do nothing to stop the arrivals, as it cannot be seen to deny entry to Turkish Cypriots. Police have been given strict instructions not to allow any non-Turkish Cypriots through, and Koshis said those who were here were being kept under close police supervision.

Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said the number of gypsies arriving from the north was expected to rise, adding some only intended to claim welfare. He has attributed the flood of arrivals to the serious economic crisis that has gripped the north. There have been problems in Limassol and Paphos because local residents claim the gypsies refuse to work.

Police spotted the latest arrivals in the early hours of Sunday morning. Five children and six adults were found in Peristerona, shortly after midnight. Another 13, including six children, were discovered in the same area at 3 am. They told police they had come from Morphou.

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