According to the publication, in 2022, almost 30,000 Russian citizens arrived at Ercan airport, the only air port in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) not recognized by the international community. This number is almost six times more than in 2021, when 4822 of our compatriots landed on the TRNC.
The increase in the flow of Russian passengers to the north of the island, which is not controlled by official Nicosia, occurs in the context of a ban imposed in February last year by the European Union on direct flights with Russia. The Republic of Cyprus, which is part of the EU, joined this ban, thereby seriously damaging its own economic interests and, in effect, losing the Russian tourism market.
This decision, as can be seen from the statistics just quoted by the Turkish Cypriot media, only played into the hands of the TRNC authorities, who managed to solve logistical problems and attract a significant number of Russian tourists.
In the fall of 2022, the Turkish press actively discussed the issue of launching direct flights between Russia and the TRNC (which controls about 37 percent of the territory of Cyprus).
This was actively requested not only by the authorities of the unrecognized Turkish Cypriot republic, but also by representatives of the Russian diaspora located in the north of the island. According to the Cyprus Mail newspaper, about 10,000 citizens of the Russian Federation permanently reside in the TRNC (in the Republic of Cyprus, the number of Russians is about 50,000 people and is also growing rapidly).
Please note that Nicosia officially considers the north of the island to be Turkish-occupied territory, whose entry without passing through the Republic of Cyprus is illegal and may have legal consequences for violators.
Remember that as a result of inter-ethnic conflict, the eastern Mediterranean island has been divided into two parts since 1974: the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC (recognized only by Turkey). Cross-community negotiations on an agreement, conducted under the auspices of the UN for the past nearly five decades, have yielded no results. According to experts, there is currently no prospect of reaching a compromise between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots on the issue of uniting the island divided along ethnic lines.