Northern Cyprus continues construction of Pile-Yigitler Road despite objection

Northern Cyprus continues construction of Pile-Yigitler Road despite objection

Greek Cypriot Administration, UN opposed to Pile-Yigitler Road Project which TRNC began implementing Thursday

By Mehmet Kemal Firik

LEFKOSA (AA) - The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) continued Saturday expansion and improvement works on the UN-controlled Green Line as part of the Pile-Yigitler Road Project.

Construction efforts commenced early and proceeded at a measured pace, partly due to a weekend schedule, according to information provided by officials. Similar progress can be expected Sunday with workers maintaining the slower pace.

- UN peacekeeping forces attack civilians

Mayor of Beyarmudu Municipality Bulent Bebek, who oversees municipal services for Turkish Cypriots in the UN-controlled village of Pile, said the TRNC has patiently awaited the realization of the Pile-Yigitler Road Project for 22 years.

Shortly after work began Thursday, however, UN peacekeeping force soldiers attempted to disrupt operations early Friday.

Bebek noted that eight police officers and two private landowners within the Green Line vicinity sustained injuries during an incident.

"They claim that this is Greek Cypriot land. No, this is TRNC land. We have conveyed this to them as well. We will not give up what is ours. This road will be built,” he said.

Bebek said the UN forces previously permitted the construction of two separate roads connecting South Cyprus Greek Administration to Pile in 1996 and 2006, however, when the TRNC initiated road construction, the UN displayed a biased stance.

The Undersecretary of TRNC Foreign Ministry said the UN peacekeeping force deployed personnel to the area Saturday but refrained from intervening in the ongoing construction.

The Pile-Yigitler road expansion is strategically important for the residents as it will give them more options to reach Pile, where Turks and Greek Cypriots live together.

The Greek Cypriot Administration and the UN are opposed to the project.

Residents of Pile will be able to travel shorter distances and will not have to pass through British bases when crossing to the Turkish side as a result of the 11.6 kilometers (7.2 miles) construction and repair work.

The first 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) of the road will pass through Yiitler, and the second 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles) will pass through Pile.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

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