Northern Cyprus: Hundreds of International Students Stuck at Airports Due to New Measures

International students enrolled at universities in Northern Cyprus, officially known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, have been struggling to enter the area due to new central quarantine measures imposed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many students have been stuck at airports, and many others were deported to their home countries.  

Northern Cyprus has imposed restrictions in August, under which international students, depending on their country of origin will be settled in a ‘central quarantine’ facility” costing around 5,400 Turkish lira or about US$640, Erudera.com reports.

Measures have been introduced in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 infections, while countries have been placed in different categories, depending on the epidemiological situation assessed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A survey by Voices of International Students (VOIS Cyprus) assembled on August 23 revealed that the affected students had to spend more than 12 hours at the airport prison, could not contact their families, and haven’t even been offered water.

“The experiences of students were devastating. Some faced hostile treatment from immigration officers, some were detained for long hours at the airport prison, some had to pay for quarantine with money they had reserved for tuition and some were forced to return to their countries,” the secretary-general of VOIS Maghazi Ahmed told University World News.

Northern Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture Olgun Amcaoğlu said during a meeting with VOIS representatives held on August 29 that there will be a change in quarantine measures and that students’ payments will be compensated.

According to a Northern Cyprus Ministry of Health announcement, international travelers entering Northern Cyprus via air-sea routes and from outside the island through land border crossings must show negative PCR test results performed over the last 72 hours, then fill in the passenger form at adapass.gov.ct.tr and be allowed to enter the country with a QR code.

“People who will come from Dark Red Countries with a student certificate to be notified by the National Education and Culture Ministry or to register as a new student will be able to enter the country on the condition that they spend 14 days in central quarantine,” the release added.

Travelers entering Northern Cyprus, depending on their home country, must carry the following:

  • TRNC citizens’ “ADAPASS”
  • Turkish citizens’ “HEALTHPASS”
  • EU citizens’ “EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate”
  • UK citizens’ “NHS QR Code Document”

On the other hand, those traveling from other countries must attach their valid PCR test results or vaccination cards to the specific section of the application.

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