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Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Nicosia, Cyprus (August 18, 2023)
August 18, 2023

Location: Pyla area of Cyprus

Map of Pyla area of Cyprus

Event:  On August 17, Turkish Cypriots (TC) announced plans to begin paving the dirt road from the TC village of Arsos into the UN Buffer Zone to the bicommunal village of Pyla.  The construction project was not authorized by the UN, and its commencement constituted a major encroachment on the Buffer Zone.

While UN efforts have halted the construction, the situation escalated the morning of Friday, August 18, when TC security forces moved into the Buffer Zone, assaulting UN military staff, damaging vehicles, and physically removing equipment and UN personnel from the roadblock.

The UN, United States, and other nations have strongly condemned the actions of the Turkish Cypriots.

Actions to Take:

  • Due to the escalation of events in the Pyla area, U.S. Embassy Nicosia is strongly encouraging U.S. citizens in the Republic of Cyprus to reconsider any plans to travel north this weekend, or until further notice of de-escalation of the situation. All U.S. citizens are specifically advised to stay away from the Pyla area.
  • We encourage U.S. citizens in the area to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings, particularly around large crowds or gatherings.  You should monitor local media to keep updated with the latest information about the situation and activities, any demonstrations, and areas to avoid.
  • Monitor local media for updates.