There were tragic scenes along the Karpaz coastline yesterday, Monday 14 May, as bodies of 11 refugees washed up on the shore or were found in the sea by the TRNC Coastguard.
On Monday morning, a local villager saw the bodies of two males on a beach in Dipkarpaz and alerted the authorities. A doctor from the neighbouring Yeni Erenköy Health Centre quickly attended the scene and confirmed both men had died, most likely through drowning, their ages estimated to be 25-30 years old. During the day, more bodies were found along the top part of Karpaz panhandle.
Local police investigating the deaths stated that various personal items had also been recovered, such as a wristwatch, mobile phones, cash, identity cards and a passport, all thought to belong to the refugees. Some Turkish Cypriot media speculated that the dead were part of a group of 13 Syrian refugees who had departed from Mersin on a boat that capsized during the journey.
Following the tragic developments, TRNC President Mustafa Akıncı said: “It is pains us to see these poor, helpless people who left their homes and countries and lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea.”
“The lifeless bodies reaching our shores remind us once more how much peace and stability is needed in our region. One of my primary responsibilities…is to strive to bring peace and stability to our island and our region,” he added.