It was revealed by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission on Thursday that around 20 Nigerian students were murdered in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – a country isolated by the international community except Turkey.
The country finds itself in a complex situation after declaring its independence from Cyprus in 1983 after the invasion of Turkish troops.
It is not recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign country and its foreign policy is largely oriented towards Turkey and Turkish Cypriots living abroad.
This makes air, land and sea transport to Northern Cyprus difficult.
Foreign media report that an international air embargo is in effect on the territory forcing travelers to stop in Turkey.
The neighboring countries of Northern Cyprus are Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
It is unclear how Nigerians entered the country, but according to Google Map, the Black Sea lies between Turkey and the nation of Ukraine.
Ukraine has been the center of the Russian war for the past six months and foreigners have been forced to flee the country.
Foreign students including Nigerians might be drawn to study in Northern Cyprus as Times Higher Education lists about 3 universities in its overall ranking, advising people to explore studying there.
Meanwhile, NidCOM believes the Federal Government must take a firm decision on places like Northern Cyprus, admitting that no diplomatic success has been recorded by Nigeria in the affected country.
Abike advised Nigerians against traveling to northern Cyprus, adding that the territory is not recognized as a sovereign country by the United Nations.
She said: ““Think twice before going to Northern Cyprus. We can’t do much for the Nigerians there. Our students are being killed daily.
“We do a lot of diplomatic engagement in diaspora affairs. Northern Cyprus, because it is a problem with Northern Cyprus. Young people came to tell us, please tell everyone to stop going to northern Cyprus.
“We did this a while ago and someone said, how can you tell people not to go there, and I say it again, if you go to northern Cyprus, think twice time.
“More than 20 students have been killed over the years and nothing has happened; so these students came with themselves and said they had to do some awareness, saying not to go to northern Cyprus.
“Northern Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey, it is not a country recognized by the United Nations.
“So if you’re running, there’s not much we can do, but our students are being killed daily and nothing is happening.”
The country’s president is Ersin Tatar, he would push for strong ties with the UK, after graduating from Cambridge University in 1982.