A German mother and daughter have been living in Larnaca airport for 15 months now after being deported from Israel, and Cyprus newspaper Phileleftheros reports that they don’t want to leave.
Passengers at Larnaca Airport have repeatedly complained about the two women, who have turned the public space into their home. The women have been living in the airport’s car park where they sleep on the pavement in sleeping bags. They are often seen in the airport using the bathrooms.
They have allegedly admitted to having access to a bank account that allows them to buy food and basic necessities.
The two arrived in Larnaca in August 2014 after being deported from Israel because their visas had expired. They have reportedly been offered help from the German embassy, the airport officials and the police, but have refused all.
It is unclear why they have chosen to stay in the airport rather than continue their journey home to Germany. They say that they only want to return to Israel.
Although under European law there is no reason to expel EU citizens from a country if they have not committed a crime, the airport will seek governmental aid in resolving the issue.
Real life airport dramas have long outshone the 2004 hit movie starring Tom Hanks, The Terminal, where a man lands in New York only to learn from the border control that there has been a revolution in his country and he’s denied entry and is subsequently stuck in the transit zone.
Edward Snowden spent 6 weeks in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in 2013, and later, in July 2015, Japanese journalist Tetsua Abo spent over two months in the same airport.
All of these events, however, were preceded by the longest airport stay ever: in 1988 Karimi Nasseri arrived in Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Paris and stayed there for 18 years, up until 2006. His story was the inspiration behind The Terminal with Tom Hanks.