The Greek newspaper Kathimerini called the move "a major step toward healing the divisions on Cyprus," which has been divided since 1974, while Turkey's New Anatolian service quoted a Turkish spokesman as saying "another impediment has been eliminated for the unification of the two sides."
The barrier taken down was in a U.N. buffer zone at what the Greeks call Ledra Street and the Turks Lokmaci Street. At 7 a.m., a brief ceremony was attended by mayors of both sides and U.N. observers, Kathimerini said.
"There is a very positive mood and a palpable sense of momentum here in Cyprus at the moment," said U.N. senior envoy Lynn Pascoe.
The decision to remove the barrier was made March 21 in a meeting between Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
It is the sixth crossing to open on the island since April 2003 when restrictions on Greek Cypriots entering the Turkish-occupied north of the island were lifted, Kathimerini said.