The bodies of seven Turkish-Cypriot students killed in the powerful earthquake that hit Turkey have been returned home, with Turkish media reporting 19 children in the group died.
Two dozen children aged 11 to 14 from the breakaway north of the island, along with 10 parents, four teachers and a volleyball coach, were in the southern Turkish city of Adiyaman when Monday's quake hit.
The 7.8-magnitude tremor, whose epicentre was near Gaziantep, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Adiyaman, has claimed the lives of some 22,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
The children had been taking part in a school volleyball tournament and had been staying in a hotel in Adiyaman that was completely destroyed by the quake.
"The bodies of 19 students have been found under the rubble," a correspondent for Turkey's NTV channel said.
A plane arrived in northern Cyprus in the early hours of Friday with the bodies of the seven children as well as two teachers and a parent, local TV images showed.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar welcomed the bodies accompanied by other government and military officials of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot statelet of northern Cyprus.
Officials on Friday confirmed 16 members of the group had died.
The tragedy has devastated the small region on the Mediterranean island of 270,000 residents.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish forces occupied its northern third in response to a Greek-sponsored coup.
Peace talks with the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have been frozen for nearly six years.
The foreign ministry of the southern Republic of Cyprus said meanwhile that a 17-member rescue team which had been put on standby to be flown to Turkey's earthquake disaster zone has been told they are not needed.
"Despite the initial acceptance of our offer to assist in rescue efforts, Turkiye has 'kindly declined' Cyprus' offer to deploy a Search & Rescue team on the ground," the ministry said on Twitter.
"Offer still stands!"
Two dozen children aged 11 to 14 from the breakaway north of the island, along with 10 parents, four teachers and a volleyball coach, were in the southern Turkish city of...