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Cyprus

Britain ‘looking into’ selective Dherynia beach opening

Dherynia beach near Varosha is now open but only to Turks and Turkish Cypriots

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is looking into the opening of Dherynia beach close to the fenced-off town of Varosha in Famagusta but only to Turkish Cypriots and Turkish nationals.

Following a letter from the National Federation of Cypriots to Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, the FCO responded, saying it was aware of the move and was investigating, the UK-based federation said on Wednesday.

Federation president, Christos Karaolis, also raised the issue in a private meeting with the head of the Cyprus Desk at the FCO, it added.

“We are aware of the plans to open Deryneia beach in north Cyprus, and are looking into the matter,” said the official response from the FCO.

“The present state of Varosha reflects the consequences of the continued division of Cyprus. We fully support all relevant Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 550 and 789. We continue to raise this issue with the Turkish Cypriots and with the Turkish authorities.”

Karaolis, called the opening of Deryneia beach, “a condemnable policy aimed at stirring divisive sentiments that is nothing short of apartheid”. He also urged the Turkish authorities to comply with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

When the news emerged on Monday, the bicommunal group #UniteCyprusNow on slammed the move as “ethnic separation and a violation of human rights and freedoms”.

Turkish Cypriot media reported the beach opened to the public on August 26 but would still be under the control of Turkish security forces and access could only be had with Turkish Cypriot or Turkish ID.

The beach will be closed on October 29.

 

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