Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Thursday said he was the one in charge of taking decisions on issues such as the closed-off town of Varosha in Famagusta instead of just being informed after the fact.
After being briefed by ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar and ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay on the ‘cabinet’ decision on carrying out an inventory on the state of buildings in Varosha, Akinci said his office should not be excluded from any discussions to be held on the issue in question.
According to Turkish Cypriot BRT news portal, Akinci said his office “is not a post to be informed but a post that will produce such decisions.”
He also said that other than taking a decision to carry out an inventory on Varosha, there was currently no ‘government’ policy on the closed-off town.
The issue of Varosha is an important component of the Cyprus problem whether it was taken up as part of a comprehensive solution or as a confidence-building measure, Akinci reportedly said, arguing that the issue could not be taken up independently from the ‘president’s office’.
He also underlined the importance of cooperating with the UN and taking into account international law when forming a policy on Varosha.
Akinci said there have been similar inventories on Varosha and that the latest inventory will be an important addition to the breakaway regime’s archive.
The Turkish Cypriot leader had expressed his discontent last week over the announcement by Ozersay of the decision on Varosha arguing he had been excluded.
He had also suggested that they could propose to the Greek Cypriot side the opening of Varosha under UN supervision in return of beginning direct flights to Ercan (Tymbou) airport.
According to media reports in Greek Cypriot press on Thursday however, for the government, international recognition of Tymbou airport in exchange for Varosha was out of the question.
Tatar said after the meeting that they would continue to consult with and inform Akinci on developments regarding the closed-off town.
Ozersay had within the day separate meetings with former Turkish Cypriot leaders Dervis Eroglu and Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of the Rebirth Party Erhan Arikli as part of consultations on the Varosha issue.
But the Tatar-Ozersay ‘government’ was also lambasted by the head of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktash over the Varosha announcement.
He reportedly accused the ‘government’ of incompetency and warned that its stance and statements could work against the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
Referring to the UN Security Council resolution on Varosha, Denktash said that the initiative to reopen the fenced-off town could see cautious support from international actors.
He argued that they ought to properly explain why they are making these moves and show the international community that this is a step taken in order to achieve a settlement in Cyprus. Denktash also said the decision on Varosha had been taken hastily and that no one had the right to force the Turkish Cypriots pay the price for such uncalculated moves.