Cyprus Mail

Akel lauds Soyer for revealing that Evkaf has no claims on Varosha


Main opposition Akel on Wednesday welcomed the statements by veteran Turkish Cypriot politician Ferdi Sabit Soyer that the vakif of Varosha was closed in 1935 and that Evkaf officials knew about it.

Soyer, former ‘prime minister’ and leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), told Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen that the Abdullah Pasa Foundation, which is presented by Evkaf religious foundation as the owner of the fenced-off city of Varosha, had been compensated and closed down in 1935.

Based on what Soyer told Yeni Duzen, it appears Evkaf was aware of that and did not seem to question it.

In statements to the paper, Soyer referred to a book under the title ‘The History of Turkish Cypriot Foundations with Documents’ written by Mustafa Hasim Altan, which had been printed by Evkaf publications in 1986.

Yeni Duzen reported that the book was based on official documents which said that “no such foundation exists in Cyprus”, while the book’s presentation was written by former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and foreword and preface by senior Evkaf officials.

Soyer said that the documents clearly showed that the foundation was closed down after receiving a hefty compensation for its properties and criticised the current campaign launched by the Evkaf administration to claim the bulk of properties in the fenced-off town of Varosha.

Recent talk of the reopening of Varosha brought to the fore the clashing claims to Varosha properties, with sections of the Turkish Cypriot community backing Evkaf.

“You can’t defend the Evkaf’s claims or historical realities through raw propaganda on billboard adverts,” he said.

Soyer also criticised the Turkish Cypriot ‘government’ for exploiting the issue for domestic political purposes and called on Evkaf to publish the documents.

Akel said that Soyer’s “honest and courageous attitude reminds us that we have progressive Turkish Cypriots in our battle” to avert the plans by ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay and ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar to bring in settlers in Famagusta.

“At the same time, it is another response to those who want to present the Turkish Cypriot community as a spineless mass and instrument of Ankara,” Akel said in an announcement.

The progressive forces of the Turkish Cypriots are struggling, in adverse conditions, to defend the existence of their community and the prospect of a free and reunited Cyprus, the party added.

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