The Turkish Cypriot side has almost completed its inventory of buildings and other infrastructure in the fenced-off town of Varosha in Famagusta and plans to take it to the ‘cabinet’ next week, it emerged on Monday.
“A report being prepared on historical buildings, churches, movable properties, power lines and the condition of the buildings have almost been completed and this issue will be discussed next week in the council of ministers,” Turkish Cypriot media reported ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay as saying.
“The government will continue with determination its policy regarding the opening of Maras [Varosha], he added.
Ozersay also said the Turkish Cypriot side had also taken steps to counter the Greek Cypriot initiative to the UN to prevent the Varosha policy going forward.
In August Ozersay arranged a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists into the fenced-off area for the first time in 45 years and has repeatedly said that he will gradually open the city.
He was also reported on Monday as saying the Turkish Cypriots were engaged in pro-active diplomacy and had been informing all of their interlocutors regarding their “justified policy”.
“We sent a letter to the UN. Also, during our recent meetings in New York in September we explained the steps we have taken and the ones we plan to take,” he said.
“The most important element which will allow the initiative to come to life is ensuring that no damage comes to the rights of both the former residents and the Evkaf [religious] foundation by adopting a balanced approach based on human rights.”
After an intervention by the government last month, the UN Security Council reaffirmed resolutions 550 and 789, adopted in 1984 and 1992 respectively, which refer to the fenced off area of Famagusta.
UNSC resolution 550 considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN, while resolution 789 also urges that Varosha come under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp).
“No action should be carried out in Varosha, not in accordance with these resolutions,” the UNSC said.