Cyprus Mail

Parties call for tougher action to counter Turkey’s Varosha plans

The Varosha coastline

Political leaders on Thursday called for tougher action against Turkey’s moves to reopen Varosha, with Diko bringing back the late Tassos Papadopoulos’ proposal for the recognition and opening of the town’s port in exchange for Turkey returning the fenced-off town.

President Nicos Anastasiades briefed the national council on the government’s moves in response to Turkey’s actions as regards Varosha.

After the meeting, political leaders said though they agreed with the government’s actions so far, more was necessary.

Disy leader Averof Neophytou echoed the government position that Turkey’s illegal activities aimed at the settlement of Varosha, ought to be dealt with “with all the political weapons in our possession”.

He warned that if Turkey brings in settlers to Varosha, almost all hope for territorial adjustments as part of a solution will vanish.

Main opposition Akel leader, Andros Kyprianou, said that Turkey’s actions were unacceptable and in violation of the 1979 agreement between then leaders Spyros Kyprianou and Rauf Denktash and the UN resolutions. “The aim of these actions is to further deepen the faits accomplis and to serve their purpose which is permanent partition of the island.”

Kyprianou said everyone must act and call on the international community to intervene to stop the Turkish aggression.

He added that the best way to tackle this was to resume substantive negotiations focused on reaching a solution as soon as possible.

Diko’s Nicolas Papadopoulos said though he agrees with the government’s actions that include letters to UN member states, he found they were not satisfactory enough to counter Turkish plans.

He said that his party has brought back his father’s, the late President Tassos Papadopoulos, proposal for the opening of the Famagusta port under EU supervision in exchange for the return of Varosha to its legal residents.

“We believe that this is the right moment to bring back this proposal which had also been adopted by the EU itself,” Papadopoulos said.

In the meantime, Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudrer Ozersay said on Thursday, that if elected as the next leader, he would pave the way at an international level for opening up Varosha.

“If we properly brief the UN and the international community by following a more active policy, then the fenced-off town of Varosha will open,” he said, according to Turkish Cypriot media.

His statements follow those of ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar who said earlier in the week that they had spoken to some Greek Cypriot owners of hotels in Varosha. He added that they would deal with the issue of properties in Varosha through the Immovable Properties Commission (IPC).

The representative of displaced owners of hotels in Varosha, Stelios Mandrites, said however, that as far as he was aware, hoteliers had not been approached recently by the Turkish Cypriot side.

He told Alpha TV on Wednesday that some were approached unofficially last October after Turkish Foreign Minister’s Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Vasrosha. They were asked what they planned to do with their properties as no progress was being made towards a solution while Varosha is left to decay.

He said that the hoteliers had asked that the relevant UN resolutions be implemented with the response being that these resolutions were advisory.


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