The Varosha area will be revived and opened to the whole world, Turkey’s Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Murat Kurum said on Wednesday during a visit to the recently opened part of the fenced area of the coastal city.
Kurum, who is in the north along with a delegation from his ministry, was in Varosha to assess the situation, the Turkish Cypriot media reported.
According to Turkish Demiroren News Agency Kurum said he met with Turkish Cypriot officials to discuss Varosha’s revival.
“We are now in the Varosha area, which we will open to the whole world,” Kurum reportedly said, expressing his gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar who contributed to the opening of the area.
He added that, along with the Turkish Cypriot stakeholders, they examined the work that needed to be done in Varosha, which he said, is one of the most important tourist areas in the Mediterranean.
“We came together with our Turkish Cypriot stakeholders to revive and build our Varosha area,” he reportedly said.
He also said walking and cycling routes would be created. He added that they would pave the way for the Turkish Cypriot people and tourists to safely visit the area.
Kurum visited the area just days after Erdogan announced he would like to visit the area for a picnic. The minister said his visit was aimed at having a look and assessing the situation prior to Erdogan’s visit.
The Turkish president is expected to arrive in the north on November 15, which is the 37th anniversary of the north’s unilateral declaration of independence.
Kurum also said that the state-backed Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) and Konya metropolitan municipality will support the works to be carried out in the area.
The Turkish side opened part of Varosha to visitors some three weeks ago after 46 years it remained closed following the Turkish invasion.
Both Tatar and Turkey had been declaring they would restore Varosha, a popular holiday resort until 1974, to its former glory to attract tourism and boost the north’s economy.