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Tatar says opening Varosha part of a policy to boost ‘TRNC’

Feature Evie The Varosha Coastline (evie Andreou)
The Varosha coastline

Refugees from Varosha can apply to return there via applications to the immovable property commission (IPC), Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said Saturday.

In a wide ranging interview with Politis, Tatar said the opening of Vorasha was part of his strategy to develop the ‘TRNC’ to fulfil its potential.

“We will continue what we started there, so as to pave the way for this city to regain its former glory and international reputation as a tourist destination,” the Turkish Cypriot leader said without providing any more details.

About his recent meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades, Tatar said that the climate was “honest, friendly and cordial”.

In the informal meeting, the two leaders exchanged opinions about the future of Cyprus “the common home of the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots who are the co-owners of the island”, Tatar said.

“Clearly there are issues and differences that need to be discussed and, we hope, solved,” he added.

Anastasiades describes himself as a ‘proud Greek’, Tatar said, adding that “he does not have any issue to describe ourselves as ‘proud Turks’. Well, I don’t have an issue with that either”.

“It is clear that for centuries we have lived on a transnational island as Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, with each society having maintained its own unique identity, as an extension of the ‘motherlands’, Turkey and Greece, respectively, without the development of a common identity. ‘Cypriot identity’ remains more of a geographical term,” Tatar added.

He reiterated that the bi-communal federation idea is dead, and a two-state is the only solution for Cyprus.

“We are not responsible for this. We have been discussing it since 1977, but every time we approached a solution, the Greek Cypriot side rejected it.”

Regarding the peak on migration and the flow of migrants arriving on the island from Turkey to cross from the north to the government controlled areas of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that “it is normal that most migration activity came from or through Turkey which remains our only passage to the outside world”.

“The Greek Cypriot side should look at its own performance in immigration and demography, having allowed tens of thousands of Greeks, Pontian Greeks of Russia and citizens of other countries to come and obtain citizenship”.

He also mentioned the recent issue of the ‘golden passports’ that took on “scandalous proportions” after Greek Cypriot politicians were seen in an Al Jazeera video offering to help a Chinese businessman with a criminal record – later shown to be fictitious – get a Cyprus passport.

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