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European Commission records Varosha situation in classified report

ÁÌÌÏ×ÙÓÔÏÓ ÊËÅÉÓÔÇ ÐÏËÇ ÉÏÕÍÉÏÓ 2021
Part of Varosha that has been opened up

The European Commission has prepared a detailed classified report on everything that has been taking place at Varosha since July 20, 2021, in a bid to verify accusations issued by the Republic and to map out Turkey’s role the in events taking place in the area, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The report is made up of seven pages and it is the reason for the delay in drafting of an options paper on Varosha by the European External Action Service.

The options paper will not only include suggestions on how the EU should respond to the situation in Varosha, but also a detailed account of the current situation, drawing also from the findings of the report.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels said the report notes the continued presence of the Turkish military in the Varosha area as well as in the port of Famagusta, noting that the actions taken there create a new state of affairs that is meant to test international reactions.

The document also outlines the ways in which Turkey attempts to create an advantageous situation ahead of a possible solution of the Cyprus Problem, through establishing its control in decision-making processes in the occupied areas and through demographic changes.

In particular, the report notes that the Turkish Cypriot side works under the guidance of the Turkish embassy in the north, while the planning on Varosha is being coordinated by a board made up of political, military and judicial representatives from the Turkish Cypriot community, under the supervision of Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and overseen by Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay and Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

According to the same information, the report notes that there is a long-term plan to develop the area where status has been unilaterally changed as well as other areas in Varosha.

The immovable property commission is reported to also be contributing to this process.

The report also notes the use at the Turkish occupied Lefkonoiko military base by Turkish military drones, as well as the recent decision of the Turkish Cypriot leadership to grant an expanse of land in Karpasia to the Turkish army.

It suggests that Turkey’s action is an indication that Ankara prioritises its geopolitical pursuits and its internal politics over the respect of UNSC resolutions.

It is also noted that construction and renovation work continues, even if at a slower pace than before.

According to the report, Turkey has adopted a hybrid approach in the occupied areas, combining a series of tools to exert control on the Turkish Cypriot community’s administration, education, economy, military, society, and media.

It is also noted that Turkey attempts to use disinformation, demography, the military and migration to exert pressure and also to destabilise Nicosia’s policies, by creating a division between Cyprus and other EU member states, as well as through causing disagreements among Greek Cypriots regarding the possibility of returning to Varosha.

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