During the debate on the state budget on Thursday, a deputy had heard of the latest statement about Varosha by the Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel and asked that a statement was issued by the House condemning the latest move even though this was not on the agenda of the plenum. The speaker accepted the request and the House unanimously and unequivocally condemned Ustel’s statement which was ‘provocative and callous.’
Addressing a gathering at which he presented his party’s candidates for the local government elections in Varosha, Ustel reportedly, said that after the elections the whole town of Varosha would be opened. They had gone ahead with the opening of part of the fenced off area, despite being urged not to do so, and some one million people had visited it so far, he had said. By opening Varosha, jobs would be created for the young living in the area, he said.
Ustel may have been speaking more generally about the opening of Varosha at some unspecified date, but the House took his words very seriously. After all, the Turkish Cypriot regime was not bluffing in the past when it said it would open the fenced-off area. The process has been slow, but steady. The development of the area, which was promoted a couple of years ago has not materialised, but nobody would be surprised if another section of the fenced-off area is opened in the next few months. As Ustel said, “we will do all this with the mother country Turkey.”
After condemning the statement and all provocative actions instigated by the Turkish side, which were in violation of international law, the House called on the UN and the EU to take practical measures preventing this provocative action and, at the same time, to pursue implementation of the resolutions for the return of the legal inhabitants of Varosha to their town. Αnother paragraph was subsequently added to the text, calling on the international community to take the necessary action to avert such initiatives.
Will these calls lead to the UN and EU preventing this provocative action? Will the declaration make Turkey have second thoughts about plans to open all the fenced off area? The House has produced countless resolutions about Varosha that have only one purpose – to show Greek Cypriots that the political parties, which have collectively spurned all the opportunities for the return of the legal inhabitants of Famagusta to their town, are doing something (issuing resolutions that nobody takes seriously) to stop Turkey.
They know declarations and resolutions will not stop Turkey, nor will they lead the UN, the EU and international community into action, but the Cyprus problem theatre must go on.