GR US

EU Foreign Chief Wants Turkey to Close Varosha Beach on Cyprus

Αssociated Press

People walk at the decorates side in front of the abandoned buildings with a Turkish and Turkish Cypriots breakaway flags, before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspects the newly opened beachfront of Varosha in war-divided Cyprus in the Turkish occupied area in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)

NICOSIA -- Speaking loudly and carrying a soft stick, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Turkey was wrong to open a beachfront at the abandoned resort of Varosha on the occupied northern third of Cyprus but nothing will be done about it.

That was ordered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of October, 2019 elections to benefit his handpicked choice, hardliner Ersin Tatar, who unseated moderate Mustafa Akinci as the Turkish-Cypriot leader.

Tatar said he would do whatever Erdogan tells him and both have said they want two states in a permanent partition instead of reunification although negotiations that collapsed in July, 2016 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana may resume.

Responding to a letter by leftist deputies at the European Parliament on the initiative of Turkish Cypriot MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek, from the Communist party, Borrell called upon Turkey to close the beach again, said Kathimerini.

But Erdogan already said he wouldn’t although opening the beach violated United Nations resolutions that said only the original inhabitants or their families - predominantly Greek-Cypriots - should be able to return there.

Borrell said the EU is willing to join in talks with a table including Cyprus, Turkish-Cypriots, the UN and the guarantors of security - Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom - but Tatar doesn’t want that.

Turkey is also ignoring soft EU sanctions over drilling for oil and gas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) of Cyprus, a member of the bloc that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005 while barring Cypriot ships and planes and refusing to recognize the legitimate government of the island.

Turkey unlawfully invaded twice in 1974 and set up a self-declared republic on the occupied side that’s unrecognized by any other country in the world, seeing it flounder economically after being isolated since then.