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Politics

Finally Naming Turkey – UNSC Condemns Varosha Opening on Cyprus

July 25, 2021

It took two days of deliberations – and United Kingdom objections – but the United Nations Security Council issued a symbolic denunciation of Turkish-Cypriot plans to further reopen the abandoned resort of Varosha on the occupied northern third of Cyprus.

The UK, the island's former Colonial ruler, still has military bases there and a number of Britons own property on the occupied side, where they have faced legal complaints from Greek-Cypriots who were the rightful owners before their land and homes were stolen by Turkish-Cypriots.

The UNSC also wouldn't even name Turkey at first, referring only to Ankara – the country's capital – as being behind the plans which were technically announced by new hardline Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

But he has openly admitted he does the bidding of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in 2020 had opened part of the beach at the resort and wants the world to recognize the isolated occupied side. Putting aside any further fading hopes of reunification 47 years after a Turkish invasion.

There was an international outcry over Turkey's plans, which Erdogan immediately ignored, as he has any attempt to curtail what he wants to do on the island, including continuing to drill for oil and gas offshore in Cypriot waters.

But Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said Kathimerini were satisfied with a UN statement of denunciation and has no weight.

Erdogan earlier ignored similar protests and condemnations when he ordered the conversion of the ancient Aghia Sophia Orthodox Church in Constantinople into a mosque and got away with it, as he has with almost everything he does.

Anastasides is set to go to Athens on July 27 to meet Mitsotakis to talk about Varosha and the UN statement but can do nothing to stop Erdogan nor Tatar from proceeding in violation of another US resolution which stipulates the properties in Varosha must day revert to the rightful owners, if they're alive.

The UK, the paper said, was unhappy that Turkey was being blamed for the plans that were Turkey's idea although it wasn't said why the Brits were so upset, although they relented under pressure from other UNSC countries, the United States, Russia, China and France as well as India and Ireland, the report said.

The UNSC expressed its “deepest regret” at unilateral actions that ran counter to previous resolutions and statements, and called for an immediate reversal of this course of action and of all the steps taken in Varosha since October 2020.

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