NICOSIA. Ramping up provocations in the wake of collapsed unity talks, Turkey is reportedy planning to create an open-air museum at the spot in northern Cyprus where it invaded 43 years ago and as it still occupies one-third of the divided island.
It would be at Pentemili beach, west of Kyrenia, to mark the spot where Turkish troops landed on July 20, 1974.
According to Turkish-Cypriot media, the initiative was announced by Huseyin Ozgurgun, the self-declared Prime Minister of the occupied territories recognized only by Turkey, which wants to join the European Union but bars the ships and planes of Cyprus – which is a member of the bloc – and won’t recognize the legitimate government.
Ozgurgun said the plans for the museum are ready and work is about to proceed, signaling another obstacle to any renewed negotiations between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Their talks broke down in July at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana after Turkey said it would never remove a 35,000-strong standing army in the occupied territories and would invade further when it wants.
That ended two years of often optimistic speculation that Anastasiades and Akinci would finally be able to bring about a solution that has evaded a long line of diplomats and politicians, with former United Nations Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide being the most recent to throw in the towel. He said he would now run for office in his homeland of Norway.