x

Politics

Turkish-Cypriot Leader Vows Varosha Will Open Again This Year

NICOSIA – In a move that could further splinter any hopes of bringing the island back together, hardline Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said the abandoned resort of Varosha on the occupied side will be fully opened in 2023.

Tatar has rejected reunification, instead demanding that the United Nations and world recognize a self-declare republic that no other country in the world apart from Turkey – which seized it in 1974 invasions – accepts.

Tatar, pushed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, authorized a partial reopening of the resort that has sat idle for 48 years before part or the beach was opened to Turks, and with plans to renovate decrepit buildings.

He told state broadcaster Bayrak (BRT) that he tried to keep communication with what he called “Southern Cyprus” – the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government that’s a member of the European Union that Turkey has been trying fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005.

But he said he won’t talk about unity, only acceptance of the occupied side and that all his demands be met. The last round of negotiations – when moderate Mustaf Akinci was the Turkish-Cypriot leader, fell apart at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in July, 2017.

That was over insistence by Akinci and Erdogan to keep a 35,000-strong standing army on the occupied side and the right of further military intervention, which Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades rejected.

Anastasiades is leaving office in February when elections will be held, becoming the latest Cypriot leader to fail to broker an agreement, and he has denounced the moves on Varosha.

Of the abandoned resort, Tatar said that, “(Previously it was) that on the one hand it’s within our jurisdiction and on the other that we won’t govern there, that policy no longer exists,” for him.

He said it will be entirely reopened in phases, explaining that this was done firstly on a pilot basis whereby a zone was demilitarized and rezoned to civil authority although earlier it was said the cost of restoring buildings was prohibitive.

Tatar further said that all the parks, public spaces and the beach would be open to the public but didn’t say what would become of homes and buildings that were owned by Greek-Cypriots forced out during the invasions. A UN resolution said that only the original owners can re-inhabit them.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Even an earthquake couldn't bring Turkey to recognize Cyprus, reportedly refusing offers of help in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that saw a number of countries dispatch rescuers and other crews to help, including Greece.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.