Turkey says it will reopen part of a ghost town in Cyprus. EU, UK, US objects

Nicosia — Turkish Cypriot authorities announced on Tuesday a partial reopening of an abandoned town due to potential resettlement, and strong accusations from rival Greek Cypriots that they coordinated land acquisition by stealth. I pulled out.

Varosha, an eerie collection of abandoned high-rise hotels and homes in a military zone that no one is allowed to enter, has been abandoned since the island was divided in the 1974 war.

Turkish Cypriot authorities will open a small area for day trips in November 2020, some of which will be converted to private use on Tuesday with a mechanism for people to potentially regain their property. Stated.

“A new era will begin in Maras, which will benefit everyone,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was visiting the departure of Northern Cyprus on Tuesday. Maras is the Turkish name for Varosha.

Greek Cypriots fear that the change in status in the region shows Turkey’s clear intention to make it appropriate. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the move was “illegal and unacceptable.”

“I would like to send Prime Minister Erdogan and his local agent the strongest message that Turkey’s unacceptable actions and demands are unacceptable,” said Anastasiades.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced the move “on the strongest terms” and said the UK, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will discuss the issue with other members of the Council as an urgent matter. I am deeply concerned. “

A foreign ministry spokesman said, “The UK is calling on all parties not to take any action that would undermine the Cyprus reconciliation process or increase tensions on the island.”

EU Foreign Policy Officer Josep Borrell also expressed concern. “The one-sided decision announced today by () President Ersin and (Turkic Cyprus leader Ersin) Tayyip risks increasing tensions on the island and jeopardizing the return to negotiations on a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue. “He said on Twitter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the announcement as “provocative” and “unacceptable.” “The United States will work with like-minded partners to refer the situation on this issue to the UN Security Council and encourage a strong response,” he said.

A UN resolution calls for Valosha to be handed over to the UN administration and allow people to return to their homes.

Anastasiades said Turkey’s “if the real concern was to return the property to its legitimate owners … they should adopt a UN resolution and hand over the city to the UN so that it can be returned safely. “.

Tuesday marks the 47th anniversary of the 1974 invasion of Turkey after the military-designed Greek Cyprus coup ruled Greece. Peace efforts have repeatedly failed, and Turkey-backed new Turkish Cyprus leadership states that a peace agreement between the two sovereign states is the only viable option.

The Greek Cypriots, who represent Cyprus internationally and are backed by the European Union, reject the island’s bilateral agreement to give sovereign states to the separated Turkish Cypriot states, which only Ankara allows.

“A new bargaining process (to heal the division of Cyprus) can only be carried out between the two states. We are right, and we defend our rights to the end,” Erdogan said. Said in a speech in the divided Cyprus capital of Nicosia.

Valosha has always been regarded as the trump card for Ankara’s negotiations in future peace agreements and is one of the regions widely expected to be returned to the Greek Cyprus regime under a settlement. The movement of Turkish Cypriots makes that assumption more uncertain.

Michele canvas