Ersin Tatar, the so-called ”Prime Minister” of the illegally occupied northern part of Cyprus said on Friday in Ankara that his ”administration’s” plan to re-open the fenced-off town of Varosha in Famagusta ”will be completed in the next ten years.”
Tatar was speaking to a conference about Cyprus in Ankara, to which Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, sent a written message to welcome the attendees.
According to the Turkish Cypriot official, the joint Turkish Cypriot/Turkish plans to open and populate the ghost town of Famagusta will go ahead despite the international outcry. He further declared that all properties in the city will be ”justly return to their rightful residents, based on the existing documents available.”
This could actually be seen as a goodwill gesture, since if this comes to pass, it would mean thousands of Greek Cypriots would get their properties back, nearly half a century after they were forced to leave, after the Turkish invaders surrounded the area in August, 1974.
However, under various UN resolutions, Varosha and the surrounding area must be under the auspices of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force of Cyprus. If Turkey actually goes ahead with its plans to repopulate the ghost town, this will be yet another direct violation Ankara will have committed on the island.
Erdogan repeats threats
In his written statement which was read aloud during the conference in Ankara, President Erdogan repeated his threats against the Greek Cypriots and the multinational companies which are conducting research in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
”Those who think that the wealth of the island and the region belongs exclusively to them will have to face the determination of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots,” Erdogan vowed in the statement.
The Turkish leader concluded his message by stating, ”We will defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean with the same determination we defend Turkey’s very own interests.”