A committee tasked with examining the possibility of reopening the fenced-off occupied town of Varosha held its first meeting today, “deputy prime minister” and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay said on Friday.
In a post on his social media accounts he said that the committee “which will carry out the inventory study” met today and that other persons would be added to this team.
“I think that next week will be very intense and afterwards we will pass to the point of working on the ground,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs reports that Ezcan Ozsoy, chairman of the “Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage,” has stated that the organisation wanted to participate in the inventory study for the reopening of Varosha.
He added that they had unmanned air vehicles (drones), which could take three dimensional pictures of the town.
On June 18, the “council of ministers” in the occupied north announced that experts would enter the fenced-off town to examine the possibility of reopening it for “settlement.”
Varosha, the fenced – off part of the once thriving holiday resort of Famagusta, on the eastern coast of Cyprus, has been sealed since the 1974 Turkish invasion and according to the UN, the Turkish military is responsible for it. Repeated attempts to hand the area to UN administration and its Greek Cypriot legal inhabitants have so far failed.
UNSC resolution 550 (1984) ‘considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations’.
Turkish Cypriot experts have commented that the regime cannot, on its own, afford the reopening of the town.
The chairman of the “chamber of environmental engineers” Doguc Veysioglu, stated that if Varosha opens in a way that is against international law and does not benefit the solution of the Cyprus problem, international financing will not be available.