The government and displaced inhabitants of Famagusta have strongly condemned Sunday’s planned visit to Varosha of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ‘celebrate’ the unilateral declaration of independence of breakaway north Cyprus.
Erdogan will provocatively go to the fenced part of Varosha in Famagusta for a ‘picnic’ after Ankara and the new Turkish Cypriot leader opened the ‘ghost-town’ to visitors last month.
EU-member Cyprus is divided since a 1974 invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the northern part. The UDI took place in 1983.
“The presence of the President of Turkey in celebrations for the 37th anniversary of the proclamation of the pseudo-state, as well as his visit to the besieged city of Famagusta, constitute an unprecedented provocation,” Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said in a written statement on Saturday.
“These actions are also in complete contradiction with UN Security Council resolutions 550 and 789,” he added.
At the same time, they undermine the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to convene an informal five-party meeting on Cyprus and do not contribute towards a favourable, positive climate for the resumption of reunification talks.
Moreover, Famagusta refugees but also friends of the once cosmopolitan city are planning a rally on Sunday at 1pm at the Dherynia crossing.
This is to protest once again against Ankara’s unacceptable and provocative actions in Famagusta, they said.
The municipality in exile has also released on social media a video by Famagusta refugees addressed to Erdogan.
“You have no right to be in Famagusta, no right to come and rejoice on our sorrow, steal our houses and destroy our lives,” the narrator in the video said.
“Famagusta is not your homeland; it was taken by war at gunpoint,” the narrator also said.
One caption in the end said: ‘This is not a place for picnics Mr Erdogan’.