A reported recent sale of three hotels owned by Greek Cypriots to a Turkish Cypriot businessman in the Turkish-occupied enclosed area of Varosha has brought back the nightmare of the properties in breakaway northern Cyprus.
In fact, the government now fears a domino effect will follow even though the controversial purchase had not been approved by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus, Philenews reports.
Cyprus is divided since a 1974 invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the northern part of the EU-member state.
In full violation of UN resolutions on Varosha – the enclosed city of Famagusta – Turkey’s recent actions to open it as a fait accompli drastically alters the parameters of the Cyprus problem.
Especially the hot issue of properties belonging to displaced Greek Cypriots who became refugees in their own country following the bloody invasion. This issue also affects the territorial one in a possible overall settlement of the prolonged problem.
Since last week when the news about the three hotels broke out, the government has been moving in two directions.
Firstly, a further investigation of the issue is underway to see the extent of the deal. And to also see whether there were additional deals between Greek Cypriot owners and Turkish Cypriot buyers.
Secondly, the government holds meetings and conferences seeking channels to prevent the issue from escalating. A example was the meeting on Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a delegation from the displaced municipality of Famagusta.
All evidence so far indicates that the deal was not carried out via the legal channels, that is, with the approval of the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.
But this fact does not make Cypriot authorities complacent since it does not act as a deterrent to prevent other similar private deals from taking place. Especially after the strong encouragement of the Turkish Cypriot regime in the north as well as of Turkish Cypriot businessmen.